Beautiful things do not require recognition. They exist on their own terms and in their own designated time. I remember when I could not recall my own feelings or whether or not these damaging thoughts were even mine. I used to numb undesirable emotions and busy myself with work that would never get done. Now, I rest on purpose and give my heart freedom to run. Instead of hiding hurt, I make myself painfully aware of the loss of my dreams. The anticipated Forever that began again in January. Now, my favorite galaxy cannot remember the gravity of what was promised or the hope of our mutual destiny. Now, I sit and gather all of my strength, while a black hole attempts to trap me in a solitary abyss. I do not want to try all over again. I want what I have chosen. All I ever wanted was one person who accepted me, completely. Someone who could understand that I am not perfect, but I never stop trying. Someone who would stand by my side while I fought to be healthy.
Our own, exclusive infinity.
I admire your intentional steps away from the object (or person) that is causing you pain. But maybe–just maybe our refusal to embrace what we are feeling is the reason why we have such a hard time accepting change. I learned early on that “strong” people do not talk about their problems. They give them a proper room in a cage, with three balanced meals a day. They do not talk or try to work things out, they run away. They reject uncomfortable conversations that make them call out their shame. They ignore the issue that is driving them insane. It is only after we can no longer contain the pressure that we begin to fight back against the source of our captivity. We start asking smarter questions and looking for ways to set ourselves free. After all, I did not ask for this prison. No one in their right mind chooses to be broken and subjected to exhausting cycles of anger and hostility. No one wakes up in the morning thinking about how they can create more chaos in their surroundings. Most of us just want to be free. This freedom, however, is a foreign concept. I have grown comfortable with being indirect about my needs and obsessively controlling. I have no idea where to begin to tear down these concrete walls or the iron bars that stand in between my pain and my healing. I am at once an innocent victim and the indignant warden with the only key.
And I will have to face the both of these, if I really want to be free.
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.
Better out than in they say, but dysfunction takes a long time to finally break. In my earnest endeavors to ignore the functionality of my pain I grew hard in ways that will never get better unless I commit to change. So I take steps away from thoughts and feelings that trick me into believing that other people are my problem. The only person I have the power to correct or control is me. In reality, even I carry the mistake of thinking that I am invulnerable. The truth is I am wounded, and in need of healing. Things that are broken can never operate at their original capacity. Cracks allow doubt and shame to seep through. Trouble is a constant barrier and denial is a coping mechanism. But if I take the time to address the scars I habitually covered; if I make it my business to come face to face with the dysfunction I wrongfully clung to–then maybe one day there can be healing for you, too.
I am my own foundation. Behind closed doors and before I can support another and their additional weight; I must take care of my own needs. For so long I believed I could operate with conflicting goals. Holding onto patterns that wear on my fragile soul. The truth is you yourself cannot become whole if while broken you are trying to fit people into improper positions. Self care is always your divine responsibility. We try to make excuses for dysfunction and push it down until it does not actively hurt anymore. Throwing busyness and topical responsibilities on top of wounds that are multiplying without relief. I am a product of my history. A casual tale of a woman who did not get what she needed. From childhood to adolescence–the wait was never ending. Instead, I went out into dark spaces that seemed to know me better than I knew myself. There were desires deep in my heart that I could not release. There were nights I failed to surrender and days I wished I would never see. There were people I thought would never leave.
But healing is not about them, it is about getting better–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 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.