All Gardens Need Rain

I think that after years of believing and telling myself that my own problems and feelings don't matter because obviously, I have it so much better than other people out there (and I do, I really, really do), I’ve managed to ignore my problems instead of accept their existence. But in the long run, that doesn't make them go away. Doesn't solve them for you while you're sleeping. Aren't tidied up and taken care of while you're in Auto-Pilot.

In negating that regardless of what the entire rest of the world's situation might be, I have been long ignoring the fact that I do have my own universe of problems from my own personal vantage point. It's taken me 27 years to realize that I do have problems worth addressing, worth discussing, and worth acknowledging. I do have things trapped and locked up inside me that don't get dealt with because I will constantly discount and discredit myself.

Maddie, you're crazy. Maddie, don't be silly. Don't be selfish. Don't be so self-centered. It's not all about you. There is nothing wrong with you. You should be so grateful that you don't have any real problems.

And I agree with that voice every time. All the time. Right now, even. I can't believe that voice is letting me actually speak about this. I abhor tyranny of any kind, but I let the tyrant within myself win far too many times. Sometimes I know what she's doing is for the best, she has a plan, and she is, of course, looking out for me. And I appreciate the hell out of that. She's the one that soldiers on when the rest of me wants to fall apart. When I want to stay in bed and do absolutely nothing all day. When I host a pity party for myself and think of all the things I don't have that I desperately want. I admire the hell out of her. She's the stubborn one, and though that trait of ours can certainly get in the way, it also gets us through whatever we decide to throw ourselves into next, whether it's sticking with a difficult major, accepting the woes of a long-distance relationship, or moving to another country because I felt like it! She's the one that warned of potential loneliness in moving out here to Nowhereville, MD (she absolutely loves it, though, we all do) and might once in a while say, "I told you so," but she's right when she does...and I tell her that. She's the one that says, "Don't let it get to you." She might as well sometimes be saying, "Don't be human."

But I am human, after all. And part of being human, the blessing and the curse that it is, is that we have the ability to see the future. We can understand pain. We can mentally manifest our own pain too, which is really annoying most of the time. We know we're vulnerable, in countless ways. All this knowledge is a lot to bear, for anyone. Even my Stubborn, Tyrannical Inner-Self that says, "Grin and bear it, you're better than all that." It's a reflection of her own weakness and vulnerability that she exerts so much control over me to keep our shit together, keep it moving, keep it HAPPY AND UPLIFTING, or else. Another reason I respect her, endlessly.

But look at me here being nice to her! She's the one that's kept all my emotions bottled up for years because it's easier to not deal with them, to not face them head-on. She's got this trick where she simply reminds us that other people have much bigger problems than we do. Like I said, that doesn't make ours go away, and it doesn't make other people’s problems any smaller, or any less numerous. So who is that helping? How is that really helping? Sure, it's nice to be smacked in the face, metaphorically of course, with some perspective because, Lord knows we need that, but I really don't have the Inner-Self that comforts me like I do my friends and loved ones. I realized earlier this year that I hated myself. It was something I would have never thought I'd say, didn't know I felt it, and still feel weird talking about it.

Okay, so hate is a strong word. If I were to more specifically address it, it's the feeling of not being good enough or feeling unworthy, being a disappointment (mostly to myself and my standards), and that I didn't deserve happiness and wholeness because I lack in the areas of X, Y, and Z. Who does that to themselves? Actually, a lot of people do that. We tend to treat other people better than we treat ourselves. It's awful. In not tending to our own gardens, we let the weeds take root and spread. We forget about the perfectly ripening fruit, and might even carelessly stomp all over it when we're not paying enough attention.

I share this because I know I'm not alone. I know I won't be alone, even though it damn well feels like I might be forever sometimes. Today might be a rainy day for me on the inside and has been on the outside for what seems like forever these past few weeks (#MDWeather), but look at me. I'm sitting with my emotions. I'm checking out the garden. It might be a little sad and droopy right now, supersaturated with the emotions I've been back-burnering for a short period, AND ALL THIS CEASELESS RAIN, but, sigh. Flowers need the rain, and sometimes I need to just sit in it, too, remembering that there will be sun again, and when it comes, we'll be grateful for the flood, and the stark comparison it provides and makes us appreciate.

- Maddie

Diana JoinerComment