The world will not end when you will it. Truth is, it will keep spinning in spite of your protests. But knowing what I know now, I can guarantee that you will still not want to start over again. It is easy to say we will forgive someone when they hurt us deeply. But the actual practice is much more difficult to employ. I am tired of saying that I will do better and then predictably failing in the last place I was tested. Tired of giving up at the exact moment that I need to fight. But I also know that just because a person is sorry, does not mean you have to give them another chance to get it right. How many times have we made promises we knew we could not keep? How many times have our mistakes pushed us down to our knees? I have wounded others because I refused to admit that I was wrong. I allowed my ego to tell me what I needed, instead of taking inventory of the junk in my heart. I am missing my kindred spirit–the one who was scarred and battered similarly to me. At this new level of distance, I wonder if that person is even still listening. I imagine silence tells us what we need to know faster than any words could ever portray. But the only thing I wish I could change right now, is the fact that I pushed you away.
What if I told you I do not really miss you? How, in bed I never creep to the side where you used to sleep or wish that you were still here with me. What if I do not wake up from nightmares that you are gone because your absence is my reality? What if I let go of you the way you let go of me? Some may call what has happened, mandatory redirection. They will tell us that we were not capable of love from the start. They will say the more we try to fix things, the more we will inevitably get lost. The problem is, you were already broken. Before you came looking for me you neglected to find yourself. All your energy spent in the wrong direction–trying to be “all things” to somebody else. If I have learned anything, I know now that I am equally responsible. I used to think I needed to compensate for the missing pieces you brought to my table. Believing I was the compass that would help you get where you needed to go. No one on this Earth can fill these heavenly holes. In my dreams, I question my own misguided actions. I do not try to carry your weight anymore. And in my aggressive quest for my own wellness; I am determined to show you, my jilted lover–to the door.
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.
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.
Dreams are hard to come by when you’re standing alone on an island in the middle of a turbulent sea. I remember there was a time when you were standing right next to me. Our days were happy and our nights were filled with routine–no one understands what it feels like to be ripped from this reality. Sure, I climbed a mountain without you and promised to wait until you caught back up. But the more I fought, the faster you forgot about us. I was attracted to this picture of two people who loved and never gave up. Grieving unmet timelines and promises that forced me to reconcile the truth of what I knew was not enough. You believed you could handle everything–fighting for us while abandoning your home.
But once you reach the peak of the mountain, there is no higher you can go.
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.