Sometimes I wish I knew exactly what to say that someone needed to hear. Each week I pray for that. If only one person might find something I’ve shared useful to their lives and relevant to their experiences, then I am most grateful.
I mostly write about what I feel led to. I allow my process to happen and sometimes the process feels different, harder and slower. Sometimes it is as fluid as water flowing from a faucet and then between my fingers-effortlessly.
Many times when I write, whether it is this column, or academically, I experience a kind of energy that comes over me where suddenly I feel something of a switch. The switch feels as though I go from writing in the moment in a very conscious way to writing in connection with my purpose for writing in that moment. Though I am still aware that I am writing, when the switch happens, it becomes bigger than me. That is how I usually know that I am on the right track to speaking to someone’s story, even my own, in a way which can be exactly what is needed for a particular moment in time.
Do you remember the last time someone said, wrote, or you heard something that was so on time for what you were thinking, feeling, or going through? Moments like that give me so much joy because they remind me that there is “ointment” all around us to help start the healing of our wounds, or even just to get us back on balance in our lives by expanding perspective and developing insight.
I believe that each of us can be that kind of “ointment” at different times for others in our world. We each have the ability to do so and although we may have different stages or platforms from which we can be or give that “ointment,” we are all equipped to do so. Maybe that’s how it was intended to be.
I hurt just like the next person. I make mistakes and sometimes behave in ways unbecoming of someone, as my mom would say, “with so much sense.” I love just like the next person. I get angry and sometimes get down on myself for messing up with different things. I need someone to talk to just like the next person. I have had meltdowns and moments when I am paralyzed and seemingly unable to be productive. I, too, have had wounds ... just like the next person, but because of the “ointment” all around me through this journey of life — the words and stories of family, friends, complete strangers, gestures of affection, certain colors, aromas, music, the interactions I’ve had, etc. — they are no longer wounds.
They are beautiful scars. They are beautiful scars left behind from the transformative power inherent in the various forms of “ointment.” They are beautiful scars that remind me of my responsibility to keep finding ways to be “ointment” for others in my world.
Maybe that’s how it was intended to be.
Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.