“Some people think that it’s holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it’s letting go.” -Unknown
Right now nothing makes sense. There is a relentless and constant battle between my head and my heart, and I hate how misguided my heart seems to be. For many years there has been a gnashing of teeth when it comes to the battle of love between my head and my heart. Why I have loved the people I have loved so much I will never understand. How I continue to allow it to hurt me is beyond comprehension. Hating him hurts me. Loving him hurts me. And standing in the middle is crippling me. I literally gave away every single piece of me and I’m now realizing how hard it is not only to get those pieces back, but also to somehow try to figure out how to put them back together-but differently this time because the previous organization of the pieces clearly didn’t work. I hate that my already sick heart is now so incredibly busted I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust it.
“Even the jerks earn some of our affection. We can be glad they’re gone and yet still mourn the good parts.” Shannon Hale
One reason this season of life is so hard is that it’s not happening because of a lack of love; it’s happening because of an over abundance of love. A love that started one-sided and unhealthy and just continued to twist and spiral itself down into the ground. A love that has killed me from the beginning and still is. I’ve chased a mirage for many years and I am now faced with a choice: keep running knowing I will likely die chasing something that can’t be caught, or accept the reality of what it is and stop running.
I have to stop running.
Love isn’t suppose to hurt this much. It’s amazing how despite all the damage and all the pain, all the lies, sleepless nights, broken promises, and shattered dreams, when the mirage shows back up, my heart instantly and instinctively wants to chase after it. My head screams, “You’re an idiot!!!” and my heart says, “Shut up!” I keep wanting to believe that someday, with enough running, enough effort, enough energy, enough love and desire, the mirage will become a tangible reality. Somehow, I will be able to catch the uncatchable. To make the dream come true. To fit the square peg into the round hole simply because I want it to fit; and I deserve to get what I want, right?
But what I really want is healthy love. Love that doesn’t hurt. Love that doesn’t cause my heart to fall out of my chest and onto the floor in front of me. Love that doesn’t squeeze my insides and make me feel like I’m suffocating. Love that edifies me. Love that sees me. Love that knows me, accepts me, holds me and doesn’t use me. Love that doesn’t need, but wants. Love that doesn’t require pieces of myself to be shaved off in order for it to fit.
I have desperately wanted something I never had for years, but I am finally accepting the fact that staying in something simply because you’ve convinced yourself that someday your love will be enough and it won’t always hurt so much is a set up. It’s not even fair or right to love someone for who you want them to be. That’s not how healthy love works. Wanting something doesn’t make it possible.
You know the saying, “Want in one hand, sh*t in the other and see which one fills up faster.” Sometimes it’s the poop hand that fills up faster than you can dump it. Believing that your desire for something is enough to make it happen is a set up for failure, pain and disappointment.
Things have happened to my heart that I may never be able to fully explain or understand. There’s more layers to this season of life and it’s consequences than I can even fathom. As soon as I begin thinking I have healed through some of them, new layers are found and I feel swallowed whole. Right now, the sadness I feel is not just because of the loss of a relationship I had; It’s sadness about the loss of a relationship I never had. I’m grieving the loss of a dream. I’m grieving the final failure of my backwards looped attempt at redemption. The wall of reality has finally been hit and it’s a colder, harder wall than I expected. I went into the relationship a bag full of broken pieces. Then one by one I put my broken pieces into his bag of broken pieces hoping somehow we’d heal each other. Now, realizing I’m in fact not God and I don’t have that kind of power or influence, I’m left with nothing but my empty bag.
I thought I needed to figure out how to get those pieces back; but maybe I’m supposed to finally let them all go.
Maybe instead of taking back my broken pieces, God has given me the opportunity to be filled and rebuilt with new pieces. Rather than continuing to try to restore myself with the old familiar busted bag of broken fragments, God just might be calling me to let it all go. He might be encouraging me, and even insisting, that I give Him the bag and the broken pieces and allow Him to do what He wants with them and to rebuild me.
Redemption is a painful but beautiful process. I feel every jagged edge of every broken piece and the extreme emptiness of my now vacant bag. That emptiness feels surprisingly heavy. Too heavy. My bleeding heart can’t carry it all, and my frustrated head is tired of trying.
The time has come to let it go.
I have learned that we do the things we do because at the time, it’s all we know to do. We run to old things for comfort even when they are killing us just because at least that form of death is familiar. God is calling me out of that familiar death and into an unfamiliar, even uncomfortable life. An abundant, beautiful life.
I’ve never allowed myself the gift of sitting in this place of simultaneously feeling everything and feeling nothing. I’ve always filled the empty bag with the same broken, painful, stabbing pieces because it’s who I thought I was. Those jagged edges have changed me, and I am no longer the same person I was. Those pieces no longer fit.
I still don’t know who the hell I am, but I know it’s time for new pieces, and I know God is the only one who knows what they are. While I hate this place, I’m grateful for it because pushing through this pain is strengthening me beyond anything I think I can even understand right now.
“The shattering of a heart when being broken is the loudest quiet ever.” Carroll Bryant
I am going to sit in the deafening quiet of this painful, beautiful place and force myself to allow God to do what He needs to do with it all. I am going to ask God to keep me in this discomfort until I stop fighting it and am able to walk away from it whole, healed, refreshed and redeemed. I am going to open my clenched fists; lift up my frail, tired arms; and hand God my bruised, bleeding, misguided heart trusting that He will hold me until He can set me free, completely mended and reconciled to Him through His perfect love; the only true and perfect love there is.