It wasn’t very long ago when I was on the bottom floor of life. Eight months ago, life served me up an unexpected dose of heartbreak. The kind when the one you love the most betrays you the worst. The life-as-you-know-it-is-over kind of pain. The kind that, quite literally, brings you to your knees.
I don’t remember much of those following three weeks. I do remember taking a lot of baths (like….a LOT of baths) and watching a lot of movies.
I remember staring down at a pathetic Styrofoam box of potstickers and a plastic container of pasta salad from the Haggen deli. It was Thanksgiving Day. I was supposed to be with his family. Instead I was in the motorhome in a complete daze of heartache parked at an empty trailhead with Sage. I just stood there, staring down at the food, unable to eat it. It was so sad it was almost comical. My life.
The only way I could make sense of anything was to see every frame of my life as part of my larger story, and I found comfort knowing my sad dinner all alone would eventually be a reminder of where I came from and a symbol of my strength. Somehow there was comfort in the pain.
In every story there is the darkness. The low points. The hardships. The really shitty periods we all go through. I was in it. Thick.
Heartbreak slows things down. For several weeks I had the feeling of someone sitting on my chest, and I had never known anxiety expressed in that way until then. Things don’t matter when your whole world collapses. For me, life stopped.
But then a best friend comes and whisks you away to a town on the water with hot food, cold drinks, massages, psychic readings, stars and spas. Or your friends, your dad, your sister, mom and niece, they all show up unannounced at different times on your front porch with coffee and concern. And your dog nudges you to walk her, and so you’re out under the sky and the trees all wave and say hello and you start to see the world coming back into focus. You remember what normal feels like, just a bit, though your normal will never quite be the same again.
The version of you and the version of life that you were living no longer exist. There is deep pain in that loss, but then eventually there is a great realization: that you can now go see about other versions of yourself. This is when the door opens up with possibility and opportunity and excitement. You might even run off to a tropical island with a new lover.
“However long the night, the dawn will break” goes the African proverb. And true it is. Eventually the darkness fades and the light shines and life becomes often times better than it was before. That’s what those fractures do.
My world needed to fracture open a bit. And it did. All the pieces of my self fell to the floor like jagged shards of glass. Some tiny and some large. And I got to go through each piece and look at it closely and think about if I still needed it. I was able to reassemble my self, something that I hadn’t realized I was so desperately needing. I welcomed the warmth and the light into all the far and forgotten reaches of my being.
I like to think that nature takes care of us in this way. Sometimes we just gotta hold on and sit back and loosen our tense muscles and give ourselves over to something else. Let go. More than ever before, I have started giving myself over to faith in nature and balance and truth. For a neurotic control-freak, it’s been liberating as hell.
I don’t know why this is happening right now, but it is, and I am open to it.
It has been eight months since life as I knew it completely turned into something else unexpectedly. I trusted it, and I went with its flow. Even when it was painful and scary, I just moved onto my back to float, looking up at the great expanse of space through puffy eyes and salty tears, and I let my self be carried in whatever direction this flowing river of life wanted to take me.
The air is different here. In this place now. My world is ripe.
At any given moment, there are some of us in the depths of despair, some of us on the peaks of life and still others scattered somewhere in between. I am aware that now I am in a good place, but I am not naïve to believe it is everlasting. There will be loss. There will be pain. There will be lows and there will be blows. When they come, as they will, I will be okay.