This weekend my friend was comforting people she loves who are going through some major life stuff. She did the (holy cow can you believe it?!?!) appropriate thing and did not tell them that over time, watching them in pain was causing her pain too. She told her support system instead.
She was following the “Ring Theory” of comfort in/dump out. If you haven’t heard of this, may I strongly recommend brushing up before someone in your life has a major anything. Because people really do say stupid things during a crisis, and how great would it be if you weren’t one of those people?
She mentioned that it was getting real and hard. I responded that adulting felt particularly scraping the past few years. Like so many people had the epidermis removed and everyone is a little bit exposed.
“I think we’re at next level adulting,” she said. “Which is weird, because I don’t remember winning any of the other levels to get here.”
And right there she described what it feels like at this stage of life: We’re in the video game Frogger. And the cars just keep speeding up. And people all around us are getting smashed. Sometimes, we get smashed too.
I’m told by those with more life experience than me that this is normal. In fact, my charmed little unicorn life, even with its’ painful periods, is a dream for most people on this planet. So to some extent, I should be grateful that I’ve made it this far relatively intact.
But no one is required to meet a minimum threshold of pain for us to show compassion. And I don’t care who you are or where you live, the human experience with its’ sickness and rejection and profound disappointments can be overwhelming.
I have long said that I can do very little to fix any problem. What I can do is swear at it properly and then feed it champagne and cupcakes.
Since this is a blog and not my kitchen, I can’t actually give you champagne or cupcakes. I can pull together some small diversions of happiness and smiles. It won’t fix any of our problems. It won’t change our situation. But as Anne Lamott says, “Laughter is carbonated holiness.” So here’s some bubbly for the day.