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“…Afraid, Brave, and Very, Very Alive.”

These are the words that close Brene
Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection.
The last “guidepost” to what she calls Wholehearted living is
“Laughter, Song, and Dance.”
It’s
funny; she spends a lot of time saying how most people feel really
vulnerable when dancing, concerned with what people think of how they
look, or scared they’ll be told to “dial it down.” That’s not my
experience of dancing; it’s my experience of singing.
I
continue to have a few moments of contact with those folks in bands who I
reached out to about practicing with them. And I’m not letting the
thread drop, but it is getting very long. Then again, there’s
certainly been a lot going on. Then again, 5 hours of netflix isn’t “a
lot going on.” So, self-compassion
while
moving in the direction in which I want to move.
I
imagine this weekend will bring me several moments of the above
guideposts, as my mom is coming into town this weekend. We tend to laugh, sing, and maybe do a little shimy if the song is right. This will
likely be one of the last times I see her in the near future, as her visit is still part of the “visiting Molly while she’s sick” series.
I
actually feel a little strange about it. Because I’m starting to move
out of the phase of active treatment and being actively faced with
cancer every day, and into the phase that includes coordinating
going back to work on Monday(!!) and restructuring the repayment of my student loans, basically, into
the phase of “normal life” again. It feels strange to have my mom
come now, because it’s a reminder of the abnormality of this whole
time. Cancer: Abnormal. Mom visiting: Abnormal.
Which
isn’t to say she hasn’t before, when I’ve been healthy, but I am
usually the one flying East instead of my family flying West.
That
said, the other thing on my mind about her visit is the
vitriol that’s arisen about my father this week… well, I can’t help but
have a few overflow feelings toward my mom about not stopping his
behavior, or even seeing it. I don’t know if I’m going to bring up the dad stuff this
weekend with her, but if I notice that I’m either withdrawing or
being snarky (my defense/offense mechanisms), then I’ll have to say
something, even if it’s a benign statement like, “I’m doing work
around dad, and it’s bringing up a lot of anger, which has put me a
little on edge.” I mean, that sounds pretty honest and fair to me!
But
we’ll see. If I say/have to say that, and/or if I have to say
something around my feelings of abandonment and betrayal by her
during that time. She and I have talked a lot about what happened
when I grew up, and she’s apologized to me for not being there as she
could have been. I don’t want to continue to hold her feet to the
flame, but of course, I don’t want to repress what I’m feeling
either. So, there’s got to be a middle way, where I get to feel like
my feelings are valid (perhaps by sharing them with another person)
and I get to build upon the relationship of equanimity that we have
been and are working so hard to have. 

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