I do not know how to exist in this world. How to be a good writer, lover, friend, human… I can so petty, that when it hits me, it knocks me ajar. Catching me off guard during the most inopportune moments – those feelings of low self-worth veiled by criticisms for others.
These feelings that live inside me confuse me, make me realize my humanity is no different, no better than anyone else’s. And that realization floors me, especially on days like this, when I so desperately want to show up a certain way and in-turn offer the opposite.
Despite what I say, I desperately want to rise above my own humanity. I want to rid myself of these petty feelings that make me feel like a trash person. I want to offer only love, compassion, support. And yet, there are moments when I grasp for these things, and instead I find resentment, jealousy, and the desire to tear down. These feelings that are destructive, malicious, nourished by pain.
Confronting my full humanity continues to jar me, makes me want to turn away, deny, distract. But nothing that cannot be faced can be dealt with, so instead I practice looking as directly as I can in the eyes of the parts of myself that make my stomach turn.
Sitting with my dark parts tears me apart inside, pulls at my heart like it might rip it into pieces. I guess this is pain? Pain internalized and calcified, old yet fresh. These are the wounds I’ve dressed with incomplete bandages time and time again. “Not today,” I’ve told them, “not right now.”
But when does the time come? When do I recognize that there will be no “perfect” moment to face the wounded children and traumatized ancestors masquerading as demons inside me? They do not need to be chastised, they need to be held, loved, comforted.
Such is the nature of life, that when we do not open ourselves to a deeper intuition, a more ancient wisdom, we miss what the world, what our own humanity is asking for from us. We forget that anger is pain, and that pain must be healed.
I do not know what I’m doing. I go to sleep uncertain, I wake up uncertain, and I stumble through life uncertain. There is so much about the internal experience of being human that does not align with my external realities. In all honesty, I’m perpetually confused by how anyone keeps it together, especially my therapist.
I forget that life is not about me, but that I am an inextricable part of life. I am everything and nothing. I am divine embodied in a pile of bones and flesh and blood. I forget that humility and grace are two sides of the same coin. I forget that living fully means having my heart broken time and time again. And each time it is repaired, I enter a new depth of loving that both excites and terrifies me.
Because I think what I really am, at the bottom of it all, is scared. Desperately terrified. And my own humanity is the hardest to confront. Because I am a reflection of all that is good and beautiful and nasty and off-putting. I cannot experience the innumerable layers of being human while cutting off the parts I don’t like.
But I don’t want to look, I think, I can’t, and so I attempt to veil my eyes with an open hand to only catch slivers of the pain and destruction that exist within and without me.
But my dear, it doesn’t work like that. You cannot divorce love from pain, happiness from sadness, loss from joy. I would tell you that I’m sorry, but I don’t know if I am. It is a hard trade-off living and experiencing life in its fullness. And it is only you who can decide if it’s worth it.
Of all the things I do not know, I do know this: when I enter the shadows and clear the cobwebs and sweep up the dust and dirt that’s accumulated over the years.. the tears come more easily, my heart throbs more fully, and I no longer have to question if I am alive.