Anniversaries are important.
They must be, otherwise why do we observe them, so often, and in so many different ways?
We observe all sorts of anniversaries, joyful and painful.
Here are some Google Images, for “observing anniversaries”:
Tomorrow, I’m marking a painful anniversary. Here’s how I’m preparing for it:
- I’m naming it — here and elsewhere.
- I’m leaving room for new perspectives.
- I’m being kind to myself.
When something is painful, I tend to isolate. I know I’m not alone, in THAT.
I just googled “animal in pain behaviors.” Here’s a quote from a Wikipedia article.
Many animals also exhibit more complex behavioural and physiological changes indicative of the ability to experience pain: they eat less food, their normal behaviour is disrupted, their social behaviour is suppressed,***** they may adopt unusual behaviour patterns, they may emit characteristic distress calls, experience respiratory and cardiovascular changes, as well as inflammation and release of stress hormones.
So, yes, I’m not alone in that. And I’ve met many other people whose social behavior is suppressed, when they are in pain.
Tomorrow, on the anniversary of November 22, 1963, I will probably spend most of the day by myself.
That is a choice. I like being alone. It helps leave room for contemplation and change.
However, I am making a commitment — to myself and to my social network — to reach out, if I need to.
When I choose to be alone (and I do have that choice, as an adult), I want to remember that I don’t HAVE to be alone.
I need to remember this: if I do reach out, I will get a response. I will, most likely, feel some connection.
And if I don’t, I can reach out again. And again. Until I feel connected.
In the past, if I have reached out and not felt a connection, I have felt worse.
That can feel too risky: to reach out, when you’re in pain. I see that, all the time.
It’s not too risky. Someone will be there, eventually. You just need to reach out, until you connect.
I know that, now.
Thanks for connecting, today.
* Thanks to Vroman’s Bookstore for the image.
** This 9/11 image was attributed to this site.
*** Thanks to PRI for this image.
**** This image of Walter Cronkite, announcing John F. Kennedy’s death, was attributed to this site.
***** Emphasis added, by me.