The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul

Okay – that line is actually borrowed from Douglas Adams, who wrote a book with that title. In reading through some of my favorite blogs this morning, I came across the line:

 We’ve stood beside each other when one of us has gone through the long, dark night of the soul, as we all have done from time to time.

And I realized, that is what I am doing. Lately, at work, I cry a lot. I cry because there is something eating at me. There is transformation in progress, and as much as any change is difficult, true transformation is excruciating.

My outlook on life tends to be very positive. I can almost be a Pollyanna, always believing the best, seeking the best, knowing there is a silver lining, or a horse to go along with this giant pile of shit.

I also admire people a great deal, to my detriment sometimes. I admire people in an inordinate way, like they are demi-gods or something. I put people on pedestals and they are the most amazing people I have ever known, or the most brilliant, the most supportive, the best boss in the world. And then they do something that lets me down, and I crumble. I crumble and feel like I was misguided the whole time, and they are probably the worst person in the world.

This has happened all my life. This yo-yo, pendulum between adoring fan to stomping mad, disappointed, feeling deceived and misguided.

Somewhere in the middle is the truth. The person who has broken my heart is not the worst person ever, this person is a good person. I know because I used to idolize her. I used to want to grow up and be just like her. And then I saw her feet of clay, and she toppled from the pedestal I’d placed her on, and in my eyes, she is in pieces on the floor, and all I can do is cry, because I don’t feel love for her anymore, I feel disappointment.

This is my long, dark night. But because I’m a Pollyanna, I prefer Douglas Adams’ version, where it’s long, and it’s dark, and I need to get to the other side and feel some balance and perspective, and remember the good things, and remember that all humans have weaknesses, or things that will someday show them up as less than perfect. Teatime, just makes it feel more cozy, like I can have a crumpet with my sadness and turn it into something lovely.

image from here

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2 thoughts on “The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul

  1. You’re so right, Liesl. Transformation can be excruciating! And it’s often when we’re feeling our lowest, as though we have nothing left to offer, that our deepest learning occurs.

    • So true. And I’ve just spent the last 15 minutes in witty repartee, back and forth emails, laughing and crying happy tears, with the woman I’ve been so broken up about. Life goes on! We grow. We have growing pains, but we grow!

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