Someone asked me today how I’ve been. I said “adequate” but what I really meant was "I am un-something."
I might be unremarkable.
I’m certainly unattended.
I’m often unfulfilled.
I’m temporarily unburdened by this.
Okay that last one is wrong. I’m burdened. I have a birthday coming up. A reminder that I am unencumbered by the blind freedoms of youth. We all struggle with something. Right now I am really struggling with feeling gross and unworthy. I was unaware until recently that I’d come undone (Thank you 2 day weekend seminar for digging it all up!)
My struggles don’t kill me though. They killed a friend of mine late last year. He was a really good person. He was loved by so many - nearly 300 people showed up to his Celebration of life. People spoke of his kindness. His generosity of spirit. His musicality. His love of his family. He made an impact in their lives.
He wasn’t unloved.
He definitely was not unimportant.
He was unwilling to give up his vice.
He unwittingly became a statistic.
I have another work friend of over 20 years who just got diagnosed with cancer.
She is being unzipped.
This is unimaginable.
That deep fear is undeniable.
Cancer is unwieldy.
The future has become more uncertain.
We are all scared in the world. Fear fuels us. We are simply never ready for the unhealthy part of barreling through life. We are not ready to see people battle disease because, in the throes of it, we see our own potential battle. What if the treatment is unsuccessful?
The death of one friend and the unfocused fate of another, has made me think about things that we humans try not to think about. What would people feel if you died? Would you have made an impact? What would their words reveal about you? Would how you died, affect people’s reactions? Would they just talk about how you touched their lives? That remains undecided.
I briefly discussed this after my friend’s memorial in December. One of my pals said something that really surprised me. She teared up as she said it:
“there have been many times when just reading what you post on Facebook got me through some tough times.”
Being anything but those things, makes me unhappy. Many people over the years have told me that they go out of their way to read my Facebook posts. They troll my page. Maybe that’s my legacy. I’ve spawned a secret society of Facebook lurkers. That makes me a bit happy and a bit sad at the same time. It makes me feel like I need to unplug. We all strive do something meaningful in real life. Something that does not leave us unfulfilled. We need to discover who we are underneath it all and why we're here on this planet. Walking. Talking. Existing.
The main message that came out of all of this for me is to tell people that you love them and to hold on to those that hold onto you.
This can feel unbearable.
You are emotionally undressed.
You may be unwilling to expose your feelings.
It can be uncomfortable.
I mean sure - people often think you are mentally unwell when you express love to them, but what you really are is uncertain. Uncertain of how they’ll react. You are stripped emotionally. Does it matter if you say it as long as you feel it? I would hazard to say that it does. Words surely have incredible power. Words are unequaled. Words, however, can be just that: words. Sometimes words are used as weapons of manipulation. Words can be unclean. However, there is one thing more powerful than words alone: actions combined with words. Actions are unnerving but they are raw and it is harder to hide your intentions in them. They are a little more unsheltered than words standing alone.
This is the theoretical underpinning of our lives.
The future may remain unclear.
We must always be unflappable.
We must bring it all into focus. Even if it makes us uneasy.