Porous Armor

 

BLUE SQUARE, 22×22,oil

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Recently I watched a very well done documentary on ALS.

I responded to it because it was raw and honest which I find rare in the disability community.

In hindsight, I became mesmerized watching a fellow human tackle immense challenges with grace and courage.

He reminded me of me.

The fallout from viewing the story of one mans’ physical self disintegrating within the hour and a half of film time

Left me not fully my best self; depressed (just recognizing this today), anxious, a tad mean, unable to access coherent and communicable ideas.

Years ago at the onset of my health challenges I checked out support groups but ended up feeling much worse when I left.

This was in part because no one seemed interested in talking about much other than shared symptoms.

The visual impact of people much worse off than I was affected me in very negative ways as well.

Now I had various images of who I could become.

Understandably, this is a reason why some people turn away instinctively from the mentally or physically disabled community members; once we see we can’t unsee and the possibility of THAT being US one day is too much.

I am not proud of my sensitivities being acute enough that I became far away from who I recognize as my core self after watching that movie.

Doing so allowed into my psyche a storyline I had never entertained in such technicolor.

My experience is that who and what we think we are we become.  As I can not stop remembering the horrors of what the man with ALS had to deal with and wondering if that will be me the fear takes on substance and I just water it with more attention.

A good example of this is how each of us digests the current political climate.

In the beginning I tried to be ever informed; constantly reading and listening.

These days I remain open to severely edited news summary and forgo as much drama and visuals as possible.

I realized my vocabulary and feelings were tuned more to separateness as opposed to unity and this is an unwanted overlay .

So how to beef up ones’ energetic armor without hardening ones’ self?

Another lesson in the fact that CHOICE or WHAT WE PUT OUR ATTENTION ON is our greatest ally.

For me, the understanding I must keep my porous armor shiny and respect it by remaining vigilant to who and what enlivens me.

 

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