I’ve continued to find so much hope and comfort in writing again. This feeling of heart-ripped-open, teeth chattering, tears flowing, keys pounding on the keyboard feeling is far from foreign to me and, each time life guides me back to this place, a small part of me feels like I’m coming home.
I still find myself in the gray area of wanting to pour everything out on the page and trying to keep it all locked inside because, if I write it down, it means it’s true.
Often times, when something bad or tragic or heartbreaking happens, I find myself hoping to move through it as quickly as possible. “Give me a list, I’ll check everything off, and then I’ll move on.”
If only it could be so easy.
I am learning now that the dust has settled, that the only way through it is through it. The only way to move forward is often to stop and sit with the pain. The only way to check something off the list is to throw away the damn list and feel everything your heart is so desperately trying to trying to get you to feel.
When everything first happened, I had something tangible to attach all of the feelings to. This missing and longing belonged to a specific person. The anger and deceit belonged to the actions of someone. The loss and mourning clung to a life that I had planned with another.
I think one of the most helpful realizations I have had is that we don’t have to attach our feelings to anyone or anything. We can allow them to come and go, we can observe them, pause for a moment and think, “wow, I feel really sad right now. My heart feels heavy, and I hurt. hurt. hurt.”
We can breathe into that feeling, lean into it even, and release it when it has served it’s purpose and is ready to go. We don’t have to attach those feelings to our heads or our hearts. We don’t have to claw and grasp and reach for them so we can bury them away in a box of no return. And we definitely don’t have to sit and wonder why we are feeling the way we are.
Who caused this, why now, how long will it stay?
I exhausted myself with my “need to know” when it came to my feelings. I found myself feeling angry and impatient when 4 hours of hope and happiness sandwiched even a few minutes of earth shattering sadness and despair. I wasted time trying to pinpoint what it was that caused those feelings to well up and, rather than feel them and release them, I ignored them and, instead, tried to discover the source so that I would never be confronted with those feelings again.
Well, the feelings are always going to come, my sweet warriors.
The feelings are going to come on the days and in the moments you least expect it. They will try to trick you into believing it should have been different rather than seeing it for what it is. They will deceive you into wondering if you made a mistake, they will compel you to question your future or feel uncertain about the path in which you are headed down.
But, just as the sad feelings well up, there will be hope and happiness to wash them away–if you let it. If you breathe into the pain, you might find yourself face-to-face with hope and happiness and get a new chance to observe new feelings with new promises.
Neither of them will be final, and neither of them will be without reason and purpose.
They will both come. Believe me when I tell you that.
They will both come.
The only way through it is through it.