I feel like sometimes life teaches you things in a sequence. And you could exchange the word life for God. Either way- learning takes place over a series of events. Or at least it does in my life. I'll give away the ending and say that the lesson I am learning is that there is so much more than meets the eye, and we do ourselves, and everyone around us, a disservice when we pretend to understand something or someone perfectly. There is so much more to understand than labels, judgments, and blanket statements. Life is teaching me this by helping me learn more about those around me. In my life, I have at least two of the following:
A good friend is homosexual, which, at BYU, is going against the grain, to say the least.
A good friend grew up in an abusive home and is realizing the effects.
A good friend's mother recently passed away.
A good friend struggles with anxiety and depression.
A good friend struggles with a pornography addiction.
And, lastly, feminism deserves more credit than I've given it in the past.
These aren't just people I've heard about or perhaps caught them mentioning the issues in passing. These are people I know well, and love very much.
And I of course have my own set of issues that I deal with. Perhaps I should disclose them since the theme of this post is my frustration that we are so hush hush about our issues. That'll come in a moment. But really- I just think we should just talk about it more. A sentiment from the first Harry Potter book has always stuck with me- Dumbledore is talking with Harry, and Harry starts to label the villain Voldemort as "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named". Dumbledore stops Harry and says something to the effect of fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself. I propose that it is the same with our issues.
In my perfect world, nothing would be shared in confidence, or at least fewer things. We could break down so much stigma if we didn't feel we had to wait for the only the right moment to disclose. We could also avoid a lot of rude shocks. I could be wrong, but I think it's like the Dumbledore thought. When we keep secrets, we increase the stigma or fear of the problem itself. And here's the thing- I have yet to get to know someone really well, and not discover something that makes them other than cookie cutter. We all have problems, surprises, and secrets. And I think it would do a lot for tolerance and acceptance if we could stop being so afraid of other people knowing about it. And if we could stop responding to people in a way that perpetuates this fear.
I could be wrong, there could be more to add to this thought, but for now, I say- love everyone. I'm just finding I rarely have any idea what people are actually going through. That could just be me though- I do sometimes tend towards oblivion, but I am trying to open my mind.
As for my own push back, I want to do a recall on my last post. I mentioned dating a boy and realizing we weren't a perfect match. Why did I say that as if it were simply a mild inconvenience? That situation was and continues to be heart breaking. I am so sad about it, but it's a different kind of sadness. The kind that is sometimes pushed aside because of all the other emotional responses I had to the situation (turns out total surprises blindside me and can be an impetus to anxiety attacks). But all other feelings and decisions held stable, I am sad. It's like some sort of thread that weaves in and out, and at the most random moments of the day, I realize that this situation was painful. I've always wished my emotions were more... organized. That my sad feelings would all be together and then be felt together, and thus leave together. But no- it's like some sort of mixed salad of feelings. Happy, stressed with homework, joking with friends, a pang of sadness, focus on lecture, go for a run, eat dinner, grief... and so it goes. I am sad because I loved him. I am sad because it was so fun and exciting, and we can't go back to that. I am sad because he is sad. I am sad because no one wins. I am sad because I don't like it when good people feel pain. And I am sad because I hate when the list of failures grows, and this list doesn't just have losers on it. They are actually really good guys. And that makes me sad.
And for some reason it is my lot in life to never stop dating. I don't know how this makes me feel, except for resilient.