It’s been awhile since I’ve written – really written, not just scribbling in my journal or throwing together a ten-page paper for class. When everything fell apart last year, I stopped journaling. There are about seven months of my life that will remain in complete darkness forever.
I will never let that happen again.
I have avoided this post. I have put it off for as long as I can. But I am a writer, always have been and always will be. And I am also human. I have to reflect on the past, or I will never move forward. If I had to spend the rest of my life trapped here, where I am now, I would lose my mind – for real, for forever.
There are blemishes that arise with the endless pursuit of flawlessness. No one is perfect; not ever. If I had learned that lesson, I don’t think I would be writing about it. My mistakes do not define me, not completely. But the past haunts me like a subtle whisper, scraping at the back of my mind, always there, but not always audible. But when I do hear its taunting remarks, its threats and mocking laughter inside my head, I find myself folding inward, hoping for rescue, but never finding release.
Pain is a tangled web of suffocation. It spirals out from one sticky string, never ending, growing more and more complex and unmanageable as time passes. The pain of remembering despair. The pain of hurting someone you love. The pain of losing a friend, losing yourself, losing everything you had because you thought you had everything together, neatly packed inside a symmetrical glass box, stored to capacity, sealed with a prayer, shattered by reality.
But you didn’t. Not even close.
Regret. Guilt. They are consuming, and they never let go. Regret for playing the game of love, over and over again, when love belonged to someone else. Regret for not getting to know someone better before they were suddenly gone forever. Guilt because you could have saved yourself before you broke into a million pieces. Guilt because, when you broke, you broke someone else, too. Guilt because you are sorry, you wish you could go back and do it over, but you can’t.
We are stronger for our losses, and better for the things we gain. I have gained a new perspective; a better way to see. Being brave, even when I’m scared to death. Being compliant, even when I want to scream. Being kind, even when I’m mad and sad and jealous and hurt and breaking apart all over again.
God never leaves, ever. He cries when we do, laughs when we think we know what’s coming when we don’t, longs for our attention, but waits in the silence like a shadow, never there to hurt, always there to help. Always there to listen. Always there to be exactly what we need, whenever we need it.
We are not alone in our suffering. If we were, we would not pull through as I have. Once. Twice. Too many times to count.
I have been blessed with life. I didn’t have to be. I almost wasn’t. There is more for me than this. And that is why I choose hope. If not for me, then for everyone I touch. Hope is the hug that makes the hurt go away. It’s the light that guides our journey through uncertainty. Hope is healing. Hope is finally realizing that maybe it really is worth it to try to be better, to get better, to be free.
Free. Forever. Because you deserve it. Because you are worth it.