a little east of reality

Monday, February 06, 2006

a very kind email on a very blue day

I really wish I could shake this dark mood off. Someone asked me how I was on the phone and I actually started crying. Luckily most people were off having lunch, but I was sitting at my desk at work, for Pete's sake! I know it's okay to feel upset, but I hate being pathetic at work.


I just received a wise and beautiful and very kind email from Rev. Most of it is posted below (slightly edited for ease of understanding). The last paragraph was a bit dramatic, but intensely comforting in my current mood. I guess not everybody finds me utterly forgettable after all. :)

"I have a great urge to hold you and tell you that everything will be all right and that all the bad things are not so bad as they seem. I want to be able to assure you that all your problems can be solved and that life will seem much better really soon.

I really want to be able to say and do all those things.

Maybe that is why this email seems so hard to write; because I know in my heart that I can't say all those things. Life can be horribly hard. And oh yes sure, much of what we we call horrible is just in our own minds. Oh yes, other people suddenly put in our shoes may have a completely different attitude. Take a starving or diseased wretch from Africa and put her in your shoes and she might well jump for joy. Or put one of those insanely positive and optimistic souls from any culture and put them in your shoes and they might find delightful aspects everywhere.

But you are not a starving wretch or a permanent optimist. You are you. And I am I. And we both know that life really sucks sometimes.

Yours was the second e-mail in two days that I have had from someone I care about that was depressed and just wanted to be released from the burden of life. I said all the usual positive things in my first reply. And yes the things I said were true and genuine but I'm sure that the person knew all that. I couldn't help but wonder if that attitude only might make them feel worse for indulging in depression when the world was such a nice place (apparently) to be in. I wish I knew the answers to these questions. The world really is a wonder and the potential for joy and happiness is immense but then why have I (and so many others) spent so much of it feeling like crap?

I thought that if I was married and had kids and a good car and a good job and some money to spend that I couldn't help but be happy. Most of my life I didn't have any of these things but now I have all of them and it's still not the answer. I'm supposed to have religion but that hasn't been the answer either. Now I must say at this point that all of the things I just mentioned have been a joy to me and I take great strength from them and life would be harder without them. BUT none of them have proved to be 'the answer'.

That's why I can't tell you that everything will be all right. Even if you got really lucky and suddenly had all the things that you are missing so much, I don't think that that would be the answer to your life. Perhaps I should mention here that I am not building up to a profound conclusion (just in case you were wondering.) The solution is not in believing that you will find the kind of family life you crave (we all crave it, even though I denied that when I was single). The solution is not believing in Jesus even more than you do now. I don't know what the solution is.

...There is just one positive thing that I can't help but mention. Please do NOT think of yourself as insignificant. I know that you are not and you MUST NOT be sucked into believing this because of the actions of others. You are a woman of majesty and destiny trembles with anticipation at your feet. I have no words to describe the significance of your existence or of the implications of your life. I don't care if you can't see it just now, the important thing is that this is TRUE and to forget it or to deny it is akin to a denial of everything that I hold sacred. It is not that I regard all people this way. I regard YOU this way. I know it as much as I know anything in this life."