No one ever tells you that there are so many different kinds of losses, that they all hurt equally as much. Experience does not make you immune to pain.
All these losses you have to properly grieve, so you can let them go. Losses you may have to faithfully have to come back to again and again, to grieve and re-grieve, and let go again and again.
“Grieve. So that you can be free to feel something else.” Nayyirah Waheed.
It may be the time you lost a toy you loved.
The time you lost your job.
The time you broke your favorite vase.
The time you lost a friendship.
The time you lost a father.
In all instances, it is your heart that breaks a little or a lot, again, and again.
Our heart is what is vested into these things, people, hobbies, or jobs.
What you learn is that albeit having giving all of your heart, it may not have been enough. Not because you are not enough, or your heart is not enough, but because it wasn’t what was needed. The frequencies of your energies with this thing or person were just not compatible.
Regardless, however, even if you have this realization, that this “thing” was meant to break sooner or later, the pain of loss is no lesser and something you still have to experience, and sit through. The “sitting through” being the hardest part.
I have been concentrating a lot on self-love recently and I think I am beginning to understand the multitudes of this concept. Starting with the heart. So often we put our whole hearts into something or someone, without leaving none of it for ourselves. We “sacrifice” with the excuse, that it’s “for the greater good”, but in the end cheating ourselves and the world out of the most important currency there is, love. In this way, serving no one.
A few months ago, I had “lost” something I held up to the pedestal, that it was not. I held it above my well-being and sanity. I worked it as though it was my own and gave it all of my heart, treasuring it as a mother would love a child, as a person would love something they are creating. From one day to the next, this hypothetical child was ripped out of my hands. It was out of reach and out of my grasp.
The interesting thing, intuitionally before it even happened, I had come to the realization that I was floating in a raft in murky ocean waters, that was only held by a string to the ship that I was attempting to not get ripped apart from, but would have never had the courage to let go on my own.
I have been commended on how I have “risen above” and “handled” the situation.
One can say, that was, the sink or swim scenario. You float off on your flimsy raft but your resilience is what keeps you afloat and fighting to get to shore and not drown. Brene Brown, in her new book, Rising Strong, writes, “We have no sterile business remedy for having fallen. We still need to dig into the grit of issues, like resentment, grief, and forgiveness. As neuroscientist Antonio Damasio reminds us, humans are not either thinking machines or feeling machines, but rather feeling machines that think. Just because you’re standing in your office or your classroom or your studio doesn’t mean that you can take emotion out of this process.”
There is a multitude of topics that can go into this experience, such as trust, vulnerability, courage, betrayal, as well as self worth and even self love, but that is for another day.
When you grip something so strongly, you must allow yourself time to grieve the loss of the thing. You must give yourself time to process it. You must also stand in the discomfort of the feeling of failure. “Embracing failure without acknowledging the real hurt and fear that it can cause, or the complex journey that underlies rising strong, is gold-plating grit.” (Brene Brown)
So I stand here before you, uncomfortably naked, in a literal sense, telling you that failure hurts. It’s painful. It’s the ugly part of the process that no one sees or knows but you. It makes getting out of bed painful some days. Some days, it makes going to sleep hard, because you know you’ll dream some weird, sad scenario, that will leave you feeling sad when you wake up, at best, depressed for the day, at worst.
When the initial courageous moments subside, you are left alone in the dark room to feel your way through it, metaphorically, until you reach the light.
How that is worked through you, only you may and will know. The dreams I’ve had is a way I imagine my mind is working through it. I’m sure that is how my brain is making sense of loss and grief. My heart gets to bleed it out onto the paper, to speak up about it, and I get to be vulnerable in sharing my story by writing about it. This is all not to say that I am depressed most days, I’m not, or for you to feel sorry for me. Please don’t. Countless wonderful opportunities have come into my life, for which I am beyond grateful. This is to say, that I’m still working through it. This is my “ok” to myself for having those dark moments.
Most importantly however it is my reminder, that the light is coming.
May you, in your heart, also know, that the light is coming. May you stay in the arena a moment longer than what is comfortable.
“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen. From “Light is the New Black”.