Yesterday I participated in a Families Belong Together demonstration in Lancaster, California. I did it for me! I needed to connect with others, and I didn’t have the energy to make the trip to Los Angeles to participate in the larger one. I was grateful to find a local demonstration.
There were maybe as many as 100 of us. Most were middle aged or older. I suppose the younger ones were either in Los Angeles for the larger demonstration or at work. We were a subdued group — too subdued for the intent of this event — maybe because we are older or maybe because we are becoming exhausted with the ongoing drama of Trump’s administration and the consistent level of trauma it engenders.
I’m struggling. I am at risk of being paralyzed by a grief that threatens to become clinical depression. Brain fog has taken over again along with fatigue and low energy. I have to force myself to do ordinary, everyday activities of living. I have to remind myself that ‘joy’ is a discipline that can be practiced in the midst of suffering — my own and others.
I struggle with deciding where to focus my attention. I am tempted to discount my own, very real grief because others have bigger troubles. And yet, if I fail to have compassion for my own suffering, I risk losing compassion for others. I need to find some balance here, and I’ struggling with that. I am sure that I am not alone in feeling the way I do.
Much of my grief is personal. Where once my solitary life was welcome, — or, at least, manageable — my aging body makes it more of a problem. Solitude too often shifts into loneliness. I grieve my own loneliness. I cannot fault anyone but myself for this circumstance.
I’d hoped that participating in the Families Belong Together demonstration would help me find some balance. It didn’t. I’m still confused. I had other city errands to complete after the demonstration ended. The brain fog and sadness continued.
Today I’ve made an effort to return to a regular ‘practice.’ As part of that effort I did the qigong workout that I’d discontinued while I was working on the series of articles on the medial personality. I wept during the first part of that workout. I suppose I needed to do that.
I’m not sure how much of what I feel is my own and how much is a resonance with the suffering in the world around me. There is a stillness in my body that I associate with deep grief. I don’t know why I am alive. I suppose I don’t need to know the ‘why’ of my life. That I am still in a body is sufficient evidence that there is some purpose for me to fulfill.