Monday, November 19, 2012

To ponder

"There is no contradiction between loving someone and feeling burdened by that person; indeed, love tends to magnify the burden. These parents need space for their ambivalence, whether they can allow it for themselves or not. For those who love, there should be no shame in being exhausted..."
Andrew Solomon, Far From The Tree


Yes. I've always thought -- and said -- this. What I've learned, primarily, during these eighteen years, is how to hold completely contradictory thoughts and feelings and live.

Hi Elizabeth -- I think this is very important and doesn't come intuitively to many of us. I know I get stressed if I feel I'm holding opposing thoughts (or if I find my thoughts/emotions alternating between positive/life is manageable or even magical and despair.

Thanks for writing!

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Maybe it is better to admit feeling overwhelmed rather than burdened. I personally feel that feeling burdened is value-laden. We can feel overwhelmed because of many reasons. We hear how love is supposed to be unconditional. Can love be unconditional if children are thought to be a burden? What is a loving parent? How does a parent maintain a separate identity from their child? When does the burden become too burdensome? Shame is a powerful emotion. It can cause people to devalue themselves and possibly others. Life is tough. There is no easy road along this journey.