When you sift through a spiel of words, ruthlessly plucking out the worthless and needless; keeping and refining and making razor-sharp what communicates, illuminates and makes sense, you get a feeling that you are somehow involved in something much bigger than just that task at hand – that you are – in fact – often enough, discovering yourself – stumbling upon hardly known but deeply held values and beliefs about what a good life is about – rooting out as you go around, by living your life in all its complexities, unsuspecting shadows and then suddenly and starkly, beautifully sun-drenched moments, the things you no longer want, and holding for keeps, the things you do still so deeply cherish.
Integrity, courage, kindness; the necessarily unhindered ability to laugh (and cry, when needed) and love and give; and funnily in a huge break from the past, take and forgive! The daring to scour through debris to make sure there is no glinting jewel waiting to be better understood or even more urgently, rescued, and yet the acceptance and grace to dust, mop and pack away piles of refuse as needed.
Who could have thought an entrenched love for what one does could suddenly unexpectedly throw new light on living?
“No childhood stuff; no family shit…”
What Brené Brown said to her therapist at their first meeting…she’s hilarious, deeply insightful, humble and brilliant all at the same time.
Some of the greatest injustices are done unsurprisingly insiduously; to assert a sense of dominion and sense of entitlement over things and people one often considers one’s property.
And some of the worst of these acts of injustice are committed on those who are visually, physically, emotionally and psychologically the most vulnerable and dependent: young children.
In being mother of a young daughter, I have found it imperative to arm my girl with the unquestioned certainty that she is not under any obligation to do anything that she is not comfortable with in any way (barring of course having to eat, sleep, be safe and if possible courteous and kind to herself and those around her).
And although that has meant her being at times excruciatingly particular about what she is comfortable with, when, where and with whom, I think it is exactly the sort of deeply embdedded, fearless approach which will go a long way in breaking down thousands of years old notions of what is acceptable and what is not; what needs to be tolerated and what need not ; and what sets of roles, expectations and behaviours the two genders can enscribe onto each other in various equations, inside and outside the family.
I couldnt be prouder that she is only 3 and a half years old and already has such a nuanced sense of situations, relationships, people and places.
While of course still being a goofy, funny, lovely and loving little girl.
In an extraordinarily candid and courageous ‘coming out’, the celebrated British comic actor, Stephen Fry, talks about how his experience and struggle with extreme mood swings as a result of a bipolar disorder, led him on one occassion to take his life.
He also says something that gets under your skin about his being a victim of his own moods – and that its not ever ‘a reasonable thing’ – a state that you can be ‘talked out of’ – but something that is just there to be dealt with and often successfully overcome with regular and well managed medication.
Mental health, for all the advancement in our times, is still a subject that is by and large taboo for its intimate connections with one’s sense of self and one’s belief in one’s possibilities.
And yet, it could only help those struggling with complications from mental health issues and those whom they closely interact with or live with to know, talk about and learn more about why some of us behave, react and respond to life’s many layered dilemmas and challenges in markedly special and unusual ways.