So I'm sitting here tonight, listening to this song over and over. I'm not entirely sure why. I can come up with at least seven reasons that make sense, but none of them seem to ring true.
This is the piece that (ironically) I can't seem to let go of:
The pain is self-inflicted.
I know it's not good for my health.
But it's easier to please the world
Than it is to please myself.
The rest is out of my hands.
I will learn to let go what I cannot change.
I will learn to forgive what I cannot change.
I will learn to love what I cannot change.
And I will change whatever I can.
Right now I can't care about how everyone else will feel
I have enough hurt of my own to heal.
It's been sort of a tough weekend.
It's been sort of a tough decade.
Yesterday was a whirlwind of emotions and conflict both internal and external.
One of the things that happened seems to be relatively symbolic of my recent life, actually...I got clawed up by my cat while I was trying to help him stop clawing me up. I really don't want to get the cat declawed because I think it's pretty brutal, but Lucky totally doesn't understand the indoor use of claws. I mean, he's been minimally clawing of the furniture - he generally likes to scratch on the carpet, which, knock yourself out, cat - but it's the clawing of me with which I take issue. So Jen says, oh, just clip his nails. That'll take the needle-sharp points off of them and make it less awful. So, okay, logical enough. But he freaked out and ran and hid, and then once I coaxed him out he sunk his claws into me repeatedly because he was scared and didn't want me to let go of him. So, in his mind, this is a good thing, right? I will hold solidly on to my Kate and she will not go away and she will make things better. But in practice, this is really painful for me. And of course, once we got to the actual clipping, that was no big deal and he didn't even flinch. And then I held him for a while, and we both felt better.
There's a couple of different ways I could work that metaphor to describe several of my relationships lately.
This is the other song that's been in heavy rotation in my internal world, which started because of a friendship that's actively and painfully falling apart and I'm making the conscious choice to not stop it from doing so.
But then I watched the YouTube video of this song yesterday (not this one, one that was at a radio station) and he was talking about how he wrote this when he was estranged from his son, which seemed timely, because this weekend my brother was in town to see our dad, who he hadn't seen in well over 30 years.
Still. It seems to describe an awful lot of my relationships, and that place I can't ever quite seem to get to where I step back and go, wait, I can't fix this by myself. I, conversely, so often just keep beating myself against the same brick wall because I get inconsistent messages from the other side of it. And I can't let go of the idea that I'm responsible for fixing things, that I'm the one who is at fault no matter what the truth might be.
It's something about maintaining control, I think. In refusing to be a victim, I absorb responsibilities that just aren't mine, because if I'm the reason things are fucked up, then I must still have the power to fix them. It's a potent sort of crazy.
Let's look at the lyrics from this one, shall we?
There's a wall gone up between us, ten feet tall and ten feet wide
We can hear each other screaming, but can't see the other side
And there's no getting over, and there's no breaking through
Until you can accept my hand when I reach out to you
I can't tell you how to live your life, I can't turn you into me
I can't roll this rock back up that hill, I ain't got the energy
So call me up when you get tired of pushing me away
I just hope we can be friends again someday
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't push him in
I'm tired of fighting battles neither one ever wins
The armor's getting heavy, and the quills have lost their point
Won't you meet me for an orange soda down at Tommy's joint?
I can't teach you how to chase your dreams
I can't make the sun shine through the rain cloud you drag around
I'll leave it up to you
My love for you is oceans wide, that's all I want to say
And I hope we can be friends again someday
Chili dogs and milkshakes down at the little gem
Fishing off the dock talkin' politics 'till 3am
Long drives through the countryside, afternoons that never end
It's all right here if we could just be friends again.
I know I can't change anyone, I can only change myself
But when the tidal wave of life rolls in I can only offer help
I don't know, some kind of compromise, maybe we could meet halfway
I know we can be friends again
I pray we can be friends again
I hope we can be friends again someday.
It feels to me like there's an overwhelming and incredibly meaningful metaphor in all this, but I'm just so close in that I can't put my finger on it.
I need to master that step back.
There's therapy tomorrow. I think that's good.