i called three times. no one answered. i left a voicemail the third time. between each of the three calls i tried deescalating my anger, my hurt, my desire to hurt back. i sat and breathed. i made a birthday card, wrote checks, painted my toes, and packed a suitcase for a trip that departs this evening. anger increased and decreased in waves. underneath the anger waves are feelings of betrayal. along with betrayal are fundamental feelings of distrust and feeling unsafe in the world. i hate feeling unsafe. i hate feeling scared. i hate blaming myself for trusting someone who proves untrustworthy.
the voicemail i left was angry but appropriate. i caught myself and stopped before cursing. i expressed hurt wearing its protective shield of anger. i’m hoping that voicemail discharged enough pain that i can move peacefully into my day.
i know to observe and believe people’s actions in lieu of their words if the two are not aligned. i know that when we believe the lies we tell ourselves, then we can convince others that our lies are true. i know that we all lie sometimes, to ourselves for certain and to others more or less often depending on our pathology, shame, and conscience. our truth-telling is colored by our perceptions, beliefs, and biases. we each give more or less leeway about half-truths and lies by omission depending on the subject and audience. i know these things because i engage in the same lies, half-truths, and omissions as any other person. i’m not stupid or naïve or think myself exempt from any of these behaviors. after leaving the angry voicemail, i’ve turned myself inside out and see where i am guilty, too.
but i don’t have to trust this person again. i can walk away. i can learn to trust myself more by honoring what i know to be true. love is an action verb. i will pay attention to people’s actions. i am doubling-down my efforts to love others through my actions. please love as love is meant to be loved. express love as an action verb.