I’ve been on the run.
Fear has kept my words within so that whenever I’ve stepped to the page to empty myself, I hold tighter to the woman I’ve fought to become, more than the woman I’m becoming after that. I’ve wandered halls at work and taken the long way home because I’ve wanted to savor a little more of the days wonders before getting back to work.
Life is still good.
Life is so good.
It has been for some time now. Yet that fear still remained and clung like static to fabric fresh out of the dryer. I’ve read and written and photographed and listened, to try and understand it better but I don’t know that it’s among the things to be understood.
This year I’ve done things that I never thought I could or would do and yet it’s not the things I’ve done that stand out the most in my mind. It is how my heart stayed open despite all of the reasons I had been given to otherwise keep it closed tightly. I never thought that I could stay open, because so little of me believed that good things happen from that place too.
What the past year has taught me is so much more than achievements or accolades but that there really is a choice we have, to stay open or closed. It’s why writing here has been so challenging, because each time I’ve attempted to sit down and write, I would feel the light entering my heart through the cracks and wanted to savor instead of empty out the way its slivers reflected within.
I wasn’t ready yet.
I remember walking the halls where I work, the building emptying early on Fridays, with the summer light still shining well after 7pm. I thought to myself, “Maybe I’m just not meant to “get it” when it comes to relationships and some friendships too. Maybe those things aren’t meant for me,” and instead of picking up the pain and analyzing it away as I’ve usually done, I put it back down. This wasn’t just any ordinary pain. It wasn’t extraordinary pain, either, but instead it was the beginning of a belief and my mind was trying to piece together evidence. I did something extraordinary with it for me: I just let it be.
I found other things to occupy my time and let life unfold and the pains along with it. It was easier to stay closed than genuinely believe in the good that might come to me because trusting that good people and good things happen was far scarier than believing that if they did it would just be a nice thing that happened on the way.
While the sun rose quietly with the steam from my coffee and woke the thick August heat along with it, I found myself asking often, whether or not this is what the hardening of hearts feels like.
Is this how it feels?
I often wondered of those moments, whether or not the the silence following that question said, “Yes. This is where it starts and this is how it begins.”
The truth is that we will never be more alive than we are right now.
We will never be more put together or broken. And no matter how we categorize ourselves as either a stunning puzzle or shattered glass, we don’t get anything other than this moment.
I could list the handfuls of examples and the litany of those who graced my path to teach me how to stay open. Instead I’ll just say that if last summer was about the breaking down and the burning away what was no longer needed, then this one was about holding the doors to my heart open; Not for romance, but for the understanding and experience of waking up surrounded by so much beauty.
This was the summer of staying open and spending more time listening than talking over my fears. There were far fewer fancy outings and almost every weekend I spent surrounded by thickets of trees and lush greens. Though the season brought me to the green and tried to make new, the old and cynical parts of me, I’m still brought back to my original point.
I was on the run.
I understand well that we don’t arrive at some sense of completion about ourselves and tell pain that we’re calling it a day. It’s quite the opposite because there are no guarantees and standing on the sidelines of life while waiting for it to promise not to hurt is indicative of how much we’re missing the point. The truth though, is that if it hurts, it means that what’s happening was important and nothing more.
Most importantly though, if it hurts, chances are we arrived at life beautifully in the first place.
It means we stood with open arms and our hearts somewhere on our sleeves rather than tucked away gathering dust. And in each moment we have that choice.
If this is the most alive or dead we will ever be and if this moment is all that we will ever get, what if we chose to stay open knowing that in equal parts and proportions, there will be pain but there will be so much more beauty; There will be so much more love.
That is in fact, why we get stuck in a loop that states otherwise.
It reminds us that we don’t have to run because the best things that happen, which sometimes become the worst, were not born from the closure of our hearts or the erasure of the belief that good things can still happen.
They came to us because we trusted that something amazing was about to happen.
Amazing things are happening all the time if we can stand for one more minute to believe it.
On The Wings of Miracles,