The snow has finally made its way to our neighborhood this week, blanketing the once green grass and hiding the bright blue skies that make me feel so fine. It’s cooold here now and somehow in the midst of the chill, on most days, I feel a sort of warmth glowing inside me.
I am not entirely ignorant to recognize that this warmth inside may or may not (though it probably is ‘may’) have to do with a certain handsome man who has recently caught my attention. He is an old friend who has slowly revealed depths of feelings that he has kept hidden for years & while it is unnerving, is it also..amazing….exciting….terrifying..
Ingrid Michaelson is playing now and I am sitting in the midst of several piles I have arranged on my bedroom floor in an attempt to “organize” my things and create a sense of home. Only 6 short months ago, I rearranged this space in hopes to free my mind from the love that once lived here too…I thought that maybe by placing my art table where the bed once had been, perhaps then I would too, be able to place something or someone else in the hole in my heart where he once had been.
I am still learning, but I know more now that these ideas of ‘letting go’ and ‘moving on’ do not mean getting rid of the memory of the feelings and moments that I cherished together with him. Just in the way we come to our fullness not in spite of our darkness, but in the embrace of it, so too must we come to our newness not in spite of our pasts, but in the acceptance of it as part of our story.
As I’m sitting here now in the mess of this still-yet-to-be-organized room, I am suddenly more aware of the mess still inside of me, the mess of who I am, what with all the bruises, the scars, the broken and repairing heart. I can’t help but wonder if my attempts to organize my room are somehow mystically connected with the seemingly never ending desire in me to be ok the way I think everyone else is ok. I often still hear his words, saying I need to “get my shit together,” and while I know that I am better now, more whole, there is an unrelentless fear that lingers, often unbeknownst to the now strong parts of me…until days like this..
Like now when there is the opportunity of new love and new discovery before me. I feel a surge in me to love again and I want to grab hold of it and let it take me away, but…here it is…
I AM SCARED.
I am scared that if I show him my true self and all of me and my mess, he won’t like me anymore…and yet, even more than that, I am afraid that when he does see more of me, he will continue to choose to stay.
The thing is, I know how to do difficult. I know how to do tension and heavy breathing. But I am unpracticed in the field of unconditional love, the love that says yes to me, just as I am.
I catch myself continually trying to cover up the parts of myself that I don’t accept…like my messy room, my unruly hair, my blemished face, and my thick thighs…oh, the worries of thighs…
Why do I keep this up?
This bewilders me.
If I want to be accepted and loved as is, I must accept and embrace these parts of me that I often consider “too lumpy” or “too small” or “too messy, too quiet, too much, too strange.” As Sabrina Ward Harrison has written, “I must ask myself, ‘What am I trying to be that I already am?’ If I don’t love those parts of me, the tucked in, sucked in, silent parts, I think it will be a very sad journey. and a pathetic waste of time.”
The truth is, it’s been a long and difficult year and this place I’m in now is one of repair and new growth, which is to say a season of tension and birth. And should I allow all this newness to be birthed in me, I must welcome the mess that comes along with…
I can’t control when I heal, but I can watch what happens
and try to be ever so gentle with the ache that comes
while I’m sitting cross-legged in my pajamas on the floor,
admits piles of papers and books and tears stuck too far down.
I know this healing is a process that is still moving, like the water, and I must only allow myself to be moved by it as it flows.
& just like always, it’s going to be ok.
All in all, I believe that every moment is an opportunity to choose love over fear.
I want to open these trembling hands and say “yes” to love, though I am so afraid. I’m a mess, but I am beautiful. (and I am enough.)
This is the beginning of something…