Today I got angry. Really, really angry. This isn't new for me, anger is a pretty familiar emotion for me - as it is for most of us I'm sure. There's a lot to be angry about in the world in general and in relation to endometriosis specifically. So, no anger is not new to me. What was new was the I handled it.
So often with anger we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed, to really lean into it and get consumed by it. This time I got curious about it. I went for a walk and I thought how interesting it was that I was reacting in the way that I was to certain stimulus. I let that thought sit with me for a while and I breathed into the space that opened up between me and the emotion. A mindfulness practice cultivates these spaces, these gaps between the stimuli and reaction, between "you" and what you feel. Having that liminal space gives so much perspective and so room to observe and to grow.
Living with a hidden illness means always fighting to have it seen, not just in large campaign ways but in every day ways that take their toll. Always carrying with us, close our hearts and our throats, the need to tell the story of the reality. Not for pity but for validation. For a sense of firm ground beneath our feet that says this is true, this is real and from this foundation we can build a path to healing. In the absence of that the story, the pain and the fight are always close to us - never to be set down. And that - that means that the emotion seeps through us, saturates our experiences and anger is the manifestation all too often.
Nayyirah Waheed (whom I quote weekly I think) says:
"every once and a while. take off your life.
We can't, and won't, lay down the arms of this battle - there's a truth to be fought for - but every now and then consider how that is showing up in all areas of your life. Get curious. And then get compassionate. God knows you deserve it.