Finding Everything You Need In A Broken Heart
I felt a sting of selfishness stab into me for a long time, knowing that I'm not satisfied with merely being "happy" in life.
What kind of ungrateful being was I, to be blessed with a job I love, a caring family, supportive friends, and still feel like something so dark and empty hid within me? I felt worthless, pathetic, unappeasable. How could I ever feel complete joy if being merely "happy" in a moment was not enough for my greedy heart?
It didn't make any sense to me. I'm compassionate and considerate, naturally optimistic and ambitious, so why couldn't my thirst for life be quenched as others' were?
My thoughts cycled obsessively through everything I had to be thankful for. I tried to find the void, tried to pinpoint what aspect of my life I was holding onto that no longer served me, that stressed me out unnecessarily, or that held me back even though I was blind to its identity.
Everything I analyzed about my life seemed as lovely as I could have imagined. But still, something screamed for me, something far away and so foreign I couldn't make it out.
Something big I was missing. I always have this feeling like there is something big I am missing.
I felt like a phony, preaching a life of peace and love, and yet not feeling satisfied with any of it. What was so wrong with me that I needed more than what I already had?
The other day I was filling up my new water bottle at the fountain at work. Nothing at all out of the ordinary, nothing significant, no epiphanies just waiting to happen. But again, I was wrong.
My thoughts were open and accepting for no other reason than I was completely in the moment. But then as my mind drifted back to the conundrum at hand, a new and glorious pathway in my mind cracked wide open.
What I need is not merely a happy life, but a deep and meaningful one, full of ups and downs, both exploding bliss and crippling heartache. I need more than just moments of "okay," neutrals and barely recognizable feelings.
I am not selfish for wanting more than contentment or even joy. I am not naive for thinking there could be more to life than settling and feeling twinges of happiness, and I am no longer ashamed of myself to admit it.
We try to protect ourselves, at any cost. We are human. We are full of emotions and ideas, hopes and dreams and fears and dread. When we ignore our deep moments of sorrow, we are ignoring half of ourselves. That sorrow belongs to you, just for that moment, and something awful happens to all of us when we try to deny any part of ourselves.
We feel weak. We feel unworthy, unfit, unimportant.
Because we are not expressing the full completeness of who we are.
We let our egos hold onto so many defenses to desperately save us from future pain, because we know what it means to feel f*cking hurt. It tears down our realities, stomps on them and forces us to accept that change is going to happen, and it's going to happen often. Many of us hate change, because we hate being wrong and we hate being thrown into unknown pits of What Ifs.
But without change, we are stagnant, we are lifeless.
Once upon a time, that idea of change brought you new achievements, new relationships, maybe a new home, a spouse, children. Without change, our lives could never hope to feel any richer than we do right now.
It's true that when we ignore change, we can attempt to ignore our pangs of pain and heartache as well.
But finally I've learned, heartache keeps me alive. It keeps me compassionate, loving. It keeps me growing and reaching for experiences I would have been too terrified to ever let myself know otherwise. It reminds me that I am strong.
It keeps me deeply immersed in the moment, the only place where our lives truly exist. We can struggle to hold onto everything good that flows through our path, and we can struggle to turn away everything that might cause an upset, but this is not reality, and it will always catch up with us.
It took me years to realize how deeply I was burying everything I felt too weak or afraid to handle. Now, it's taking me years again to feel connected to my life. But every time I allow a painful experience to resonate as I would a joyful one, I begin to feel again. Moments of connectivity are becoming stronger as I let my life unfold instead of gritting my teeth and trying to pry it open my own stubborn way.
Many losses, tragic deaths, toxic relationships, screamingly lonely nights, and bullied emotions later, I can see the damage I have done to my heart by caging it. Now when I see others do the same, it sends a spear through my chest unlike any of my own suffering can.
It takes strength to join this abundant revolution, where the darkness stirs within you and scratches at the locked doorways in your mind until you finally let them be a part of your healing.
When we accept where we are, embracing our own flawed and magical story, we see how brightly we shine even in the most unruly darkness, and we know we are doing something right.
My wish for you is that you will find happiness, but also heartache, and that you will sit with them both as glorious blessings, that we truly are alive, and we have the amazing gift of experiencing every moment of it if we let ourselves.