So the magazine that I used to work for came out with its new issue this week, the first without my name in the masthead in two years.
I haven’t looked at it and probably won’t, but I know that all the interviews and photo shoots and profiles I created are there, as they will likely be for the next issue, since I was such an organized little editorial monkey and worked far ahead. A friend lamented my absence from its pages, observing “man, they really just wiped you off the map.”
Yup, like Ahmadinejad with a sponge and a little Windex. And how I wish I still weren’t pissed about it. I’m angry that I no longer have a regular income or not really-affordable health insurance, that an “independent feminist” magazine is run by stupid old rich white men, that someone else is receiving credit for my work, that I’m no longer able to serve my community in a way that brought me a lot of joy and occasionally, free meals.
It’s been exactly two weeks since I came in after my lunch hour and was told I needed to pack up my personal belongings. I keep waiting for the resentment to abate, though quite honestly, I’ve been so busy getting the children back to school and figuring out how to use my new iPhone that I barely miss the time spent answering asinine emails and updating a Twitter account. I sure as hell don’t miss pretending to be loyal to people I believe to be unbelievable hypocrites, and I am thrilled to have the time to exercise, read to the kids and write poetry again.
But I’m still mad. Obviously, I have some internal work to do, as my old therapist would say. Actually, he’d say, “What’s needed here is a radical acceptance of the NOW.” And for me to get to the NOW, I have to let go of the past. And letting go of the past involves forgiveness.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen that therapist in 15 years and I forgotten just HOW that works.
Fortunately, it’s the month of Elul, the winding down of the lunar cycle when us Jews are directed to take stock of our souls to prepare ourselves for the reckoning of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I sure as sh*t don’t want to bring this negativity into the New Year, and there’s plenty of spiritual support to aid me while I untether myself from it.
My favorite way is the Jewels of Elul, a daily nugget of inspiration and wisdom on a particular theme (you may remember the Yenta contributed a small piece on “Hope and Healing” a couple of years back. To find it, click the link, find “Previous Jewels” 2007/5767 and scroll to the bottom. )
It also helps that the Jewel’s theme this year is — yes, you are so smart! — forgiveness. Sometimes it’s about forgiving others, sometimes ourselves, sometimes even our Creator for the circumstances presented before us. As I struggle with pettiness and the urge to make obscene prank calls to my former employer, I also keep seeking a way to find compassion for smarmy corporate drones and for my own wounded self, and I was particularly moved by this line in Raphael Cushnir’s “The Sublime Paradox”:
Letting go isn’t about closing doors, but opening them. With each door that opens within, we become more vulnerable. And the more vulnerable we become, in a sublime paradox, the more God graces us with spiritual power.
I’ll take spiritual power over an expense account any day. “Radical acceptance of the Now” isn’t just some Buddhist bullsh*t made up by a hippie therapist who’s tired of hearing his clients kvetch; it’s the bottleneck where all prayers are answered and all souls are set free.
So even though I’m toying with the idea of raiding the rack in front of the drugstore near my house and setting fire to a whole bundle of magazines in my front yard, I still have a two and half weeks before the end of the year to neutralize any remaining pissiness. That’s perfect — I love deadlines.