Funny how that I remember pieces of these words, after writing about all the broken pieces of me, and I find the blog I wrote twelve years ago and it reads as if it was something I wrote today. Only I didn’t. It makes me wonder. Was I that full of insight and hope back then to have the foresight to know that more than a decade later I’d need these words now more than ever? Or am I truly that broken that over a decade later, I’m rereading these words because I keep reliving my past over and over and over again and somehow keep ending up back where I started?
I’m guessing it’s a combination of both, though likely more of the latter than the former, much to my dismay. I thought I was past this, but I am also learning to be kinder to myself and forgive myself because growth is hard. I listen to words I am saying to a friend through troubled times, and it’s forcing me to do the same for myself. I can’t very well tell her to be kinder to herself, to let people in, people want to help and be there for you – and then ignore those very same words for myself.
You see, people leave. Everyone I have ever loved has always left me so when I start falling for someone or caring for someone, I cling on too hard until I panic, push them away, and then remind myself this is how it always ends anyway and what I always expect. Only it shouldn’t be. There are people showing up in my life these days that believe it to be different. That I believe are different and truly will be there for me. And I keep reminding myself the same words I wrote earlier this week on here and earlier this summer in my journal –
“Stop falling for people who mirror the skeletons of your past.
Start falling for the person who shows up and sees your soul.”
Easier said than done, I’m learning. Also, it helps if you can figure out who is ACTUALLY showing up for you and seeing your soul rather than showing up for you to fill their hero complex and saturate their own need for belonging and filling their own abandonment wounds. I have plenty of my own, I don’t need to bleed into someone else’s or have them bleed into mine, even when their intentions are good. I can see that now, but it took me a while.
I am finding myself again (again), more than I ever did when the blog below was originally written, and certainly more so than when the quote in there about being softer than stone and stronger than ashes was written another decade before that.
In finding myself, I am again remembering that I actually DO like to be alone. Not all the time, no, and not to be abandoned to be alone. But that I like time alone to myself. Hiking in the woods with the dogs, riding my horse around the forest by myself. No reception, no cell phone buzzing, no one to track me, no one to see other than the occasional passerby as I weave through the campground and back out into the forest. Just me. And you know what I’m learning? That IS enough. And if it’s not enough for someone when I am whole, or because I am working towards becoming whole, and it’s only enough when I am broken and someone needs to help put me back together, I am also learning that means it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with whatever wounds of their own past they are trying to fill.
This is where I bow out gracefully. Not that I don’t love you – I do and will always always be there for you – but this is also where I need to hold those healthy boundaries. You have no idea what you are getting into. You have no idea the damage you can do inadvertently. I already did some damage that I apologized for, because I wasn’t in a clear mindset to see above the water that was drowning me. I am sorry for that. And I thank you for being there for me through that. And there will be times I still need you, your wraparound hugs, your home cooking, your random calls or texts so we can laugh and joke and build on this amazing friendship we all have.
That’s where it ends though – we cannot rebuild ourselves when all we do is rebuild each other. We HAVE to rebuild ourselves from the inside out otherwise all we’ll ever be is broken. I am not broken anymore. Sure, there are still all the broken pieces, but all of those pieces are coming together in a kaleidoscope and even more so now, I am seeing how it’s not just magic those broken pieces of me bring to my life, they actually shine and sparkle and reflect all this incredible broken beauty that has become so much more that it’s even able to inspire friends. I don’t want someone – anyone – in my life because I asked them over and over and over to be. I want people in my life because they love being here, they love the magic we all make together, the laughter and the smiles, the hugs that wipe away the tears, the dreams we share with each other and how we support each other even when the things we want are completely different.
I may not be in quite the right mindset just yet to be fully ready to open up to someone in my life in the way I say I’ve always dreamed of. But I can promise you that where I am today is absolutely light years away from where I was twelve years ago when I wrote these words below, and galaxies away from when I first penned about those ashes. You see, I already have a heart that is softer than stone and stronger than the ashes of the greatest love lost. I always have, because I haven’t even come close to finding that love yet and at the same time I am surrounded by all these great souls I have known for so many lives that I am so blessed to keep finding and sharing life with.
As for you, my friend, you will be okay. I promise. Both of you. And I’ll be here to help because I’ve finally found me and I’m just getting better. As it turns out, a soft heart is far stronger than one wrapped in barbed wire after all.
_______ original blog “finding me” from May 10, 2010 below ______________
in these past weeks, months, really almost this entire year i’ve spent so much time being lost trying to figure out which way to go, which way was up, and where to go from here that i lost myself almost entirely. it’s high time i got back to being me – and making some changes for the better, and that’s exactly what i have been focused on doing these days, and it’s definitely what i’ve needed. i need to find me, and in doing so there were things i needed to realize in order to grow and in order to know that i could be me while still growing and moving forward and trusting myself and having faith and hope and all those things i claimed to believe in all the while standing here ever the cynic running away at the first sign of emotion or commitment to anything other than pure and whole independence. no, that’s not who i want to be. it is time for me to move forward and find myself not just in the here and now, but in the who i want to become, and just how i am going to get there.
i got to spend hours catching up with an old friend today and it made me realize a few things. despite her being the one fighting with illness, it was she who inspired me. it made me smile, realize how much i miss her, and realize how much more there is to life that we all too often forget. it made me see that there are far too many people we waste our time on that are not worth it. it made me realize that there are people that i have not given enough of my time to that certainly deserve more, that i want to give more time to, and that i want to be a bigger part of my life. it made me grateful once again for the true friends that i do have in my life, who will be there for me through thick and thin. and it made me realize that no matter how many lives we have had, or will have, that right now this life is what matters and time is such an absolutely incredible precious commodity.
i’ve had my heart broken before, this life. and i’ve spent many many lives alone and content with that. yet this time something seems to have changed. perhaps something broke in me when i wrote these words in what seems so many years ago but still hurts like yesterday –
“All the while knowing that I may never get closure or a resolution, that he may choose to just go on with his life and never say another word to me, never give me a yes or no, all or nothing, and just drift along in the purgatory I am in now until the fates have felt that I have paid my penance and this cloak of unknowing distraught lifts and I am able to look up again, look forward, and eventually be capable of having a heart that is made from something softer than stone and stronger than the ashes of the greatest love lost.”
perhaps my heart is too broken from that to ever truly recover no matter how much i will it so. perhaps there has been enough in the way of the passing of time. and perhaps the more questions i ask, the less close i am to an answer for i’m simply doing what i always do – taking up time overthinking at every turn to avoid the truth of the matter – how i feel. who i am. how i love.
a friend once shared this great quote with me and this coupled with the stark realization of the long term isolation of my existence in the way of love really shook me to my core.
«Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it…It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.»
— Erica Jong
what true, wise words, that are sometimes so hard to comprehend yet there is no overthinking to be done. it’s all there – laid out right in front of me. if i don’t risk anything, i risk even more. and it seems like that’s what i’ve been doing for days, for lives. never truly stopping to find me, defining me as solely the independent isolated me who fills her time with friends and social events so as not to ever have to stop and see and feel how alone independent really can be. it reminds me of another quote still –
«It’s a dead end to create scenarios fueled by what your life might have been like if only this or that happened differently. Using your imagination, reach across the barrier of time and bring something you can use from your past into the present moment. Remember, change can only happen in the here and now.»
so very much something that i need to remember. for all that we can see the past, it is of no use to us if we refuse to learn from it. so learn i must. it is time for me to move forward, with or without that old heart that was stone, over the ashes of love from the past that have long since been blown away by the winds of change. i need to find me, because if i never do that, i can never find love, or life for all that it has to offer. and i refuse to be that person that never took that risk all because my heart broke and i never trusted myself enough to put it back together to give to someone even better.
i don’t want to be perfect. quite the contrary, i know i’m far from it. i just want to be perfect for you. i want to learn that love is okay and not only a means for pain, but rather a means for some of the greatest things this life has to offer. i want to rise above my past, not bury myself in it. i want to move forward and see that independent doesn’t need to equal isolated any more. i want to find me – all of me – my heart wrapped in barbed wire with its halo and angel wings included. i want to fly. i want to love. i want to live. i do believe i have this in me, though it’s been many years since i have believed it to be true. that’s different now. i’m different now. i’m thinking more, but less all at the same time. i’m trusting myself again. and for the first time in a long time, i’m opening myself up emotionally to someone in a way that i forgot what it meant to be vulnerable. yet i am right now, and i am not running. i am not holding my breath. i am still learning. i am still growing. and i am still finding me.
right here. right now. just me.