There is an inherent, at times tragic beauty within our human experience—we are able to choose what happens, to a certain extent, and how those happenings shape who we are and why we are here.
My challenge in this present moment is to believe that growth can come, even within a heart that has been cracked wide open thanks to those happenings I have created and trudged through in my short life thus far. A question keeps presenting itself, with a less than clear answer.
Can anything joyous be birthed from heartbreak?
I am not necessarily speaking of love lost or blunt rejection alone, but from giving up too much of ourselves to those who refuse—or more accurately don’t know how—to appreciate it. Is is possible to patch the wounds, even haphazardly, to the point of full recovery, or is there a cut here or there that refuses to completely heal? An ever present sliver of unhealthy flesh, vying for our constant attention, creating a breeding ground for emotional infection.
I used to think I was destined to endure painful relationships—some sort of karmic revenge that I would never be able to shake. The aura I created sent a signal to other emotionally dependent, equally scarred individuals, both in love and friendship. It would only take a short time to realize the gross similarities in our existence, but far longer to understand the power of removing them from my life.
I would ache with desire to change them—somehow make them see how toxic they were and how detrimental what they were giving off was to those around them. I would plead with them to see my perspective, to no avail. It was not until the most recent heart explosion that I stumbled upon the true fact that my begging did nothing more than enhance the potential for toxicity, and what I was offering from my heart was less than advantageous to the parties involved.
I was the toxic one, with my open wounds oozing out a type of energy that inhibited any thing other than negativity.
My own bubble needed to be detoxified. Cleansed of the infectious garbage I so quickly shared with others. Despite my best intentions, the process took more time and much more work than I had imagined it would. Two steps forward, and a thousand back, trying to be my best me was serious work that drained me even more than the nasty relationships I subjected myself to in the first place. I fought hard to keep it up, but it wasn’t until recently that I came to understand why it was such a struggle.
I had been punched directly in the gut by life, knocked on my ass so hard by a negative influence in my circle that I thought I would never get up off the ground.
The view is perfect from there—everything and everyone looks so different from that perspective that it is nearly impossible not to have a complete shift in the manner in which we view the world. If we stay down for long enough, we begin to see the need for change within.
We eventually realize that we cannot lift ourselves up until we have conjured up the strength to do so, and that can only come in a real and powerful way by examining how we ended up on the floor in the first place. Without an extended hand of another offering help, we have no choice but to stand up on our own.
My realization on the cold ground: even a wound that is cleaned properly won’t heal if it isn’t tended to, wholly. You can pour as much medicine on, in and around it as you’d like, but without properly adhering the bandage after the fact, your efforts are worthless. Open and exposed, complete healing won’t take place.
The aching continues, even if it is subtle. The potential for infection festers on, even if we refuse to notice. We are open and vulnerable to another wound, and will remain in that weakened state in perpetuity.
That is, unless we patch the original wound.
I disinfected what I could without reaching the root of my emotional injuries. So many existed that, even after coming to terms with what needed to be done—closure—I was terrified at how much work would be involved. Would I truly come out of this recovery a better, healthier, more whole person? How would I even begin to patch what I had forgotten was there?
I lived and breathed the past, and struggled with how to rise above that existence, live presently and move forward in joy and peace. Do we deserve that life, free from toxic bubbles and on the mend after severe ass to ground moments? Simply, we do. It took me years to realize that, and to this day I have a hard time remembering when life unfolds in a less than ideal way. But, on a deeper level, I know it to be true.
If there is the potential to be hurt, there is a potential to heal. A heart cracked wide open can be put back together, even piecemeal and even after years of neglect. A new energy can emerge if we allow it to be birthed within those moments, even if it seems we will never get off the ground. Hearts mend, but only with care.
Patch the cuts, embrace the process, and be prepared to share stories about the scars.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons