You don’t need to stand taller or braver or stronger to hear me.
Stay low, take it slow, take your time; there’s no need to rush elsewhere when you are where you are.
There’s no need to do anything.
There’s only you—not your memories, not your desires, not your thoughts; just you.
Soon you’ll find that the longer you stay here, taking it slow and taking your time, the better you’ll understand that nothing actually matters and that’s why it’s all so important. You’ll see that you can’t retrieve a memory by reaching, you can’t take what you want by seizing and you can’t create or destroy or recall the words in your head by trying to put them in place. You’ll only try in vain and the words and the wants and the memories will scatter or stay put at their own leisure, and then you’ll find that they were never really there in the first place.
None of it matters, and yet it supplies the grounds for everything. It’s what connects us to where we are and how we got here and why the story went one way or another. It’s our experiences that come to define us, our “why’s” that inform the rest.
It’s important. It’s you.
But for just one moment, perhaps consider that it’s nothing at all. Before you pull the rug out from beneath your tired feet, go gently, love. Hear me softly. Stay low, take it slow, take your time.
The memories, the feelings, the words in your precious head, the happy ones and the sad ones and the ones that seek revenge—they don’t matter. They pale in comparison to your being with or without them.
They are not you.
Yes, you’ve grown with them. You’ve stitched them into your skin. You’ve watched them unfold and repurpose and die many deaths and find as many rebirths, you’ve held them close and asked their guidance; you were not wrong to do so. I’ve done it too. We’ve all done it. Sometimes—most times—it’s the only way to take a step in any direction we might go.
But that’s how we got here, love: having to stay low, take it slow and take our time. That’s how we got too tired to stand taller or braver or stronger. We spent ourselves completely, we tossed it all to the story—the memory of it, the desire to keep it, the thoughts surrounding it.
And now here I am, asking you to see that although it’s everything you’ve known and every reason you’ve become what you are, it’s nothing at all. It doesn’t matter; that’s what makes it so important.
None of it is you.
Take that gently, love. Turn it over in your precious heart. Feel it for what it is instead of fighting it for what it once was. This is not to say you’re wrong, this is not to say you’re weak, this is not to say you’re foolish for having held these things; it’s only to show you that even if you’ve been wrong or weak or foolish, it means nothing.
It’s only to tell you that you mean more in light of and regardless of it all.
Gently, love, take it out of you and stare into its core. Take the memory and the things it’s left behind, lay it all before you, spread it as far and wide as you must to see it clearly. You don’t need to be brave or strong to do this, you just need to be where you are: tired enough to have only this choice, to stay low, take it slow and take your time.
Go gently, love, just as you’d take a child by the hand, helping her find the home from which she’s wandered. That’s all you are anyway. It’s all any of us will ever be: a child who comes and goes, who leaves to define or reconcile something, but finds that perhaps the something is really nothing; a child who wishes to return when she is tired, though she needs someone to help her home—to guide her gently.
And so you’re on your way, love. You’re going home.
There’s no need to do anything, but soon you’ll find that there’s much to undo and redo; an untangling and restructuring of sorts, a letting go of what you’ve tried and a letting be of what you’ve since learned.
But for now, just stay here and let things work as they do. Stay low, take it slow, take your time. You’ll stand when you’re ready, which means you’ll have to do so before you know you can. So remember this: You can.
Just go gently, love.
Author: Sara Rodriuguez
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Josh Felise/Unsplash