heavy

Intimacy. Something that up until recently I ran from, hid from. I thought I was being present and vulnerable but in those moments of deep intimacy I look back and see the point where the light turned off and I closed the door. Time and time again.

I ran from myself, ran from everyone around me, their stories their vulnerable moments. Oh how I wanted to be there but didn’t know how.

And it’s exhausting now, being on the other side of it. It’s like a muscle I never used, and I’ve spent so many hours flexing it so to say, in the last 6 weeks, and damn it’s exhausting. It’s beautiful and healing and so rewarding but also exhausting because I was a fugitive from these moments before.

I thought I was a burden. I thought I wasn’t good enough. I ran and fought against everyone and the shame became heavier and heavier, burning people around me by association. I fought you all so hard. I fought me, too.

There is such exquisite joy and sadness in truly being present in an intimate moment. When someone starts to trust you enough to share a long-held trauma, or finally voices a truth that burdened them, and they are released, they are free. It’s like they’ve been holding their breath for so long on something and you’re finally present enough to receive that gift, whatever pain or joy it may be- whether it’s about you or someone else.

Clarity. Breathing in and out and simply being.

That is true intimacy: being fully present.

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small

Sitting in dappled sunlight, a light breeze through my hair. Laughter so intense it makes you cry and your cheeks cramp. A kiss in the dark.

Getting lost in the pages of a paperback book in a dimly lit bar.

Rich conversation at two in the morning. A steaming mug of tea as snow falls gently outside, muffling city sounds to a dull hum.

A purring, sleeping cat.

Saying exactly what you need to say in the moment you need to say it, and being heard. Being seen. Listening and being present when someone shares their truth.

The smell of rain on a dusty street and the rustling of bird wings from the shelter of a tree. Dew drops in spiders webs. A run in the quiet dawn, as the world sleeps around you.

Letting go of my shame and allowing people to truly be part of my life, my heart.

space

The sadness that persists, perhaps I am still in grief but it is not the grief with which I began. I grieve for the loss of myself and the previous attachments of my ego and the self, for the part of me that had to die for the rest of me to be whole. The part of me that did not believe I was enough.

The fear, the scared child who held onto resentment and anger and couldn’t believe I was worth it, I think she is me but she is taking her rightful place in my memories, not an active part of my life. I honor these memories, they have taught me compassion and empathy. They have shown me a strength I never knew I had and the capacity to be present.

I grieve and honor my past self and the struggles I have been through, acknowledge the pain I have caused to myself and those around me. My dear ones, I honor you and endeavor to be present, to give you what you need and to listen even when and especially when it’s hard. I commit myself to this new path and ask you to walk it with me.

I will hold space for you.

x

kintsugi

Patience.

Instead of hiding my scars like they’re shameful, I will dust them in gold and become kintsugi. They are my story, they show my journey. I was never broken, I was rearranging what was important. Please, be patient with me. I couldn’t be present with you because I couldn’t be present with myself. I let my fear write my story, and now I am discarding that veil, living with truth and love. Please hold space for me.

I endeavor to be present, and share my truths, and hold space for you, dear ones.

x

cage

The walls I’ve had up for my entire life to protect me from getting hurt have recently revealed their true nature. And now the illusion has been shattered; where do I find my footing? These walls were actually a cage and only harmed me.

I’ve been holding my breath for my entire life, in survival mode forever until recently. The walls shattered, the illusion has started to fade and I’m left reeling. The blue sky was there all along, I just never bothered to see past the clouds.

I’ve always been a terrible liar but what I didn’t realize was that I was lying to myself by constantly keeping everything hidden and locked away.

I’m beginning to heal, beginning to see that true strength doesn’t come from hiding behind a fragile ego or keeping everyone at a distance and never sharing. True strength is vulnerability and sharing your truths. People need to be needed, need to be told what you need and that you care. They need to be shown something more than your facade. Therein lies true strength and true caring.

So save a seat at the table for me, dear ones. Keep the window open for me. I’m getting there.

x

light

The path we walk from stories we tell ourselves fueled by fear.

How many times have I thought I was telling the full truth, being open and honest, only to realize later that I was still walking some old path in shoes I should have thrown away because they no longer serve me? Too many times. I have either compartmentalized and said everything was fine and not affecting the rest of my life, or I jumped in to the deep end to “deal with it” without any idea of how to swim. Just treading water. Instead of “cooking my potatoes” as Thich Nhat Hanh says, I simply shut down, felt attacked and wanted to deal with the issue right then and there. Impatience. A refusal to explore. Exploration is painful but if you commit to the truth, chances are you’ll probably be okay with the outcome.

Every time I’ve heard something that scared me, I assumed there was no room for discussion, and that I had no say in the outcome. I took a back seat to my own life.

Just kept repeating “I’m okay” over and over as if it were going to make it okay, because every time I’d shared something with someone in the past, they walked away and told me I was broken and kept me in that endless cycle. I revealed a part of me hoping to be accepted, and was thrown out like garbage. So I learned to keep my cards close, never revealing more than just enough.

Not only have I not trusted myself, I showed people that I did not trust them either. The people closest to me.

I think Leonard Cohen said it best:

Ring the bells that can still ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

It’s been such a long time, and I’ve kept the door closed. And I’m sorry. I didn’t know. And I’m trying to open a window for you. How could any of you fully trust me when I showed I didn’t trust me or you? Forget your idea of perfect, and I’ll forget mine. How about we meet in the middle somewhere and let our light shine to heal each other?

So yes, I am a little broken. There are cracks. But there is light. And I’m not okay. But I’ll get there, so please keep your window open for me dear ones.

x

waiting

I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself. Who is this stranger looking back at me? I was happy once. I don’t want to be this person I’m looking at in the mirror.

Lately I haven’t felt much like getting out of bed. My only motivation is to make sure the cat is okay. I can’t remember the last time I smiled, or laughed. I’ve lost track of how many times a day tears have been shed. My eyes burn. I haven’t had an appetite in a month, and I don’t recognize these bones on my body. My clothes don’t fit.

Every day feels like walking through cobwebs, through a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. Food makes me nauseated or gives me indigestion, so I don’t eat. Sleep doesn’t come. I don’t know what it feels like to not hurt. Breathing hurts. I find myself catching my breath like I’m drowning… and maybe I am.

Someone tries to hug me and I pull away and try not to scream. Don’t touch me. Keep your distance. Trust no one.

Waiting and waiting and waiting for a day when I’m me again.

eraser

It seems like all of my traumas are coming back to haunt me in a cataclysmic wave. Aftershocks that won’t stop, pain that won’t let me loose. It’s true that there was an epicenter which triggered this event, but it’s only the most painful because of everything that happened before.

All of my scars feel visible, tangible.

I’ve deserved better from life, from people who have used me, and thrown me away like old useless shoes. I believe so strongly in the power of empathy and compassion, and perhaps it has been to my detriment and subsequent downfall. It has lead me to where I stand now, on the precipice of never trusting anyone again, and becoming bitter.

Damn every one of you who used me just to feel better with no regard for how it would affect me. I am not something to be toyed with. You shouldn’t have, none of you, ever bothered to use me for your own joy with no thought to how it might hurt ME in the end. How I might care, and how I might show my cards differently than you are used to. Did you bother to ask? Did you bother to be patient?

Damn your impatience, damn your fear. I hope you sit with your actions, alone, until you can understand that your behavior wasn’t alright.

The one who I was too intense for, my friendship was thrown away and I was told I was nothing. The one I wasted three years of my life on, trying to save from yourself and I tried to be honest at all turns but you just were a manipulative, deeply disturbed person. Damn both of you.

To the teacher who used my age and gender to your own mercy, and when I resisted your perverse advances, you gave me a grade that lead to my inevitable removal from college. Damn you.

To the ones along the way who were so selfish and broken that you will never know how much your words haunted and destroyed me, made me question myself…

gone

I wish I didn’t keep holding my breath. Wish I didn’t have to remind myself to breathe. Isn’t this supposed to be something humans don’t forget to do? Or does grief destroy you so completely you forget how to be human?

Empty.

Gone.