The Dinosaur in the Room

“If anyone asked me, “What is hell?” I would answer, “The distance between people who love each other.”

The Minds Journal

Normal differences of opinions used to be an elephant in the room, slightly awkward, but dealt with in due time. These days, there isn’t merely an elephant in the room, but it’s more like a dinosaur, and the space between loved ones is enormous. Differences which typically would have been discussed are now off limits. Ears are closed and hearts are blocked. Severe damage and even the death of many relationships has become just one more type of casualty in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Discussion of the dinosaur was forbidden in many house holds; a stance supported by media and politicians who consistently inflated the size of the dinosaur during every morning and evening news cycle. Belittling and name calling others with a differing opinion was encouraged and even applauded. Many of those shamed individuals held their tongues and ignored their trepidations to keep the family peace. Sadly, when people feel unsafe to voice their concerns they inevitably become disconnected and distrustful of those relationships.

Some worried individuals did not heed the giant beast keeping them separated from their loved ones, they simply wiggled past the weighty dinosaur, and leapt into a discussion. Unfortunately, all too often it resulted in a challenging and fiery argument, sometimes erupting to the point of flaming eyes, spitting words, and boiling blood. The outcome of those types of conversations were doors slamming, phones clicking, and the dinosaur moving swiftly to take up even more space than before. Family members or friends ousted.

A civilized pachyderm would have been preferable, a dawdling being that mused self-reflectively while painting naked in the moonlight; an embarrassing but approachable subject. The Tyrannosaurus Rex, on the other hand, crashed around unpredictably flashing it’s ticker-tape death toll, and bellowing terrifying threats day and night; an intimidating subject to broach.

What a nightmare these last two years have been on kinship and connections. So many lives in ruins. I spoke with a lady outside a grocery store a couple months ago, she and her husband discussed the dinosaur regularly. It became an insurmountable block in their relationship. Their marriage ended. Name calling and shaming happened, just like it’s done on the news and by the politicians. Unfortunately, it was done everywhere and done by both sides of the argument— family and friends being banished for wrong thinking, and family and friends being banished for playing follow the leader.

Oddly enough, if you step back and ask yourself why the division became so large, the answer is the same—It is because people cared. Everyone had the same concern. Everyone wanted to protect the others. It was simply done from an extremely opposite viewpoint. There was no hate, or ill intent by those with the unpopular opinion, there was only concern at an absence of facts and an absence of information on potential harms.

Today we are entering the season of spring, it’s an ideal opportunity for fresh beginnings. It’s time to set the dinosaur free. It is time to turn our energies toward the things we’d like to see happen in our world. We all want health, prosperity, and the dignity of being heard, and we want it for all. It’s time to step away from those things that tear us apart and put our focus on those things that bring us together. Love heals and fear divides, let us find the exit to hell together.

Old Wounds Heal

Photo by Valiphotos on

Melancholy is common, and probably even more common these days. This meandering affliction has flitted in and out of my life in an erratic flow, mostly hidden away as a secret despair. And within those months and even years I felt utterly exhausted and completely incapable of succeeding at any task. Yet, somehow, I pushed through, numb and only partially engaged. Fat with anxiety. I was on auto pilot, completely unable to plot a course for my future. My lifetime of gaffs and blunders replayed throughout my waking hours on and on like the relentless refrain of an old song stuck in my head.

As I grew older, my list of botches grew longer and longer. And then, when people confided to me with their own troubles, I oddly found myself automatically adding them to my own litany of unravellings or downfalls to solve. A ridiculous notion at best, as though I could fix their problems too. Soon, in any conversation I found myself begging in a silent voice, “Please don’t ask anything of me with your expectant eyes and anxious energy for I cannot carry your burden too.” And in reality, I’m sure if they knew what I was thinking, they’d have thought I’d lost my ever-loving mind, and would reply, “But I haven’t asked you for a thing.” And deep-down, despite my exaggerated sense of responsibility, I would know this to be true. As a middle child from a dysfunctional family, I was always trying to make it better for everyone else because that was my job. I was forever on guard. As soon as I’d enter a room, I would read the emotion gathered there and either try to defuse the bomb before it exploded or run away before it did. Unfortunately, by continually focusing on others to maintain a smoother road of life I crushed my ability to define a clear future for myself.

Celebratory events with family and friends which were intended to be easy and joyful, were a form of stilted play-acting in an attempt to satisfy the expectations of the group. Despite the good-humoured grins and laughter thrown around like money in a casino, my smiles were consistently hollow and my laughter forced; a pittance at the penny slots. My feelings were non-existent. The space inside my heart reserved for warmth and caring had long ago iced over, and in actual fact, the slow pulsing core of my being felt more desolate than a prairie field in the depths of winter; icy, rigid, and filled with emptiness.

Those were the darkest of days.

Today, the sunlight pours down creating dancing shadows on the ground, my smile is an expression of my heart, my future unfolding as I choose.

This is our one guarantee in life, everything changes. So, if you are feeling that your life is pointless, overwhelming and beyond repair, believe me when I say it is not. We live in a world of opposites; up/down, rich/poor, cold/hot, happy/sad, and on and on. Nothing is stagnant. All around us, every day, everything transforms, including you.

So, if you find yourself at the bottom of a dark and despairing hole, please remember…the light of spring will come again. The dull lifeless grass will manifest into an iridescent carpet of emerald green under the warmth of the sun, a kaleidoscope of flowers will bloom and the gofers in the burrows will foster little ones. A better future is here.

I, for one believe in you. And maybe you are thinking, how can you believe in me? You don’t even know me, and I reply, “It’s because you are human that I believe in you. I believe in the power of your heart, of your love, of your forgiveness, of your kindness. I believe in your creativity, in your tears and in your future joys. I believe in the contrast of who you are. Even the most evil-minded individual holds the capacity to become giving and loving. It is in our potential to become; to evolve.

We falter, we fall, we bleed, we lash out and we learn. If we can be strong enough to accept our pain without blaming the world or those around us, we grow. Our power lies in the love we give, not in the love we hold in our hearts. Our gifts are the love we offer in a smile, in a letter, in a devil’s food cake. Human beings are magical creatures because they are capable of overcoming. Let us overcome.”