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The only Life We can Save

“Determined to do the only thing you could do—determined to save the only life you could save.” ~ Mary Oliver

 

I don’t like myself very much today.

There’s the multitude of little failures—the things left undone, the “dirty dishes of life” so to speak that seem to have caught up to me this Sunday.

There’s that age-old demon of depression in the back of my mind, making his presence known, a reminder to me to be cautious. I picture him as my own personal Gollum, his “precious” being my happiness.

There’s my relationships—that if I take a good look at right now, I haven’t been nurturing enough. My son, yes. But my dear friends and loved ones that have supported me through the last year with their kind words, gentle advice, hugs—I haven’t been around very much to reciprocate.

Most of all, there’s the fact that I got into a disagreement with someone dear to me today and treated them rudely and incongruently with how I truly feel. I acted poorly. I said things that were not true and were aimed to hurt.

There, I admit it. I failed today, at being who I want to be. The person that I am–how I feel and think—and the person in my heart, were inconsistent. Those words seems to contain the essence of the problem. Incongruence. When we act apart from our true selves, betray our best nature, it hurts.

There’s also the fact that this, these very words I feel drawn to put to paper, seem inordinately selfish.

And so I sit here, alone, stumped. Baffled. What do I do? Apologies have been said, a list sits beside me of the many things to tackle.

What do we do when we royally f*ck up and there’s nothing we can do to fix it?

I lay out my yoga mat and lay in child’s pose for a few moments.

Take care of me. That’s it.

When I don’t know what to do, when I’m frazzled and worn out and exasperated—I can take care of me. Pour a bath, light a candle, listen to music. Same old simple advice that we tend to not take.

I’m all I have. I can’t control what will happen tomorrow, whether I will struggle again with depression, whether I am forgiven for stupid words said in anger. I can wake up and try again tomorrow, and I can take care of the now.

I start running a bath, exquisitely hot, line up a stack of bath-time reads and light a candle. Embrace the moment. Sometimes the only way you can be of benefit is to take care of yourself.

Sometimes, the only life you can save is your own. 

 

Photo credit : Silent Moment (by Elizabeth Gadd)