Thursday, August 21, 2008

if a tree falls in the forest...

...and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?

of course it does, but i haven't always known that.

during my counseling appointment last week, shari showed me, "just because you didn't acknowledge the sorrow that has been present in your life, doesn't mean it never existed." i was believing the tree made no sound.

i have believed for far too long that life's experiences only exist when others are there to see it, or hear about it, or feel it, or experience it with me. and while we do not live in a vacuum, i have placed too much emphasis on others reception and acknowledgement of my living, that i've missed experiencing the depths of my life when others have not seen or heard, or been there with me.

so, this week, i went to the depths. with the gentle, yet persistent encouragement from shari, i've worked hard to be present this week - and oh! the emotions that flowed. i've gone back into history, deep in my past to visit the sorrow of many events for the very first time. since no one knew my sorrow during those times, or in other words, no one was there to hear the tree fall, i assumed the sorrow didn't exist. but of course it existed - and as i found out for the first time, still existed, unmourned - until now.

this week, i let myself experience the rejection of going my entire high school years without a boyfriend. i let the pain of being dumped for both homecoming and prom my junior year wash over me. and i grieved the loss of losing my best friend to the one who dumped me. i waded in what it feels like to be unchosen, not picked, and looked over. and i wept for that young girl who still had hope to believe that some day, she would be the one chosen.

i also mourned the loss of being able to enjoy my daughter's first year of life because i was drowning in postpartum depression. i stood in the current, or rather the torrent of tears shed for the connections i missed and the impression i left on my tiny, helpless baby. and i turned over, carefully, like someone searching for crayfish, the stones of why i felt the shame that i did.

and so, if anyone was present to bear these griefs with me at the time they occurred, it only would have confirmed what was already there - a loud sorrow. but, just because someone wasn't there - or i didn't let anyone in, doesn't mean that the pain didn't exist. and that's what i'm learning.

so, if a tree falls in the forest, it does makes a sound, whether or not anyone is close enough to hear it.



noelle said...

This really touched me. I am at that place too. Wondering why I can't let the ones I love into my hurting places. Trying to ignore pain in the hopes that secret pain can be escaped by denial.

I'm so sorry I didn't know you were hurting when Lucy was a baby. I have been in that same place too many times. I still look at one child and wonder if his need for affection is because I was constantly pushing him away...and that was a decade ago.

:::No Longer Mute said...

...and yet we both know that there was someone who was there to see it, hear it, and feel it all - to acknowledge that the tree does in fact make a noise because He is always there to hear it. And I think He has grieved FOR you and now He is finally able to grieve WITH you.