I have a desire to be honest but the truth will make me appear vulnerable. So I choose to bury my feelings deep in my subconscious where they cannot hurt me anymore. The hope is that what lies dormant will eventually fade away. Or that there will come a time when I am able to embrace the necessity of change. After all, it is the heart that is most resistant. It fights in the midst of our self-inflicted pain and throws itself back into the fire over and over again. Right now it is fighting for me. Now, my heart fights against the fantasy it was sold. It grieves the lie of a happy ending. Now, it is working to protect the most precious thing I have remaining–my belief. I feel caught up in a bitter loop of broken memories. Trying desperately to suppress these thoughts that no longer serve me. I remember the last time I wandered towards the cusp of a permanent heartbreak. Numbing my emotions with spirits and physical interactions for which my soul will ultimately pay. Forgiveness still lingers in the atmosphere begging me to release that which I am struggling to forget. But the hardest truth we sometimes face with painful memories, is the fact that they are not done with you yet.
The older we get the more likely it is that we will choose to settle in and remain stuck in our ways. After all, what is more comforting–trying to make difficult changes or deciding to stay the same? I will not pretend to have the market cornered on messed up experiences. I will not even try to make excuses for my mistakes. We all had at least one thing handed to us that we wish we could have given back. For me, it has been my battle to eliminate dysfunctional thoughts. Thoughts that eventually make way for destructive action. And those actions that push others away. Sometimes I can see myself reacting negatively to an event–but I am powerless to stop it. Part of my struggle has to do with a lack of self awareness. It is easier to continue traveling on a well-trudged road created by those with a similar genetic makeup. Easier to run with the dysfunctional patterns that I was handed when I was young. I often cannot see that the patterns I am repeating are negative because such were the tools that were given to me. Anger was the answer for my wounded vulnerability. Hostility was my protection against the endless cycle of abandonment and hurting. Manipulation was the only way to get what I needed. For years I trusted in these war-like emotions to keep me safe from attacks by people who were supposed to love me. They were my coping mechanisms and my first steps into codependency. There was a point in my life when I had no choice in how I was treated or how long I would be hurting.
But now these emotions have become excuses for me.
Pull me back to reality. Because as of right now—I have given my whole attention to this alternate universe that only leaves me feeling incomplete. I stand up in my unhappiness, and look around. Seeing the anger and frustration I chose to bury.
Wondering if I will ever find my way back out.
Now, the ground quakes with rage and I know it is only a matter of time before I crumble beneath this pressure of my own doing. Eventually, we all must answer for the raw nerves we neglected to cover. But I am never given the opportunity.
When I am not actively healing, I like to believe I am living in a place where nothing goes wrong. I sleep through the night and spend productive days hoping to “do better” when the chance comes my way. I pick up my cross and carry on.
But I am just as broken as I was last year when I had to accept that I was on my own.
Some nights I dream of the innocent souls I sacrificed for illicit conversation. I think of the crimes I committed when I was unrecognizable to even me. Most people do not try to see the full picture. I am guilty of focusing on the side that favored my parts in the story.
It means nothing to say you will be there, or to pledge allegiance when you do not have to prove yourself. It is easy to believe you are the martyr, when you refuse to acknowledge another person’s scars.
I am guilty of caring too much about other people. And I am guilty of not doing more for my self. But I will set this Earth on fire, before I burn my light out for anyone else.
I used to pick fights with
the parts of myself that
seemed to resemble you.
The idea of me that lived up
to your impossible expectations
and the lies I told so often,
they eventually became true.
The difficulty I have now comes
riddled with self doubt because
the one I relied upon did not
know how to meet me half way.
Captured by your adverse opinion,
when all feelings are fleeting.
I will miss you, yes–but I know now that
I am not responsible for your unhappiness.
I will not cut myself open
because you refuse to let me grow.
I wonder what happens to beautiful souls who lose their courage to the bitter realities of life. A part of me knows decisions are made that subtract from happiness and cause undesirable consequences–but another part of me cannot begin to analyze the cost. Instead, I look out of my window at clouds that promise oncoming cold and heavy, relentless rain. Because even nature releases its burden before it starts all over again.
The cycle of life reminds us of how precious time is while we attempt to live out our plans and work towards individual designs. We are planners and organizers. Dreamers who spend hours thinking of ways to get the very best of everything. Yet sometimes, we intentionally procrastinate against the necessary hard work required of us. Turning our backs on the truth of who we are.
There are times of testing that give way to amazing moments that we could have never achieved without grace. In these difficult moments we forget what is important and get defensive when our ideal is lost. When I personally measured my commitment to others I found I could have done more when my friends were hurting. Instead, I chose to bury my head in the sand and act as if nothing was happening. I ignored those public posts and dismissed their agonizing cries for attention–assuming that a person who needed help would just come out and ask for it. But it is difficult to anticipate help when you are ashamed of your actions.
For the better part of a year I ran from every single one of my callings. I dug in deep with isolation and spent quality time in my own self-imposed rejection. At the time, I felt wounded by so many things that I became accustomed to and accepting of pain. It became a daily habit for me to wake up and go through the day like a zombie–oblivious to the hurt I was feeling. Eventually, that hurt became a part of the way I communicated. I lashed out and broke confidence with people who wanted more for and from me. Now, I realize I could do nothing for them unless I wanted more for myself.
Now that I want more I need to take consistent steps in the right direction. It means I cannot run from difficult conversations or fill silence with resentment and apathy. My calling requires me to be active in the pursuit of my emotional, physical and mental health. When I am wrong, I must admit it and walk down the path towards reconciliation and forgiveness. Likewise, if someone hurts me (accidentally or not) it is up to me to be honest about my feelings.
What they choose to do with my truth is NOT my responsibility.
I could tell you I am not an organizer. That I do not relish in setting goals or making plans for my future. But the truth is I wake up everyday with an idea of how I am going to advance my life. I can connect with my idea of perfect–fully knowing that true perfection does not exist.
The problem is waiting for another person’s idea of the right time.
I believe I am doing a good job of living my life. That I am doing my best and giving my all with the understanding that I can always do more. I could work smarter and be more intentional, but again I am not perfect. There will never be enough hours in the day to do what I want–and a lot of my waking hours are spent doing what is necessary.
There are times of great clarity when I feel God is propelling me towards my dreams. Then, there are longer lulls of silence and a presence of absence that I cannot leave behind. I hear this voice telling me to “get after it,” because at the end of the day I can only control me. I cannot take tests for my daughter or find better jobs for my family.
At times, it is daunting to even be responsible for myself.
I keep thinking this particular cycle I am subsisting in will stop. That I will wake up and follow the voice that wants better for me. But just like others with great potential, I waste time in fleeting emotions. This tells me I do not know what I want and maybe, I am not capable of change. Maybe I have already given my best and this is the highest I can elevate.
Maybe I am not worth being saved.
for the rare opportunity
to remain present in the last
place I failed.
instead of overreaction I
can see clearly and accept
how I feel.
Though feelings are not facts,
I must acknowledge the ticking
time bomb that is my heart.
When disappointment knocks,
it can lead to a burden of pain
that I do not wish to carry anymore.
I will not accept or claim defeat
before true happiness
has a chance to redeem.
I will not walk anxiously with
questions or doubts.
I am stubborn.
A fixed star.
many explorers will
endeavor to touch.
Little do they know
there is a raging fire
burning deep within
Paving its way through
fear and sorting out
all my insecurities.
Regardless of who stays
I will always be able
to count on me.