“If we would know true love and understanding one for another, we must realize that communication is more than a sharing of words. It is the wise sharing of emotions, feelings, and concerns. It is the sharing of oneself totally.”
-Marvin J. Ashton
It’s been a wild week. My last post about my brother coming out, and my journey to discover true love and support has kicked up a lot of intensity. So many people have contacted me with loving messages and thank yous and sad stories. I have learned so much in this week as I have been totally immersed in phone conversations, emails, Facebook discussions, blog comments… It has been highly emotional. Despite the enormous outpouring of love that has been carrying me through the week, I also have been really, really angry. Writing about this issue stirs it all up. Now that I find myself in fierce support of my brother, it is hard to hold onto my patience. It is so easy to become swept up in defensive anger and I find myself throbbing with frustration and fury over the stubborn, deaf ears and hardness that still exists. I have read so many messages from gay people, thanking me for sharing my story. It has been shocking to me, the recognition that there are still so many people experiencing such personal rejection and anguish. I read these messages, and their pain moves into my chest. It settles into my lungs, heavy and toxic. It makes the tips of my fingers pulse and my toes curl. I hurt for them. The injustice of it. And many times this week, that hurt has spilled over into furious exchanges and hot tears.
In a whirlwind of emotion, there is a anchored truth at the center. The truth is, we must find a way to communicate with each other. Still the tornado of emotion. Let the anger and hurt and fear and indignation and self-righteousness begin to lose momentum and fall to the earth, so we can see each other, instead of a funnel cloud filled with debris.
We are not listening to each other. We are not seeing each other. We are screaming when we need to be whispering. We are throwing punches when we need to be sitting on our hands. We are frenetic when we need to be still.
My desire here is not to shout in angry protest. We need dialogue. We need to find common ground. Things we can agree upon. Things we can understand about each other. So I am making an effort to take a seat, on my hands, mouth shut, eyes open.
To try to calm the storm.