May 7, 2019

How I Learned to Love my own Heart.


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Spring is here.

Not new spring, but deep spring—when the ground is thoroughly soaked in flowers.

Pollen drips to hungry bees. The breeze is laced with the candied scent of swollen, heavenly blooms. Mud melts, like chocolate lava rising from the center of the earth.

Spring is established. And so am I.

I am here. Perhaps a bit weary and torn in spots—but I am here.

Something in me rose up from the dirt and sh*t, from the cold, darkness, and pain of winter.

It took radiant energy. So much fire. But now, I am above ground.

As I listen to the birdsong, I love the way spring makes me nostalgic, like I can touch the past as I smell the sweetness of the wind. It all spreads out before me—a strange, noteworthy bouquet of flowers.

My fingers caress the threads of what used to be—the insecure, trembling girl, the trauma, the fear, the immense well of pain—and all the ways those parts of me still scream for attention and care, today.

Breaking old patterns and attachment wounds is hard work, no doubt.

The past exists, woven in waves with the present and all I’ve learned in carving out the future.

I love how in getting older, we become wiser, more sturdy versions of ourselves.

In my younger years, I was often hot with grief and fear, uprooting myself, moving here and there, trying this and that. Trying to blossom all the time, not ever resting. Forging full-steam ahead. Blossoming is good, yes—that’s why spring smells so sweet.

But we cannot always flower. There are so many meaningful shades and seasons of our lives. Sometimes our bleakest, loneliest winter is our best teacher—the friend we never wanted but we’re so glad to have.

Besides, I’ve come to see that thick, luscious roots—well, they’re the secret to richly hued blooms that perfume the world with their intoxicating aromas.

And I’m getting better at rooting. At not running away. At letting the earth catch me, hold me.

I’m getting better at staying in one place.

I still get restless and freak out, sure—those old, fractured parts remain. But I am learning to sit still and see the hidden joy in the oldest bits of my wounds.

My youth, fresh with the sharp resin of mistakes and despair and not knowing better, has given way into a life of…

Knowing better. Knowing myself. Honoring myself.

I think of all the faces and phases I’ve been, like the moon. Dark and shrouded. A tiny sliver. Half full. Fully full. Waning, waxing. Like waves, coming in and out, splashing the shoreline with salt and turquoise-colored sea glass.

And yet, there is the sturdy earth beneath my feet—the sweet ground that makes it all possible. There are the slow, deep breaths as I lean intimately into the crevices of my own heart, so that when I look to others, I see the beauty in their broken bits, too.

For I’m well-versed in searching the deep, uncharted, and often terrifying waters of a heart.

I’m well-versed in the cracks and traumas—what it is to feel out of place, suffering, angry, and full of fear.

And yet, in those very wounds, there is honey. Honey mixed with the blood and scabs, the marks that stale memories make upon us.

We ripen. It’s so messy and beautiful.

The masterpiece exists right beside the pain, in those dark tunnels and shaking parts of us.

We transform. It can feel so breathtakingly unexpected.

This spring, I root. I ground.

I don’t run away from any part of myself. I humbly welcome it all.

I get found in my tears, in silence, and feeling my bare feet on the lime-green grass. I get found in being human and awkward and unfolding in good time, like the bright purple flowers in my yard.

I get found because over and over again, I breathe in and find my body. I surrender to her, from head to toe. She is my map. She tells me everything I need to know.

Oh, yes, I locate wisdom in my body as I part the veils of my fight-or-flight responses and go deeper, as I part the murky seas of my fears and intuitions and expectations.

I find clarity here.

As I do, I think about how all this sparkly, super popular love and light, oversimplified, vague new-agey stuff just makes me wanna scream. I think it makes us floaty, detached, confused—and less human.

I like to feel my heartbeat. And know my fear. And be both humble and wise.

I like to live, fully. With compassion that is born of sweat and pain and the raw liberation of facing my own sh*t—often quite clumsily.

But I believe our stumbling humanness is what makes us courageous, as we face reality—the good, bad, cruel, unfair, uplifting, sweet, and everything in-between.

I am flesh. I am bone. I step upon this earth with trembling, soul-soaked gratitude. The gratitude that exists miraculously, right alongside the hot tears and intense vulnerability.

A swelling, earthy appreciation radiates slowly from my muscles—ah, the subtle joy of feeling at home in ourselves—in the midst of our loud and busy world.

We are tender and human. I hope we never forget that, as the buds become heavy and drenched this spring, delivering the juiciness of their fruit.

I am falling in love with our messy, awkward, beautiful hearts. They’re incredible. They really are.

So I don’t think the goal is to walk around being “perfect” or “enlightened” or “blissed out.” To become more distant from life, from the heartbeats of other people.


I am falling in love with our humanness.

Our bodies. Our aches, struggles, rawness, conflict, and uproarious laughter.

Maybe the goal is to be passionate and kind.

To know ourselves deeply, to feel the joy and the fear, and to help others whenever we can.

Maybe that is wholeness—the happiness we so frantically seek.

Being human is its own winding story.

Let’s get intimate with it.

We are wounded, imperfect, caring, and resilient.

We are torn open, heartbroken at times, but always learning.

Ever-growing and bursting through the soil of the past.

I love that.

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