The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Back from Oregon

My planeride back Orycon, I sat next to a guy who seemed restless and trying to rest, but unable to. A half hour before we landed, he turned to me and told me that that morning, he'd learned his girlfriend had been cheating on him. I basically held his hand for the rest of the trip, telling him that the pain was real, the anger and grief were real, but at the core of it is a fear that the event

s mean that he cannot and will not find love, that he cannot trust his own judgement, that there is something horribly wrong with him. Among other things, I told him of pains in my own life, and that it is possible to move beyond them, if we can learn the lessons they teach. "Don't trust people. Rely on them to do what they see as being in their own self interest. You have to learn to see what that is. And you do that by being scathingly honest with yourself." So...he must start by owning his emotions. Giving himself at least 30 days to begin to get his head on straight. Surround himself with friends who love him and will give him support and touch. And find ways to love himself, without question or reservation, in this time of pain. And to remember: she was doing the best she could, with the resources she has.

That's all any of us can do, or have ever done. Forgive himself, protect himself, and learn the lesson. When the lesson is learned, you can release the pain...and not before.

I used to wonder why I got into such conversations with people. Now I expect it. Just my karma. And dharma. And I'm content for that to be so.

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