State Before Story

State Before Story

It is 2 am and we are still fighting.

(Years ago now, I can’t remember the topic.)

What I remember is this: The moment I broke. 

The moment I couldn’t take it anymore.

The moment I pick up my big purple yoga bolster and start slamming it into the couch cushions.

I am grunting. I am letting my fury flow.

There is nothing cute or pretty about it.

The strap of the cushion snaps and I keep going, holding its middle, slamming and slamming it down.

In a minute or three, I am exhausted.

He stands watching me, quiet. 

The air feels different.

We look at each other, hug, and go to bed.

We sleep easily. 

The fight has lost its fuel for now.

The alchemy stuns me.

How is it that only I expressed my primal rage and yet it changed the world for both of us?

Years later, a friend gives me a label to paste on this experience, and many others since: State before story.

Forget the content.

Forget the plot.

Forget what you’re arguing about, who’s right, and exactly what the email back to the problem client should say.

That’s the story. 

It’s not time for it yet.

Instead:

Take a walk. 

Take a cold shower.

Grunt and wrestle each other (safely). 

Set a timer and throw a tantrum for 2 minutes.

Try standing on your head.

You have a body and it is with you always, yelling at times, limiting your field of view with its current news of terror and mayhem.

Give it attention before you try to work the grownup things out.

Much love,

Rachel

PS – Word of the year for 2024: POWER. With supporting friends TRUTH and BEAUTY. Eeek. Wow. We’ll see where this goes.

PPS – What’s your big ambition for 2024? 

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