During my year in the military I saw grown men cry.
Soldiers cried when their girlfriends dumped them from a distance — With an almost standardised “I met someone else.”
Often that “someone else” was the soldier’s friend, a brother or just a convenient excuse to get rid of a long-distance relationship.
But that’s beside the point.
I saw men who cried inconsolably in the dark — When they thought nobody was watching or listening.
I saw people break down when they heard other bad news from home.
No man is an emotional island — Not even the toughest Alpha Males.
Here’s what https://everydayzen.org/ has to say about emotions.
“In Zen practice, zazen (meditation), and ongoing daily mindfulness, provides a way of being with our emotions non-judgmentally and honestly, to see how and what they are, and how they work. Watching emotions rise and fall, we begin to see patterns of suffering and happiness.”
During those days in the infantry I met a kindred spirit.
When his father passed away he was granted leave to attend the funeral.
Upon his return he wrote it down each night.
“When I look at the pages from the previous day I remember that I made it through yet another day.”
Our Sarge adhered to a phrase I’m paraphrasing heavily:
“Soldiers are afraid to admit the have mental issues. That in itself is a mission detractor and potentially lethal for all in the unit.”
Writing is the acknowledgement of anything — Whether it be emotions, the terms of a sale or the choices you need to make.
When you write you give names to abstract ideas.
You fence those ideas in.
They are captured.
That which is named and contained can be seen.
Healing becomes a possibility when you see the trauma.
Healing can become a reality when you name it and acknowledge what’s wrong.
If the only thing you can do is write — Then write.
Talk when you can — And in-between, live.
Carry on living.
My friend from the infantry days can have the last word here:
“I will write tonight. This way, I can function tomorrow without bottling up what makes me human.”
Breathe appreciatively. Live and work mindfully.