I’m OK and you should be grateful

Ladybird on purple sage leaf

I feel bad, and it’s my own fault. I broke one of my personal rules: avoid drama on social media. I got drawn in today, because I had an opinion and chose to express it.

Opinions on social media are very blunt instruments.

I usually stay out of it because I value subtlety in communication, and that is often absent in online discourse. But this time? I wanted to say something, not because I was 100% right and they were 100% wrong, but because the subject struck a chord. It’s a storm in a teacup that will blow over, but I found myself wondering, what is with me today?

This argument, like so many, isn’t about the headline subject. It’s about deeply held beliefs that spring in turn from ancient experiences and wounds. It calls to my pain around privilege and being denied what others have. And it’s served with a healthy dose of ‘be grateful you’re not even worse off’, as though that helps.

I am angry today because this discussion chimes with a well hidden hurt. Because somewhere behind the adult facade lurks a hurt child. And this is true of us all.  When we start to shout and come over self-righteous, when our language recalls playground taunts more than adult conversation, when anger rises like a sudden eruption of lava from a dormant volcano. Then we are in the past, fighting an old battle on today’s ground.

But I was fighting the wrong enemy. It was, and is, about me.

Once I realised this, I could step away, and use this episode as an opportunity. A gift, even. I was wounded in the past, I healed, there is shrapnel buried inside. But final closure only comes when I recognise that the pain from being prodded by today’s triviality comes from the jagged shard I never got rid of.

This wound has opened, but that allows me to examine it, remove the shard and heal completely.

I can learn my lesson; let the pain go.

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