The more you open to the reality that you cannot rewrite your past and you cannot control or predict your future, the more your heart opens to the plight of being human. Inherently it’s a vulnerable undertaking and isn’t easy, especially if you’re trying to be kind, conscious and compassionate with yourself and everyone you encounter. Whatever has happened has shaped you, but it doesn’t have to define you or close you off to the possibility of joy. Whatever is coming is unknowable, but you can work on healing and knowing yourself, so the storms don’t knock you over when they come (some will no matter how much you prepare). You cannot know for certain what happens after this until you exhale for the final time. People will break your heart. Circumstances will break your heart. Let them. Hold all of that.
You can fight the groundlessness, but it will still be there. You can go down to the ocean and try to hold back the waves, too. You can allow this world, your life, your losses, your disappointments, frustrations, fear and despair to harden you. You can tell yourself other people have it easier (some do), and allow your heart to become encased in a bitter shell, but the more you toughen up against it (and aren’t we taught to do just that? Don’t cry, don’t be scared, don’t be angry), the more you also toughen yourself against joy, gratitude and the piercing yes of loving with your heart wide open. You can’t shut down the painful stuff without also closing yourself off to the incredible beauty in this world.
It actually feels good to embrace the truth of your smallness and your limitlessness. Your ability to love and to shine is what makes this life beautiful, and there’s no box, there are no circumstances that can hold you back in that regard unless you let them. It’s a relief to face both your vulnerability and your power. So many people feel alone in this thing, like they’re the only ones feeling this stuff, and everyone else is cruising along with their pithy updates and perfect glowy Instagram pictures. Everyone has grief, shame, confusion, fear and guilt. Doubt, anxiety and insecurity. Most people don’t talk about it because we’ve been taught these feelings are wrong, that they need to be dealt with and managed and hidden somewhere so as not to make other people uncomfortable. If you want to be known, seen and understood in this world, then you’re going to have to allow yourself to cry sometimes, to be scared, to be angry, to be whatever you are and to let those who are close to you see that stuff as well. If you edit out the painful parts, you’re going to feel very alone. It isn’t all going to be light.
If you want to heal yourself, and you want to support other people in their own healing process (which is how we heal the world around us, too), then you’re going to have to head toward compassion. The best way to give people permission to be fully themselves is to be fully yourself. To knock the walls down and to admit sometimes you have no f&cking idea what to do. That sometimes you fold laundry with tears streaming down your face, and your heart full of why. It’s okay, it really is. Let this world and your life break your heart wide open. It feels a lot better that way.
Sending you love,
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