” The deeper that sorrow engraves into your being, the more joy you can contain .”
Kahlil Gibran said that, and yet for so long I played hide-and-go-seek with ache. By avoiding tough talks, keeping my heart closed off, and trying to please others, I thought I could avoid the raw ache that life could bring.
Vulnerability? I’d rather just bite my tongue for as long as it takes for this awkward moment “re going away”, thanks.
( Sneaky trick: I’ll try a subject change:” The climate is pretty great today, hey ?”)
Feelings? All good! I’m fine. I’ll only place this pain in my gut for a bit, ignore it and then when I feel like shit I’ll pop some pills when I’m feeling sick!
( Lesson learned: Fears are lazy tenants you’ll need to evict .)
Love? I don’t want to drown so I’ll just dip my toes in, conceal my feelings, find a simple way to explain the ache as I lay awake telling more fibs.
( Spoiler alert: That’s not how love works .)
We can try and run away from ache and ache, but here’s the thing: Life is the undisputed champion of hide-and-go-seek. You can hide from hurt, but it’ll find you the working day. You can run away to the basement of your brain, encompass yourself in lies and disguise, even glue a fake smile on your face, but it won’t work forever. Life will find you, tired and depleted from trying to be something you’ll never be: Invincible. Invisible. Perfect.
Besides, pretending is utterly exhausting.
I repeat: Feign is depleting, and when we are tired, we get stressed, we smile less, we have less fun, we construct worse choices, and our dreamings come undone.
Do you see how this could be a bad situation?
Do you see how you can never win with false aims?
Do you see how you can never be anything better than truly yourself?
The world will rip you apart regardless of your armor, and life will see through you no matter the makeup or excuses. In spite of our defenses, we are ultimately defenseless.
That’s what builds us human.
That’s what makes us free.
That’s what stimulates us real.
For too long, I sought to stay small, get out of pain’s way, and avoid and deflect any threats to my comfort. I liked my bubble. It felt nice , normal. I was safe there but I was so scared of getting hurt that I forgot that life involves danger. I forgot that who I am is exactly what I missed when I was trying to find answers in alcohol, books, and to-do lists.
I’ve since stopped trying to avoid getting cut by life as I’ve realise there is no running away from feelings , no long-term route to successfully conceal my heart from the world.
Now I focus on mending quick, to process ache, extract the lesson, and is putting forward faster.
I let it bleed, let it heal, and let it be.
That’s my new objective: Scar faster than before.
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