I still wake up in the middle of the night, troubled, with the thought, “You are not okay.”
A mental parade of the things in my life that have happened, not happened, that aren’t going “right.”
I still wrestle with the idea that I am broken, unable to be fully mended.
I still cry and go into a hole of shame, vowing that I will never open myself up again, convinced of the indifference of others.
I still feel small, invisible, unlovable, and ignored.
I still doubt when I hear, “I love you; I care about you; I see you.”
I still can be oblivious to love staring me in the face. And, sometimes, I can recognize it and feel no trust for it.
I still get suspicious of people’s motives and fear intimacy.
I can still be in a room full of people and feel totally alone.
I still have days when all I want is to hide from the world and be as invisible as the wind.
I still have a fundamental belief that penetrates into my core that says, “There’s just something wrong with you.”
These are my belief systems, my stories. The records that play in my mind in my highest moments and lowest. Sometimes for a moment, and sometimes for longer.
I’ve done so much of “the work” to heal. I have experienced many modalities of therapy; have done 12-step work, various workshops, and trainings; have been coached; have learned to coach; have written; have spoken; have confronted deep beliefs and conditioning and learned what patterns have been running my life; have been witnessed and supported in my most vulnerable places; have poured out my deep thoughts and feelings to communities of people; have seen my darkest layers and been ripped apart by hard truths. I have invested much time, energy, and money into this deep and unrelenting journey of self.
I have alchemized my deepest suffering into healing, love, and freedom.
With all of the commitment I’ve had to my healing, I still find my raw humanity is consistent in all its complexity. When I try to control it with simplicity, I often end up fighting against it. A simple answer is a much more comforting route. There are plenty of times I’ve wanted to bypass, get over, move on from, or completely eradicate my humanity.
My humanity is the “little one,” the small girl inside me who has been through it all. Afraid, unsure, fragile, cheeky, prickly, and enormously powerful.
As much as my tendency is to make her want to forget, to not look back, to be above her past experiences and mindsets, she does remember sometimes. But her remembrance is not a crime, and I know now that I don’t need to demonize her for it.
Though she now knows that safety is available to her, she still needs the reminder sometimes. Though her wounds still hurt at times, she now knows she won’t die from them. She will continue to live—and heal.
My relationship with my humanity these days is much more flexible. I manage to pull myself up out of my most trying times by not really trying to pull myself out. Depression is one state I find myself in often. It can be really hard to sit with, without trying to change. There’s often a message, an unmet need, a fear, and, sometimes, it’s just a state I find myself in.
I witness. I get curious. I allow myself to have the experience of my humanity, and that’s all it really seems to want. When I feel able to move into the next phase, it greets me as readily as the previous one. Our emotions can tell us a lot if we really want to listen.
Sometimes belief systems continue to live in our bodies, and they also don’t have to run our bodies.
We can continue to witness the difficult sides of our humanity and fellowship with them. We can coexist with the difficulty that lives in our bodies, while also knowing that we don’t have to succumb to it.
I know now that it’s okay to welcome it all.