Hello, reader. How are you doing? I hope you’re happy and well and free from suffering. If you are not happy, well, and free from suffering, I hope you have tons of support. I’m thinking about support words.
What words do you like to give others? What do you like to hear, when you need help with your feelings or your soul? Here are some things I say.
- Sounds heartbreaking.
- I’m sorry we created a culture where that happens. I’m working on a better way, but it takes a minute.
- My heart is with you.
- Yes, it isn’t fair.
- I feel you.
- Is there anything Ming or I could do?
- Thank you for telling me about it. I care about how you’re doing.
- I love you.
- I believe in you.
- Better days will come.
- You have a lot of good work to do this lifetime.
- Thank you for surviving this far.
- I have faith that your life is going to improve.
- I see a better future for you.
Sorry is a feeling in my body, whether or not I did something wrong. Yesterday I was on the phone with a hurting, crying, beloved friend. She gasped with pain as she sobbed, telling me her truth.
I said, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault–it’s ok,” she replied.
I didn’t mean I was sorry like an apology–more like an expression of grief. “I’m sorry your friend died,” is an expression of grief-care, not like you were responsible.
These phrases we hand around–they remind me of soups. You know in some prisons, instant ramen is treated as currency. The prisoners don’t have ready access to regular money. So ramen is the money.
If someone gets a haircut, they might give the prison barber a soup as a tip. So then the barber can give the soup to someone else in exchange for pen and paper or maybe candy? I’m not sure, the specifics of how many soups a thing is worth, how valuable something is.
But the person is not going to make the soup necessarily. Ramens are traded around until the bag is ripped and noddle fragments are falling out.
These phrases that can bother me so much–things like, “She’s in a better place,” or “Her suffering is over now”–grief cliches. Maybe I’m not supposed to think about the actual meaning of the words. I’m being Amelia Bedelia here.
I’m supposed to treat the phrase as a soup: a token of care. At this point we’re not cooking the soup at all.
So when I say, “I’m sorry,” and the other person says, “It’s ok–it’s not your fault,” maybe we’re just trading soups. It’s love, the small ways people try to care for one another.
Anyway, I have the autism. I’m a bit literal minded. We love me for this. Thank you for your patience as I’m a grown ass person figuring the basics out.
Fortunately Ming and I are disabled in different ways and can help one another on the path of life.