I've been there, moments that mutilate you, leaving you breathless, spinning, arrows blotting out the sun as they descend, seemingly non-stop. The sort of trauma that makes you feel empty space in your heart, pains that follow you like a shadow, pervasive. Things you're sure no one else has endured or recovered from. The sort of things that isolate you from yourself.
Heartache, in all it's forms, is the cruelest of these injuries, it is the sharp edge in the chapters of our story. It has a weight to it, rendering you hopeless. Desiring to move you backwards, against what you were designed to do, which is to move forward, in concert with the natural order of things, expanding.
The temptation, is to submit, give in. The gritty choice, the bold move-is to stay with it, move towards, into and through the pain, feeling it, absorbing it, grieving it. I read this somewhere and it's true... The truth, is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.
"Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can't cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It's just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal"- Cheryl Strayed
Oh my, yes!
And the outcome from choosing to get back in, can be life changing, redemptive. The payoff, is that you'll recognize you've become genuine, authentic, transformed and fierce. The truth is, growth happens by subtraction as much as addition. You peel enough layers off... that's what we want... is you, the real you...
"Real isn't how you are made', said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked,'or bit by bit?'
'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.'- Velveteen Rabbit
You see, we were made for connection. To others, to joy, to peace, love, grace and understanding. Every last one of us. You can deny it, you can suppress it, you can even, I guess... survive apart from it. But denying your heart what it needs, is no way to live. So when you encounter life that separates you from that fact, you are going to feel it, because your soul intuitively understands this. And the hurt your heart feels when it is separated from connection, well, it's your souls' way of telling you... this is not how it's supposed to be.
And then there is redemption.
Truth be told, I believe it to be the best kind of story out there.
Someone once said, "I don't trust anyone who hasn't been through the ringer"... amen, of course. And that's the thing- redeem your story, own it, claim it, everyone will benefit from your bravery, including you. My strong wish for you this day is this... that you choose to be real, having the courage to have your hair loved off, eyes droopy, loose in the joints and messy.
And know this, deep within, that you are not alone, there is someone, somewhere, who can say... Me too, yes... me too.
You are enough my brave travelers, you are.