Winter is heaping an ice cold anxiety upon my will to keep moving forward. Most mornings are hard, and I feel surrounded by a darkness that desires to swallow me up whole. Deep down I know these feelings are temporary–that at any moment the sun will break through my windowpane. The sun has a way of shining its healing light on my pain. Still, I have to acknowledge the amount of energy it takes to be productive and consistent everyday. I wake up and pray. As soon as I feel this weight on my chest, I turn to the only one who can save. My heart is broken but you would never know it from the smile I keep plastered on my face. I realized early on that it does not matter who is gone. What matters is how I pick myself up and how I choose to move along. It matters that I am choosing to fight my addiction to tragic love stories and to patterns that have only led to self-destruction and grief. I alone am responsible for maintaining my integrity. Today, I remembered the names and faces of the ones who came before. How I have lost many things in this life, but nothing that was meant to be mine. Each person was a lesson that I repeated until I learned what I needed to know. Experience is a faithful companion, who fills my waiting heart with hope. But the sun has not come out yet–and there is still so much farther to go.
“You will only prolong the pain if you run away from accepting responsibility.”
What hurts more than giving your all to someone and finding out it is still not enough? What kills a spirit faster than realizing you compromised everything in pursuit of someone else? What shatters a heart more definitively than fighting for someone who has a hard time taking care of their self? The answer is nothing. Nothing hurts more than sacrificing your self worth and valid feelings to the point where you can no longer recognize what you need. Codependency is debilitating. Instead of investing in my gifts I sat still while another promised things they would never give. At this moment however, it is not about them. It is my responsibility to address how I again abandoned my progress to follow a familiar dead end street. Same movie with the exact same ending. Me attempting to convince a heart to open up properly. Them trying to make up for the past I did not release. Me disappointing them and them disappointing me. It is all quite humbling. I thought I was well enough to redirect the dysfunctional dynamic. But I knew from the beginning my mental health was in jeopardy. So of course I am angry. Months and years of my life seemingly flushed down the drain. The love I thought would last forever is on the chopping block again.
Still, I have to be responsible. Pick myself back up and take care of my home.
Maybe if we both were healthier, neither of us would have felt so alone.
Real love is unreasonable. When your heart truly wants something it will go after it even after analyzing the costs. Many people have told me that I am broken. They say there are so many compound fractures that there is no way those little pieces will ever fit together again. So imagine a person with this level of damage attempting to build with another on a shattered foundation. Being so distracted by your wounds
that you reject the opportunity for healing.
I have failed at certain aspects of life that many people find easy. School, work, family, romantic and platonic relationships–all of these have been negatively impacted by a common denominator–ME. I thought being perfect meant I could hide behind my smile and a helpful nature. I believed I could pretend I was whole. But the truth is the only thing I needed was acceptance. An acceptance that could never be offered while I hid the darkest parts of my soul.
When you are hurting and try to conceal the problem, you are only pushing the issue down temporarily. Like a jack in the box, eventually it gets wound up until there is no other option but release. In those moments, pain gets forced out of its cage. There can be no conversation, no bargaining for patience. What was once a minor issue has grown into a careless monster full of rage. And angry me has no problem pushing the object of my affection away.
Do I continue to use the excuse that I am broken?
Is there ever a substantial purpose in pain?
Or is brokenness the final solution if it protects you from getting hurt again?
Too many steps forward and you will be forced to leap back to the beginning. In every instance of regression we feel slighted as if we did not have a say in whether or not we went all the way. It is fair to be weary. To have a heart weighed down by an irrepressible pain.
But the art of forgiveness requires us to change.
I have no stock in another person’s recovery steps. They can be silent and broken, refusing to ask for help. They can be recklessly happy and move forward with grace.
But the art of forgiveness means we do not stay the same.
Each time we “get back up” a piece falls off from our resiliency. After awhile, there is no more hopefulness. No more faith. No more peace. I have written bitter endings into my narrative so much so that now I do not know how to get rid of the ache.
But the art of forgiveness means we put old things away.
The dream died. If we are being honest it never had a chance to survive. You put two people in a story who both believe they are right and it is only a matter of time before they end up on different sides. Fighting for a future that neither can fully provide.
But the art of forgiveness means you move forward with the rest of your life.
There will always be a part of me
that is resistant to change.
But the truth is so much harder to ignore
when you keep making the same mistakes.
Doubt trickles into my subconscious.
I want better, but I am a prisoner
to my current state.
Afraid to exercise patience, self-control
and most of all, release.
Captive to desires that are
more interested in fighting than peace.
No one can exist in two alternate planes.
You are either working towards a purpose
or passively remaining the same.
We are terrible at taking steps away from grief.
Hard-hearted lovers who no longer believe.
Terrible when truth keeps us chained to our pain.
When we have no other option, but to walk away.
Twitter – @jen__cosby
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Knots twist and overlap in my stomach, pushing me to confront the truth. I cannot ignore the reality that damaged interactions lead to disappointment and devastation. But despair is a choice. The longer we hold onto pain, the deeper we fall into despair. The more we resist reconciliation and forgiveness, the further recovery becomes.
I gave up on God once. I was in a terrible situation that I contributed to–and I could not see myself clearly. I rejected God’s help. I relied on the power I thought I had and began to forfeit my purpose and destiny. I knew God was calling out to me. But I could not hear him over my own hurt feelings. I just wanted it to stop. I wanted the pain to fully end. But God wanted something different.
Now, when faced with the same disappointment, I actively resolve to seek God’s face. He alone knows the desires of my heart and just how hard I have worked to be a better version than the person I used to be. The truth however, is that I am not perfect. I make mistakes and cause others grief because I am still in the process of healing. This is no easy task–but the one who has forgiven me knows that I am still hunted by my past.
History sits in our subconscious and refuses to let us go. It wants us to remember that we have failed so many times before. It wants us to think that we will always be hurting. But the truth is the more I seek God, the more I believe that He alone is the one who holds onto me. He alone is my hope and the only person I need to please.
And I will not let go of Him again.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news in my own expectations or the facilitator of less than my absolute best when I am actively pursuing my dreams. I want to grow tired of the lies I sell myself and follow my heart as it leads me to truth. But it takes so much more than hopes and good thoughts to inspire lasting and effectual change.
Sometimes, you have to break down completely before you will ever follow through.
I am not infallible. Every day I wake up just like you with a choice to do better or to stay statically still. I could go on and on about the times I wasted or the balls I let drop while the world around me refused to stop–but none of that will matter unless I choose to make a difference now, for me.
When you are not emotionally connected to your actions, you will continue to fail without any regard to who you are taking down with you. You will emote and feel things deeply but forget that it is not all about your problems. It is about finding a path in the middle towards achieving and maintaining peace. Peace that can not exist if we are constantly fighting.
I do not want to hear “suck it up” when the truth in love inspires us to speak words of healing over people who are truly suffering. There are a thousand ways we can say the same thing without wounding sensitive spirits with our harsh expressions.
Some days this is harder for us to do–but the most beautiful things have a way of happening in spite of you.
Connect with me!
Instagram – @jen.cosby
Twitter – @jen__cosby
– Jen Cosby