But as my personal shaman Shila says when I apologize for the occasional prolonged wail of despair directed her way, "Your problems are yours, and they're big and very real to you, and you get to voice them." That's called true friendship. I feel emotionally safe with Shila, and she with me, so when we share our worries and woes, we know the other isn't going to pooh-pooh it all or sweep it away as if it never mattered.
I've figured out by being a parent, and having had to Ferberize my babies to go to sleep by themselves**, that we all teach ourselves self-comforting behaviors. Some of us do this differently than others. Some cling to other people, try to find someone who can make them feel safe when the monsters come around. Some drink or eat more. I figured out years ago that pouring a depressant over one's sadness just makes it worse. Eating, well, yeah. That one is harder to quit doing. Some of us keep an actual written list of places and hikes that fix us, and refer to it frequently when feeling lost, at sea, beset or lonely. Some of us keep a stable of trees that we visit, like some kings once kept horses, which work on this or that emotional knot, and soothe us just by existing.
we would descend into the beech-laced hollow
which a shaft of sun would light, and my heart would lift, because it had to. I have to keep walking. My dang heels hurt too much to run lately, but walking works, too.
All is not lost, the trees would tell me. You have this day, this road, these trees, your legs and your aching heels, and this little black dog to lead the way. Use them.
As I'm writing, it's another day, just such a perfect day, and I will have to go back out again for some more leaves and sky and miles. First I must do some work, work other than this kind of writing, which isn't so much work as it is Ferberizing, working on the hard, scarry knots in my heart.
We climbed the road toward Buddy's house, beautiful relic that it is, monument and museum to all that once was.