My entire life it seems that I have struggled with feelings of not belonging. What does home mean? Is it a comfortably worn sweater? A blanket on a cold day? A cup of hot tea? A warm embrace? A loving kiss? Maybe it’s all of these things. Maybe it’s none. What I do know is that as beautiful as these moments are, they are fleeting. What am I left with once they are gone? Myself. Is that enough?
My entire life has consisted of searching for myself. I looked for myself in others, adapting and conforming to fit in. I sought solace in the arms of others, allowing abuse in many forms just to be able to belong in some way, in any way. I’ve allowed myself to shrink so that others could shine. My ability to give has been so grand that it has left me ripped into shreds. Broken, wounded, seeping pain and disgust.
And yet on weak knees, time after time I continued to stand. Attempting to pick up the pieces lost along the way, I continued on my journey. Searching, seeking something, anything that made sense. Anything that would bring me back home, to my true self. Guided by my unwavering belief in there being something bigger than me that existed. That this thing we call life and all of the heartache that comes along with it is for a reason. I just needed to find out what it was.
Yet how do you find something that you never knew you had to begin with? How does one return to self when all you know is what has been told to you? When all you have to go on is the reality that you’ve created based on other people’s ideas of what is true, what is fair, what is right and wrong. And yet still I resisted. Because deep in the core of my soul I knew there was another way. My soul burning to be released, to be free from the anguish of the never-ending row of boxes that you are shoved into from birth. Oh how I resisted.
You said this? Ok, I’m going to say that. You like this? I’m going to like the opposite just to spite you. You want me to go there? I’ll stay here. And yet for each time I did resist, there were hundreds of times that I did not. The countless times I did not speak up when I wanted to. When I moved to create space for others. When I saw, said, experienced moments of injustice not only for myself but others and I simply allowed.
Do you know what that does to a person? How that eats them up inside? How each time that happens is like swallowing thick bile that sits at the core of your stomach that continues to pile up over the years to the point where you physically can’t get sick no matter how much you try. I am, if nothing else, a master at repressing for look at how well I’ve kept it shoved down. That even when given the many opportunities to release it, even when I’ve begged to release it, it remains there. Stuck within the deep recesses of my being. The bile that wants to be released in any way possible. But don’t worry, it has found a more creative way to be released.
As anger. As fear. As hurtful words that I’ve spat towards others. At pressures I’ve placed on my oldest to conform, to do well, to “succeed.” It’s been released as feelings of unworthiness. Of comparison. Of scarcity. See this way of releasing is okay though, is it not? We say some mean things and apologize. All is forgotten, right? We have a moment of fear and then it passes. That means it’s gone, no? Is this not how we as a society deal with our “negative” emotions? Is this not normal? Is this not acceptable?
Ha. No, not really. Not ever. Because see I feel this thick, sticky bile as it moves through my veins. For it has been a part of me for so long that we have become good friends, and not in the "I love you" sort of way. And when the moment is right, it attacks so swiftly that it actually is me. Is it not? I am the one who said/did/experienced the thing so it has to be me, right? But how sneaky it is. For this darkness has gotten so good that I would never pause to think that it was anything but whatever was presenting itself on the outside at that moment. And just as quickly as it attacks, it retreats. Returning to the depths of my soul. Awaiting it’s next attack.
Meanwhile I leave in my path the wounded souls of the numerous beings I have hurt along the way. Of random strangers who caught me on a bad day. Of those I have claimed to love. Who knew that to love me also meant being willing to be hurt by me. To open yourself up time and time again to my pain, my suffering. How many times have I passed along my pain to you and masked it as your own? Oh how I wish I could remove each and every scar I have made my mark on. I am sorry.
Please know that this is not yours to carry. It never was. It is my darkness to own, to carry and to overcome. And I’m onto it now. I know better. And while there’s still a lot of mess to clean up, I have created a bit of space. Space that allows me to breathe a bit better. Space that allows me to see a bit more clearly. And while I feel in some ways there will always be a bit of it I carry, my hope is that one day it will no longer be this thing that overcomes me but rather one that I welcome like an old friend, before seeing it through the exit.