The fascinating complexity but also the heartbreaking fragility of human existence. That phrase from the Guardian fit my thoughts today, in the strong sunshine and Siberian air. The extremes at once of the weather perhaps provoke it. The chaos of thought and passion, all confused and contradictory, is becoming clearer.
I am stubborn. I don’t give in until I am dangling on the end of a rope. The things I am most proud of are when I have dug my heels in and fought on, against discouragement. I judge myself harshly, and often see things negatively.
I fear myself more than anything else, fear my fear or anger, when these are not important, or even beneficial if I permit them. That means much of my fear is illusory, of things which don’t really matter. Things pass, and I am not dead. The fear feels existential but is trivial.
I am still alive. Weird, no? You are too- hooray! I can grimly fight on, but also-
I take things to heart. I worry. Bad stuff has an impact on me. She argued that trans women were propositioning lesbians and not taking no for an answer saying they were prejudiced for not accepting a penis as a female organ, and that Stonewall was ignoring lesbians. That is unlikely, given that Ruth Hunt is Stonewall CEO. I worried that she was persuading the others. Then I worried that one of my rhetorical flourishes in answer had completely failed, indeed perhaps been misunderstood as the opposite of what I intended. I was catastrophising.
Because everything is so important to me, everything is too difficult to face.
She will despise me! There is enough evidence to support that, in my mind, but it is not necessarily true. There is evidence against it, both in what she has seen of me and how she has reacted. My negativity paralyses me, and there is enough from outside to feed it.
I don’t know, ever, what others think. Catastrophising, thinking the worst, can be reassuring- it can’t be worse than I think.
I can grimly fight on. I cycled to Corby for the Labour Party meeting then to Kettering for the pub, down the main road in the dark. It was not too busy, because of the time of night. I nearly collided with a cyclist on a path in Kettering, who had no headlamp. It was unpleasant but bearable, and I would do it again because I was motivated to get there. I need to find out- what will motivate and encourage me? Then home, at midnight. The rear light had come off the bicycle. I will need a new one, and they are so expensive. A lot feels like grimly fighting on. People say, getting outside is good for depression.
In the Quaker meeting, though, someone quoted “Bring the whole of your life under the ordering of the Spirit of Christ”. I was thinking of my contradictions, and wanted to praise- perhaps because of the weather. Hymns and songs went in my mind-
Lord of All, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.
I stood and said, “If Christ is the great outpouring of the Love of God, then we are loveable.” I had looked around the group, and seen strength and beauty, and also possibly some wrestling with difficulty. And now I worry that she thought I was claiming that for myself, or even trying to reassure myself I am loveable, against all the evidence.
The sunshine is beautiful. The snowdrops are beautiful. The wind turbines are majestic.