Pain and Fear
Substantial physical pain frequently takes over my body due to my persisting medical condition. The symptoms are less severe than they once were. I’m cautiously hopeful (again) that upcoming treatment will be “my answer”. A cure will be great. Significant improvement will be sufficient.
I’ve been trying recently to fully experience my feelings. I need to try to fully experience both emotional and physical pain, when it’s doesn’t overwhelm me. Growing up male, I learned to avoid, and numb my feelings. I am slowly unlearning attempting to “conquer” my difficulties.
As I feel, I can begin, to work with my body, rather than against it.
I am still a man.
As men, we often, minimize or don’t see our symptoms. We needlessly lose our primary relationships, recognizing the truth too late. We seek medical treatment too late to save our lives.
Pain can also relate to fear. They are different. I was afraid of the 2020 elections, starting in 2018. I had total fear of continued Republican power.
I also have fears of potential allies. Joe Biden has major weaknesses. His history is far from ideal. Bernie Sanders is flawed. Mayor Pete was “my hero”, until I recognized some of his limitations.
Close allies and friends can also feel problematic. I care about Palestinian rights. I feel shame about why Palestinians are bullied and killed, because of who they are. I see obvious parallels related to how we have been treated as Jews. Holocaust fears seem (to me) to shut off meaningful discussion.
I see racism – in the forefront of the news today. A lot of white men care, as they similarly did after George Floyd was killed. Will we white, male, economically privileged people sustain our anger and concern? I hope that my fears are proven wrong! I think it likely that “normalcy” and “being reasonable” will overwhelm the efforts of a few. We do need major systemic change ending racism, sexism, and classism (as well as trans/gay/lesbian phobias etc.)
It is relatively easy to look for scapegoats! We trash Trump! We trash Republicans! We trash the insurrectionists, as well as others who oppose us.
So many of us do so little. We don’t like being confined and limited because of Covid-19. Our fears of survival, as well as our compassion for others, and ourselves, can dissolve easily. We object to and dispute simple words, or misuse them to avoid helping others. “Radical”, “socialist”, “systemic change”, “reparations” – and similar easily get in our way. “AOC” – or even “Moscow Mitch” – serve as excuses for us. They should (rather) be positive motivators! We need to work through our fears, to sustain our efforts, and to build better local communities, as well as a better country.
We do need to deeply experience our feelings. We also need to listen and really hear. We need to hear the: pain, hurt, anger, fear, shame, and guilt. We need to really learn a lot. We need to do much better.