you will.

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I think I often straddle the line of what I see as heartbreaking and what is beautiful.

Maybe I can dip my toes into both lakes because I know they always meet somewhere down the line. We are always in that meeting place. Of heaviness and both light that swirls infinitely between all of us.

We are the beautiful and heartbroken things. I see it more so, all of the time. The truth is I’ve been raw to it my whole life. Inflamed and swollen and exposed like a nerve. It’s taken me a lot of time to wrap myself in them good things. I keep them tight against my chest so I can feel them when I breathe; up and down.

Being single, officially, longer than I was in a relationship weighs heavy. Why I often weigh things in time is something I’ve developed over the years. All in all, I am so thankful for what I’ve learned in the chaos and in the calm.

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I think I wanted to write this to one person. It might actually be more than one. But they say to write to one person. So here it goes.

I have this card on my fridge from a friend that says ‘Your heart is the size of an ocean” — which seems like something that you’d get stitched on a pillow from the Hallmark store, but actually is a quote from Rumi. He’s probably one of your favorites, too.

But it is. And it is what I often want to grab you by the face and scream so that it finds its way into your heart so you know and so that you’ll know forever. The world is not always angry and misunderstanding. And that so much is birthed from pain. The world was created by melting rocks and hell and only became something beautiful because of time and pressure.

It’s geology. That’s really how we tell things are ground down with different pressures like winds and rains and the inevitable meeting of two souls who have moved and changed.

Your life is in fact valuable and grows more valuable by the day!

Your wounds won’t heal all the way. Most don’t. But don’t let it stop you from moving forward and living your days with intention and love and the power that rumbles in your belly.

It is the hardest thing you will do.

But like the earth you will moan and heat and cool. You will expand and host a world of thoughts and adventure:

5Ks and stiff drinks. Cheese fries and kids falling asleep sweaty on your lap.

You will wake up and breathe again.

And the knot in your stomach will dissolve.

I know it will.

And I know you will.

You will wake up and breathe again.

 

Word of the Day

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Today I want to talk about words.

I suppose one word in particular.

At the beginning of everything, the word “divorce” was terrifying. In my mind, I saw scenes of a courtroom. Both sides are furiously throwing around passive aggressive statements. There’s the scene of the dad (or mom) with all of their things taking off down the road, while the kids are left waving goodbye. And this is a story more often true, than not.

Divorce conjures up a lot of imagery. A lot of it is painful from my past, and my present.

I guess to say it out loud takes a lot of work. People generally start out with “separation” and “splitting” and eventually get into that nasty word.

Divorce.

A huge separation of life and spirit.

It sounds a bit violent to me. Unfortunately, it is the word we have deemed necessary with the action.

I’m sure it derives from something in Latin. I’m sure I could just google it, but I’m not.

I’m writing all of this because I wish I could’ve read something like it when I was going through everything. Well, I still am, actually.

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Those of you who read this blog often know that I started writing about my pain almost instantly. There wasn’t any way around the fact that I was going through a very hard time. At one point, I just had to say it out loud, “I’m going through a divorce.”

And that was all it took to have everything come falling in on me. It’s such a sad word. Don’t let me take anything away from the seriousness of this decision. These things are important. The weight of words are important. But I wanted to take a minute to explore its weight.

Divorces are not all the same. Kids, no kids. Some both agree it is for the best. Some are knock down, drag outs. And some have to deal with money and property.

Whatever you’re going through, try not to lump yourself into something you can’t grasp. It is a very personal thing, but don’t hold it in. I’m not saying be proud of it, but if it’s a word that’s making you sick, take it out and examine it.

You and your partner are getting a divorce.

If I could have talked to myself eight months ago, this is what I would have said:

Let me be the first to say how sorry I am.

I will not give you a silver lining to look towards, because they are temporary.

How are your finances? Are you okay with bills? How can I help you in this transition? Who’s feeding you and are you taking care of yourself?

If you want me to, let me sit beside you in the darkness and I will listen to the parts of your pain.

I can tell you that things will get better with time, but you don’t want to hear that either. You know things will get better. But right now, you’re really hurting.

AND NO ONE HAS HURT WORSE THAN YOU AT THIS POINT.

No one in history knows your pain. And you are right. We are wrong.

Your pain IS unique. There are lots of variables and emotions that we all have to embrace.

People will be there for you, and then they won’t. And then they will. They have their own lives and their own battles, but it doesn’t mean they’ve also abandoned you. Your community is trying to figure out how to handle this as well. Have a bit of grace with them, especially if we are young and inexperienced with these tough things.

Let me buy you a drink.

But I’m going to make sure you don’t get out of control, and know that some nights, taking the edge off helps you to sleep better.

It’s going to take a while, and I’m sorry.

You are going to come out of it so much stronger. So much wiser.

But then, sometimes, it will hit you like a wave and you will have trouble getting out of your pajamas.

Let’s go get a cheeseburger.

You are loved and thought about. You are going to wake up tomorrow. It’ll still probably sting. But each day is a new way to process your pain, and you will. You will move and grow and change. You will be capable of such a deep love that the idea of having it again will excite you.

And some days, you will also imagine what it would be like if you were alone the rest of your life.

There’s no best way to go about these sorts of things.
If it seems like you need to do something hard and emotional for the sake of clarity and forward motion, DO IT. Your throat will get tight and your belly will burn, but it will make you stronger and softer.

The truth is, your story can go anywhere.

And this is me not giving you a false hope, but only to open your heart up again. Because you are needed in this world. And we want you to add to our lives just like you did when you were married. We want you to spend time with our kids and cook food for us and go out to get a drink, even if you are a third wheel. Trust me, the married folks you hang with will love on you. It will change, but they will, with time, love on you.

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You are not damaged goods. We are all damaged goods.

But we are good.

And the piece of earth that shattered under your feet will be bumpy and raw for a while, but things will still grow. Greener. Taller. Deeper into the earth, through the cracks that will always be there.

Be free of God’s judgement and the judgement of your family and peers that watched you get married. You did not fail.

Go easy on yourself.

Accept the love people want to give you.

Go with what feels safe in certain times. If you are cautious about something or someone, give it some time. Because you will have opportunities to fulfill your needs, and with time, it will all become more clear.

Yes time, as much as you hear people telling you, will indeed heal a lot of things. You will still feel pain, but the sting becomes less and you become more.

And that’s the truth.

But for now, take it easy on yourself.

Use that scary word when you need to because it will get smaller and smaller.

It is a part of your story now, in a way you never thought it would.

You my friend, are resilient and the world needs you.

You my friend, are endless.

 

survival.

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I’ve been trying something lately, with my writing.

I’ve been letting it sit. So often, I write with abandon. In the moment. A lot of times, it’s good. Sometimes, I think, “Dude, you need to chill out!”

And for this week, I’ve written at least five different posts. Either I’ll save them for a rainy day (which is coming much more often here) or I’ll trash them or stick them in my angst file. I realize, that sometimes the things that make sense in my head do so given a certain context. They don’t often translate that well when I read them, say, twelve hours later.

Lately, I’ve been clinging to single words.

Virtues, and such.

Words like: goodness, strong, fierce, Love, forgiveness.

And something I’ve been holding on to much closer:

survival.

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I know that seems kind of dramatic. What am I trying to survive from?

Well, everything.
My life has been turned on its head.

When this happens, you grab aimlessly at things that make you feel better. Food. Alcohol. Mindless self indulgence.
And they work. Really well. For a little while.

What I’m coming to learn is that alcohol makes me sort of sad. And keeping my mind busy, is helpful when it’s about constructive things. And food? Well, I’m working it out. To say this is the season of the cheeseburger, might be an understatement. Fair enough.

Usually what I need, is to dull the edge. I wrack my brain, trying to not think about sh*t that has hit, is hitting, and will hit the fan. (Oh verbs, how I love you. I think if I were a verb, I’d like to be a helping verb.)

And on the horizon of all this, is an image. Something I recently saw. A poster by a local artist in which the word, “Survive” is embedded deep in a storm. On the horizon, you see the sun breaking through. For me, right now, imagery is huge. I’m rebuilding my writing desk with such things.

You do what you gotta do to make it through those storms.

But stand back, and look at yourself, if you can. Think about all those other times you weathered more than you thought you could handle.

When I say survival, sometimes I conjure up images of those Discovery Channel dudes, or Tom Hanks in “Cast Away”. In which case, neither of those people are actually needing to survive all that efficiently, considering there are cameras.

Then, there’s the real stuff. Folks with addiction, depression, loneliness, poverty.

The stuff you really have to dig deep to get out of. The things that take a village to change. Thinking you can change any of this by yourself is asking for too much.

To survive, you need others.

You need love, and forgiveness.

You need to fight.

You can never give up.

So to those out there, who feel like they are surviving, whether it’s relational, physical or financial, hold fast!

You are so much stronger than you think.

When your world collapses on you, remember this,

you are strong,

you are good,

you are fierce,

and you will, without a doubt,

survive.