Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rabbit Holes

Some of us never grow past certain ideas: "You never loved me." "He stole that from me." "They belong to the country club set." So what if they do? I'm not sure these kinds of labels help anyone-- it doesn't change the pain of being unloved; it doesn't bring back what is lost; and it doesn't mean that someone has only one dimension.

Let the rabbits out of their holes.

The barber peppers you with questions, offers connections, and always throws something silly into the mix. My daughter's job at the barber shop while her brother get his hair cut is to catch flies left handed and find pennies. She can't wait to go there. We always laugh and leave with a handful of bubble gum.

Some of us are blessed with sunny dispositions and practice the art of looking for something good in every situation in gentle and fun way.

When life is hard, love is lost, or life as we know it has irrevocably changed, some of us just need to tell our story. This need to share our story is so powerful that not sharing it can be more painful and awful than the actual experience. Think of the haunted veteran, the subdued victim, or the battered spouse who cannot reach past their pain. Some reach out while some are buried by the weight of all that remains unsaid. A story is told when someone feels safe, listened to, and judgment is pushed aside. This may happen inside rabbit holes, but the odds are lower for those pushed into one.

Your heart is broken, you get the, "Well, how's the dog?" Your beloved dies, you get, "It will fade." You're having a crappy day, "Tell me something good." Does this mean a story doesn't need to be shared?

We think what excellent gate keepers we are when we pat people on the back and push them and their gory pain off of our porch. Instead, keep your ears open and listen-- no labels, no judging, and acknowledge the human condition before you-- the pain, the joy, the loss, the suffering. It’s only when the pain has burst open that it can be washed away.

That boring cracker? He's got the best fishing hole. That crazy uncle? He'll thrill you with his conspiracy theories. That woman who looks so pulled together? She's crumbles inside, but she might have the best tips for shops and restaurants. That grandma that's lonely? She'll love anybody who gives her half a chance. Ferret out the interesting story, verify the madness, shoot for their passions, but at least go for actual evidence and then? Share the good stuff and only the good stuff. Challenge yourself to find a place to connect with those in your life that is respectful of them and you.

So what if someone is crazy, limited, or lacking in some way? Aren't we all? Toss the labels in and help someone out, that rabbit hole is getting stuffy.

Down the Rabbit Hole