George Orwell wrote “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” That feeling of wanting to be understood resonates with me. Wanting someone to get me is a powerful feeling. There is a sense of belonging with people who understand me.
One of the beautiful aspects of Sheena’s Place is the feeling of understanding in the people sitting with you in your group. Whether it is skill building or support, being with people who understand – without even speaking the words – contradicts the isolation.
Marsha M. Linehan developed Dialectial Behavioural Therapy (DBT) in the 1980s. Sometimes I think she was a fan of George Orwell. He wrote: “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” In this week’s poem, Sharon speaks of the contradiction in the response to being seen. Being seen provides both a sense of belonging and a sense of vulnerability at the same time. Both existing together.
Take care, dear reader, and remember to nourish your body, mind, and spirit.
By Sharon Miller
Orwell says somewhere that no one ever writes the real story of their life.
The real story of a life is the story of its trials and tribulations.
If I wrote that story now—
radioactive to the end of time—
people, I swear, your eyes would fall out, you couldn’t peel
the gloves fast enough
from your hands scorched by the firestorms.
Once I bowed and prayed.
I still wince at what I once said to the devastated.
And one October afternoon, under a locust tree
whose blackened pods were falling and making
illuminating patterns on the pathway,
I was seized by joy,
and someone saw me there,
and that was the best and worst of all,
lacerating and unforgettable.
*Photo credit: Sharon Miller