A shot of whiskey is abrupt; you feel pain then quick relief. It causes a rush of emotions in a very short amount of time, which is inherently addicting.
Then there’s wine. It’s a slow transition; but one that lasts. And rarely does it cause the heart to burn.
There’s something about heartbreak and the sudden transition that it demands. There’s a shock then a sharp burn, but once you get through that a comforting warmth overcomes your body. That warmth is intoxicating because it makes you forget the burn you once felt. However, because you know it’s coming, waiting for that warmth can make the shock and burn excruciating; and because you know relief is coming, the wait seems like a lifetime.
I think that feeling may be true in most aspects of life when faced with a trial. You know there’s a reason, and a light at the end, but it’s like having that knowledge makes you feel rushed into finding the answers instead of trusting the process. Or, in many cases, because you know the relief is coming, you then start to ignore the cause of the pain.
Unfortunately, you can’t predict this moment the first time it happens. Your life suddenly went from slowly sipping a glass of wine, to forcing fire down your throat. But why? Why do we do that to ourselves? Even in moments of transition and uncertainty, can’t we just continue to live peacefully in that moment enjoying a glass of wine? Why do we rush the process looking for answers when the methods to get to the end are so painful and damaging?
As I’m sipping a glass of wine and eyeing that bottle of Jameson on the wall at my favorite bar… I still don’t have the answer. Which is odd for me and a slight blow to my ego.
Usually I’ll mention an issue, then write about some great lesson I’ve learned through that trial. But this time I can’t. All I can do is recognize the pattern I am currently in, and try my best to break it.
You see, I have the predisposition to fall into the “oh well” tendency. Also disguised as the “on to the next one,” ” let go and let God,” “there’s a reason for everything,” and whatever else you tell yourself in those situations. I’m not saying they’re not true; but that type of mindset inhibits you from taking any form of responsibility. Which then forces the opportunity to grow to come to a screeching hault.
I’m starting to recognize the “oh well” tendency is symbolic of a shot of whiskey; because even though something may cause pain, I can immediately deflect the feeling and absorb the warmth that comes after. But if something doesn’t affect you, how can it change you?
I’m challenging myself to sit into the feeling and experience every bit of it; like I would with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Every note, every flavor. Even if it’s sour from the lime or sweet from the peach, I’m going to embrace it.
In literature, wine is often symbolic of happiness and relationships, and it can also represent a transformation–as grapes undergo transformation when they are fermented. I pride myself on my humility. An oxymoron, I know; but it’s one of my strengths. However, lately I’ve been too proud to make a change. Any conflict that has crashed into my life has been the fault of another; because unlike the antagonist of my story, I know exactly what I want and I communicate it very well.
But that sureness is coupled with arrogance because I am not willing to bend my needs or wants. Why should I? If you know me, you know I’ve bent enough; to the point where I am crippled in pain and paralyzed with fear of change. At that point, the only response was, “okay, whatever you want.” That response is a direct result of the need for immediate peace; warmth, if you will. A shot of whiskey.
I won’t do that again. I won’t be that person who looks for the quick and easy fix. I’ll sit in what I’m feeling. What I’m needing and why I need it. What I’m willing to sacrifice and what I’m willing to go to battle for. What I’ll forgive and what I’ll refuse to tolerate. I’ll think about who I am and who I aspire to be, and who will aid in my inspiration. I’ll feel all of the pain and heartache that is a direct result of my empathy and sensitivity, and I won’t be ashamed or fearful. I’ll be proud; and I’ll be okay.
And while I’m at it, I’ll pour a glass of wine.