I now understand how it happens that we don’t know how far we have fallen until we finally stand up. I thank all the gods that be for the series of catalysts, be they people or situations, that called me to wake up and begin changing the world I live in. If we have become slowly accustomed to giving to the point of emptiness, or living in the silence of acceptance, or allowing ourselves to become so dimly seen, then the thought of standing may be a terrifying thing. We could remain paralyzed for years, or even a lifetime by the thought of taking back the power we gave away.
We tell ourselves that it’s just this one time, these few words, this single circumstance, just this time that we have to swallow what goes down like a fist of shredded glass. We repeat to ourselves what they tell us, that love isn’t like we believe, that we are being unrealistic and unreasonable, that we should be grateful for what we have.
Now, I am all about gratitude, but that is some serious bullshit.
If we are willing to love someone with everything we have, if that is who we are, then we should hold ourselves in reserve for someone of equal courage. Love is not for the weak and spineless. Not the timeless, soul-mate, eternal kind of love. It is hard and harsh sometimes. We get burnt and mangled by the refining. We will cry and laugh and sigh from the soul. We will feel.
To do this, we must be willing to face fear, and do those necessary things anyway. We have to go to Walmart and buy ourselves a spine. We have to open our mouths and say those things, do those things, and own those things that change our world. We cannot remain in the fetal position hoping that love will find a way. For crying out loud…
We are the way.
Let me tell you what happens when you quit dissolving yourself into other people’s reality. You take steps that cause those around you to stare in fascinated horror. Then you take another that gives you even more power to work with. Then you begin to create the life you only wished for from the bottom of the mess you became. It’s the most wonderful and terrifying feeling you will ever know. There are times I almost expect to throw my hands in the air and see lightning bolts shoot into the sky.
That’s how powerful living your own life is.
I remember the words that moved me to action, the feelings that fueled the movement, the realizations that opened my eyes to my decomposing existence. I remember everything, and I am grateful for them all. I remember, not too long ago looking into the mirror getting ready for work one day, and I just stopped and looked at myself in the eyes for a moment. It took me a heartbeat or two to realize I was waiting for something. So I finally spoke the words I’d needed to hear.
I looked at myself and promised, “I will save you.”
And I will.