Thursday, May 13, 2010
Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, writes in the June Prevention magazine that she tells herself it’s nothing personal to get through life’s challenges. When her husband left her for her dental hygienist, she grabbed on to the sentence “There is nothing personal going on here” to get through the disaster. I could not disagree more! When people carelessly or deliberately intrude on the most precious parts of one’s life-their children who are small or grown, their mates, new or entrenched, or grandchildren, mine, ours or theirs, their dignity solid or fragile, there is nothing impersonal about it. When your child whether four or forty breaks down and sobs under the real weight of physical pain, emotional trauma and intimate bonds torn apart, it is only personal. While Smiley uses the literary tools of creating characters and a more interesting plot map to get her through, most of us need comfort and guidance of well chosen healers, friends and family who stand by us while we wrap our arms around ourselves to keep us from melting down, levitating upward or bursting apart. Holding on is very personal.