A number of weeks have passed since the unfortunate shattering of my pulmonary assemblage.
You’ll be glad to know that I’ve deemed this life occurrence the emotional equivalent of the Quarter Quell (if you don’t know what the Q^2 is, we’ve got issues (you more than me at this point (and that’s saying a lot))).
Heartache is a funny animal, you know. You turn it over in your hands every morning and you’re not really sure what to do with it. It’s like a random object in your home that you can’t really figure out the use for.
It’s heavy and awkward and constantly in your way; it shows up randomly and startles your daily progression. You throw open doors excitedly, only to find with great disappointment that it’s here, too; filling up the entire room you figured as safe and free of internal rattling.
You bump into it, you stumble over it. And, reluctantly, you lay down in bed with it nightly, letting it lean up against you in your sleep.
At some point, though, you stop being surprised by it. You walk into rooms and it’s a familiar and oddly comforting detail in the decor. You start finding the right footholds so when you have to navigate over it, the process isn’t such a clumsy one. You study its complexities and get to know its intricacies, and at night, when it comes to find you, you make room for it.
There’s comfort in eventually owning your hurt.
Another of life’s oddities. Weird, but true.
In the past I’ve dealt with these situations in a variety of fun and adventurous ways. None of which were healthy, or intelligent, or, really, fun and adventurous. I filled the gaping hole in my heart with the cheapest and quickest materials I could find and, as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for.
This time was different, though. A completely atypical hole. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never felt anything like it. And to be completely honest, I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to do with it.
So, I slept.
And when I couldn’t sleep anymore, I started going to church.
And herein came the shovelfuls of heart-filler.
And now we have on our hands an outright addiction to all things God-related.
(I apologize to the gag reflexes of all who have been exposed to my frequent and transparent status updates. You have to understand, though, Social Media is now an honorary and integral member of the 5 (7?) Stages of Grief. It’s wedged right in there between vodka and strange men. And, let’s face it, it’s the least detrimental for all parties involved (maybe))
The other night I went to a service on forgiveness.
Forgiveness is one of those words in the English language that falls flat. It’s a trite sentiment. We forgive people for any number of things on a daily basis; for cutting us off in traffic, for running into us in the hallway, for interrupting our sentences. We may not open our mouths and say the words, “I forgive you,” but we’re quick to wave a hand, nod in dismissal, or toss a small smile to let them know that, overall, you are unharmed and all are free to move forward.
The issue here is that this same sentiment is expected to extend to the big hurts in life, too. And I, for one, am so incredibly bad at it.
My MO in all things related to hurt is out of sight, out of mind.
I grab the nearest broom and sweep it right under the nearest rug.
And that works.
Until you’ve been doing it for a lot of years. And then you have people over to hang out and they’re all, “why is your rug so lumpy?”
Nobody wants to be the emotional equivalent of a lumpy rug (that’s a real sentence).
So, this hurt around, I’m tearing up the carpet. And opening the doors. And shaking the whole house loose.
It’s amazing the room you find inside of yourself when you take the things you’ve been carrying and make the conscious decision to lay them down.
It’s exactly like the recent overhaul of my backyard.
My newest outlet for any expendable energy is tearing everything that lives and goes through the process of photosynthesis out of that space. I’m pretty much done and the entire thing looks like a desert land. It’s so empty.
And I love it.
Because all I can think about is what to put there next.
On nights when I have nothing to do I drive to Home Depot and I wander around the gardening department (I don’t care if you think this makes me sad and pathetic (at all)). I spend hours building huge, ornate, luscious gardens in my mind. And then I leave without purchasing anything (this is probably highly annoying to all employed in the gardening center).
I want to be very sure that whatever I decide to put inside of that space, which I’ve worked so incredibly hard to clean out, is exactly what I want inside of that space.
There’s something very peaceful and very gratifying in having that control.
I met last week with a person who is incredibly dear to my heart. And he looked at me with his big, pretty eyes and said, “you’re polishing yourself up for the opposite sex.”
And I realized, that, no. For the very first time in a very long time, I am polishing myself up for me.
And I am enjoying the novel concept of being the only person with access to any of it.
That service on forgiveness was concluded with the Pastor holding up a stone.
He asked us what exactly we’d do if someone threw it in our general direction first.
Throw it back?
Stack a wall?
Or build a bridge?
Only one of them gets you somewhere, friends.
And that’s all she wrote (for now).