Tuesday, July 16, 2013

a flailing puppy and a steady nipple

"Do you know what a ruthless warrior you are to be living the lifestyle of following your heart?"

There was a day in the not-so distant past that I didn't feel like a ruthless warrior. 

I felt like a crying mess in a hot shower during a colossal meltdown over malfunctioning technology. What started out as, "Dang it, this link won't open in a new tab," escalated to, "Screw whoever's idea it was to give me an effed-up childhood and then 29 years later cause every electronic device in my house to be robbed, crash with a terrible virus, or malfunction. I want a new life."

And while I cried actual hot, angry tears, I knew it wasn't about the stupid computer, or the stupid Internet connection, or the stupid links that wouldn't open. 

I learned this lesson when I was a kid. I don't remember the situation entirely, but I know it involved a picture that a sibling drew of a cow and it made me cry. And while I was crying actual tears in a trailer travel in God's-country-Idaho over an obviously stupid picture of a stupid cow, I knew I was crying about so much more. The cow was just the catalyst. 

The failing technology and the lack of an IT department IN MY HOUSE was just the tipping point, the straw that broke the camel's back.

"Take some deep breaths, breath deep, surround yourself with calm. Maybe have some chocolate? Once you've regained some of your equilibrium, the solutions will come to you. Also...maybe take a nap. Sleep helps. A lot," a friend texted me in reply to my "hands-in-thrown-in-the-air-I-QUIT!" rant.

I took a shower. I pinpointed my extreme frustration.
I felt dumped
I felt alone
I felt like I'm doing it all...alone
I felt inadequate (and not just with technology)
I felt like I wanted life to be easy FOR ONCE

My better-self started talking:
It's not true.
You haven't been dumped (well, kinda, but you're in therapy for that)
You're not alone. At the very least, you have two huge-ass dogs waiting for you outside the bathroom door as we speak. 
You're not doing it all alone. You have him, and you have her, and all those other hers, and a few more hims. 
You're not inadequate. I mean, stay away from drawing maps, and don't do math in your head. But the truth is this: you are enough. 
I've got nothin' on life being easy, but what if you loosened your grip on some of these things?  
Maybe you're hanging on too tight.  

I got out of the shower. Tuck met me in the bedroom. He jumped on the bed and brought me his cherished shoe, then laid down as close to me as he could get.

I remembered when Skye's puppies were born.

There was the Littlest One and I had to revive her when she was born. After she started breathing, I cleared her siblings out of the way, opened her mouth and shoved a nipple in. Nothing. She spit it out. I squeezed a little milk out to give her a taste. Nothing. I tried another nipple. A small one, round one, long one, narrow one...nothing. She spit them all out and her little body flailed all over the place in my hand kinda like a worm does right before you skewer it onto a hook.

I was exasperated. Her chances of surviving dwindled the longer she put off latching on, so I waited a few seconds and then we tried again. And again and again. Nipple steady, puppy flailing until finally! Suction. 

You are totally that puppy.

I don't want to damage anyone's religious ideology by metaphorically comparing God to a dog's nipple, so I won't do that, but I will say that I am often in this position - flailing, exasperated, frustrated, at my wit's end, out of solutions, and tired. And the whole time, the answer is usually steadily in front of me in the form of truth, facts, friends, nature, clarity, a nap, God.

Maybe you're hanging on too tight.

Yeah, that too.

So loosen your grip.


The Logarithmic Spiral said...

I am almost word-less at how incredible your writing is. You blow me away how you're able to intertwine this soul-shattering truths with such an easy humor. Relateable and vulnerable and encouraging, your words are my soul's elixir.

I love you. I am so beyond proud of you. You are a wild success already and always will be. You are beautiful!

A Nony Mouse said...

Did you know that El Shaddai means, 'Breasted One'? It is God's name when describing his provision --- and compares him (her!) to a nursing mother.

This was on the No Longer Quivering blog the other day, and resonated with me. Perhaps you'll find comfort in it, too, and maybe it'll help you to feel not so alone, but rather part of a sisterhood.

Be brave, my friend.


Holly said...

No, I did not know that and I'm really glad you shared that. Also, thanks for the website. I've never seen it before, but a lot of it resonates with me too. Have we met before? I don't recognize the name your comment is posted under, but something seems familiar...

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