Sometimes life can cause us to feel tangled up inside.
When we've got a difficult decision to make; when we're in a challenging situation that we can't figure our way out of; when we're overwhelmed with life; when we're in a conflict with someone we love.
This tangle can be uncomfortable at best, painful at worst.
In these situations, our instinct may be to try to work really hard trying to untangle the knot.
When I first started running, it was brutal.
Let's be honest, it still is. I am perpetually falling out of this habit. Every time I return after a long break, it feels almost as hard as it did when I started.
I never wanted to be a runner. I didn't understand why people would voluntarily subject themselves to this particular brand of torture.
Then one day, for reasons I don't fully understand, I wanted to try.
Recently I spoke at graduation at East West College of the Healing Arts. Below is a transcript of that talk.
Hello my dear ones. It’s an honor to speak to you today. First, I want to congratulate all of you on finishing school. I know that you’ve all worked really hard and achieved this goal in spite of all kinds of obstacles. At times like this it's natural to think about what's next. Graduation speeches often advocate for and celebrate things like ambition and goal setting, and following your passion. Well I’m not going to do any of that today. Those things have their place. And yet, they also have a dark side.
“Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love.” -George Eliot
Recently I had to say goodbye.
Like many goodbyes, this one was made up of small and big goodbyes all tangled up into and born out of a single event.
I left my job as Dean of Students at East West College after six years.
As a social-worker-therapist-type-person, you might assume that I am comfortable "sitting with" painful, vulnerable and complex feelings.
If you assume this about me, you would be correct, and...I am still a human being!
Saying goodbye after six years, much less saying goodbye over and over again to many people, multiples times, over weeks and months was really tough.
It was uncomfortable and exhausting and hard, and it was a profoundly rich and sacred opportunity.
At some point in the midst of all of this, I had a thought...
fara tucker, lcsw
therapist~consultant~teacher in Portland, Oregon