“I don’t believe this status quo is eternal. Life is fluid. This may be a pile of horseshit, but I swear to God, somewhere in here there’s a pony.” -Daphne Rose Kingma, The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart.
Tonight, as soon as I shut the front door behind my second ex husband and my beautiful three-year old, loneliness slammed into me with the force of a 90 mile an hour wind. Not the gusty kind, but the kind that sent me literally into a slump of sobbing, wailing, curled up wretchedness, to the couch. It had been leaking out for days and now she was gone. Everyone was gone. Now there was no excuse, save fear, to not cry and even fear wasn’t a match for this onslaught of raw emotion. I was so exposed that even alone in my living room, I worried someone would see me, or one of my older daughters would come home…and looking back now, I see that I was also worried that they would indeed come back home and I would have to stuff it down one more day. I’ve never wanted to be free of this poison inside of me this bad. I’ve never been much for purging…I’m more of a starvation type. Don’t take it in, it won’t have to come out or worse, get lodged in there someplace. My chosen eating disorder? Anorexia. Bulimia seemed so messy. So much less acceptable….Digress. I can’t keep this in any longer. It’s going to come out no matter what, no matter how long the process. And come out it did.
In my very tiny, I am without exaggeration here- 4×6 bathroom, between the vanity, the wall and the door, I let my mind get lost. I let myself go crazy. I let my tiny house hold me up on its crumbling foundation.
“It’s ok, you’re not alone. You aren’t bipolar. This isn’t your hormones or a needed trip to the ER to get back on the meds you busted your ass to get off of. This is grief. It’s ok. Let her rip.”
And I did. I screamed. I cried. There was snot and slobber and tears streaming from my face, all at the same time. There was shame, but yet not in the sad and anguished display of bodily fluids leaking from my face…Shame that I had let it go on this long. Shame at the envy and jealousy that was bubbling up and over… I began the banter with God again…
“How could you?”
“Why do you?”
“Why do all of the unconscious, and unaware people look so happy? Why am I the only one looking at my part in things? Why is my ex boyfriend running around telling lies about me and making it look like I’m the one who did the damage? Why are the people who are sleepwalking through life so god damn happy and prosperous and I’m here on the bathroom floor having a meltdown?! Why hasn’t my father called me and apologized for being such an asshole? Why couldn’t he love me? I was just a little girl! I just wanted to be special! I just want to be special…”
Insert emotional breakdown here.
I realized in that moment that I want to be special. I just kept saying it and then He was pulling me off the floor and to pen and paper. Here’s the journal entry. To clarify, ‘Everyone’ means people just like you. Not the literal sense of everyone in the world has done these things, but in the literal sense that you most definitely are not alone in your crimes against yourself and humanity. Let’s bleed this bitch out.
“I want to be special. It’s not your tragedy that will set you apart. ‘Everyone’ is tragic- just like you. Everyone has hurt or been hurt. Lied and been lied to. Cheated and been cheated on. Everyone has suffered an abuse, a crime, a death, a loss. Everyone has committed what you have. Everyone is in a prison of some sort. ‘Everyone’ is not the exception Everyone is the RULE. You are Everyone. You are not separate. It’s the ridiculous notion of separateness that got you here.
It is not your tragedy that will set you apart. You are not special because you are tragic. It will never be your tragedy that sets you apart. It will be your triumph. Everyone suffers, but few triumph- It will be your ability to obtain your freedom. It will be the way you see the world, not as separate from you, but intrinsically woven into you.
You will not heal by saying,
“I’m just like you.”
You will heal by saying,
“I am you and this is what you can do…too.”
You will lead by example. You will heal by example.
You will do what’s right, NOT to be special from everyone else, but to show everyone that they too, are special.
You will seek God. You will find yourself. And you will be found.”
I’ve cried a little more since then. It feels as though a weight were lifted…and then maybe I tried to pick it back up. I’m just sitting here on the grassy knoll, staring at the thing I’ve been carrying around in my bag of tricks…staring at the bag and wondering, how many more tricks are in there? I’ve spent so much time basing my identity on who loved me and how special I am, that I now find myself alienated. Isolated. Separate. Sitting here on the grassy knoll with my things, my tricks, my bag…and not so much afraid anymore as much as I am curious. Maybe that’s grace- when curiosity replaces our fear. When we no longer fear what’s in the bag because we know how damn heavy that thing is and there’s something to be said about a lighter load.
Some days I find myself saying, it will never end…but I know that it will and so I say it less. At some point in my life, in the last week really, I realized that there is no other alternative. I have to let go. I have to grieve. I have to come clean, reveal…That’s what God does. What love does. They don’t change you, they reveal you.
In the book, The Shack, Mac has to go a long way- emotionally and physically before Papa finally grants him reprieve from his own punishment. Mac is going to kill himself, but he falls asleep and awakes for a weekend getaway with Papa, Jesus and the Holy Spirit- oh, and the Goddess Sophia too. He doesn’t get a free pass- I see that now. He didn’t get a weekend of, ‘here’s everything you need to know to about finding inner peace and healing’. He got, ‘this is going to hurt and be wonderful all at the same time, but you can go anytime you want’. And Mack stayed.
I wanted the Big Guy to give me thunder and lightning. A crash course weekend. I’d run all over the place looking for him to give me the quick fix- even threatening to end it all if he didn’t. But, as it turns out, he just wouldn’t give me the easy way out. So I stayed. All this time I’ve been beating myself up for not being able to stay- to be present…and all along, I’ve been right here, staying. It’s a process. Not a free pass.
The Universe knows that you will not change until there is no other option and even then, you may not want to. The Universe knows that before you’re ready, any change isn’t permanent change- It’s a trial run that later you’ll look back on and wonder, why did I stray from this again? God doesn’t have to give you obstacles and tests- he gave you freedom of choice and you do enough damage with that. It is said that we may not always make the right choices, but we can always make the wrong choices, right. He just waits until you figure out that you’re making the wrong ones, points you in the right direction and waits to see what you’ll do next. That’s faith. He doesn’t control you, he has faith in you. Life doesn’t hand it to you on a silver platter- it waits for you to get up off of your ass and set the table. It’s after you stop being the tragedy that you can see the triumph.