I am a bit worn. A series of events have just transpired which are creating a wee bit of tension. For all of you who know me, all is well in the family and with me. I have a friend who just got off the phone with me and unburdened her heart and I am letting a little bit of the pain slide into the cracks here.
Mistakes are those stepping stones which help us grow. Right? I know that I’m right. I have a whole series of mistakes that follow me throughout my days, most of which are fairly inconsequential and from which I can quickly remove myself with a simple apology. I’m really good at apologizing. I do it all the time.
But sometimes, the apology just isn’t enough. The loveliness of an “I’m sorry” moment doesn’t fill in the cracks created by bumping emotional tectonic plates and I or, in this case, my friend, is left standing holding two sets of geological plates scarred with their sedimentary layers that reveal nothing more than a series of mistakes which are a bit disabling right now.
She’s going to come through this. I know she will. Because, in the end, she is brilliant resiliency and constant love. I know that she will see beyond the grime and dirt of the mistakes which have been leveled against her. She told me, in broken whispers, about the depth of her love, about the nature of her forgiveness.
In a jaded world, I would have suggested that maybe she was doing what she thought was right but just needed to go through with a wrecking ball and level everyone and everything in her path. But she’s not that kind of a person.
Again, I know she’s going to be okay. She told me this herself with a trembling voice and a bit of fragmented questioning, as though she wasn’t quite certain. But she’s not the type to be defeated. I have watched her step through miry situations before. This is not the end. It’s a waiting room. Something better’s on the other side.
Betrayal is piece of broken glass with a slippery smooth edge. Hold it one way, and no pain is delivered. But gently rub it against your skin, and the epidermal striations will smoothly part and the blood will weep to the surface. It takes a moment for the pain to register, that Oh, wow, what have I done to myself? experience that paralyzes the senses.
We walk into our betrayals, I have learned. We walk on the red carpet that is painted with our emotions and our deepest insecurities and deliver ourselves to our own personal Judases.
I think about Judas a lot. Sometimes, I even sympathize with him. I wonder if maybe there’s more to his story than was told in the Bible and then I feel guilty for sympathizing with him. I wouldn’t want to betray Jesus, wouldn’t want to be the person to nail Him to the cross. At the same time, because Judas did betray Jesus, Christianity was born and salvation became a promise and not a possibility. So, in so many ways, as a Christian woman, I needed Judas to betray Jesus so that I might find eternal life.
Which creates a whole new level of irony.
I have been sweating for the last couple of days in terms of preparing for school, knowing that a whole new level of students and parents might stumble upon this blog and then a whole new level of judgment might be leveled against me.
And I realize that in fearing that possibility I was betraying myself. I have to be honest here, even if it is just a halfway honesty because I will not talk about the negative events of my life or the residual, emotional outcomes of those events. I am hurt. Everyone is hurt. I am angered at times. Much like everyone else is angered at times.
But, in the end, I also know that in my times of pain or anger, I don’t need to spill this out in a public forum and let everyone wallow in my toxic spew. Those emotions are temporary and not decisive in my actions or my thoughts. I experience them. And then I will choose not to publicize them. Because they are mine and they are not uplifting to the world. I will choose to be better than my anger. I will choose to be more than my sense of upset.
I have gone a million miles from where this all started. A phone call. Tears on the other end. A gaping maw of sadness that can’t be quieted right now. And I’m helpless because I’m a hundred miles (plus) away from my dear friend.
In twelve hours, the new school year will have been underway for roughly twenty minutes. My son will be somewhere in the downstairs and I will be circulating my classroom, doing the last minute checks on all the papers that I will give to my students. I will be moving through the habits and rituals based on twenty years of teaching.
And a hundred miles away, my dear friend will peel open her eyes and encounter another day, the first in many that will hopefully lead to healing as she lives in a broken kind of silence.
But she still has her voice, a luminous voice filled with the magical transcendence that is built from love and compassion and forgiveness. She will heal. She will repair the fractures and the rifts that have been made. And she will continue to be an incredible woman who is not broken by sadness.