Recovery

I am sick of recovering from this.

All those stitches I had to sew in keep popping open.  Now it feels like I am squeezing it shut, holding it in my hand for fear if it breaks open anymore I will never find all the pieces.  I’m also holding the paradox of how healing this breaking open has been.  Some days the recovery is just tiresome though.

Recovery – “the process of becoming whole again, returning to normal.”  Also defined as “the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.”  I am trying to regain possession of my heart, or myself, trying to return to normal and become whole again.  This is mind-boggling because being with her felt like that return and that wholeness.  How do you return to something that did not exist before?

The year with her was the absolute best year of my life.  These 4 months without her have been the worst.  I have learned the absolute brightness and dark depths of love.  What the hell am I returning to exactly?  The world before her was so sad, even on the happy days.  The world with her was so bright even when it was difficult.

I found so much of me in that relationship, in relationship to her.  Now I’m alone and trying to hang on to what I had found there.

So I clutch my broken, but ever beating, heart.  I let the stitches break a little more.  I write.  I try not to lose myself in television because it only brings up the worst parts of being alone.  I resist calling her when I’m sick and laying on my couch in tears just wanting to hear that it’s going to be okay.  I cut drama out of my life a little more.  I make more space in my calendar and I realize the empty slots terrify me.  I lean in to love, to loving me, a little more.  I pray the light transforms me soon and sets me free.

I read the Big Book.  I pray.  “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.”

And I try to actually believe it.

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Unrecognizable

What happens when you surrender, when you give yourself to someone completely?

You don’t get the fairytale, no happy ever after, not necessarily.  You don’t come back undamaged and glowing.  You don’t find yourself without responsibility for your growth, for your destiny.

What you do find is something startling new.  It comes back in the same package. As Neruda says, “with your eyes, your hands, and your mouth, but another heart.”  When you give yourself completely to love, you come back born again.

You are not suddenly without shortcomings, but now you are humbled.  You’ve given yourself, like clay, to someone else to shape.  You learn things about yourself you never knew; that you can give so completely, that you can love without expectation, that your heart can shatter but you still breathe.

So breathe you must.  You put one foot in front of the other.  You take it “one day at a time” and you shine like you mean it.  Now that the heart has busted open the light has has illuminated this new you.  You have no idea who she is, but you want to.  You court her.  You introduce her to your friends.  They won’t all like her, this new you so much the same and not at all the same.  You let her shine, let that light start reflecting out of the heart.  You step fully into love…and the tears fall.

They don’t seem to stop.  Every poem, song, or cheap TV sitcom is enough to unleash hours of tears.  Susan Piver talks about our tears in heartache being the result of love without an attached form, of love unbound.

Love unbound

Isn’t that the dream, this boundless love?  And now, broken and shining, you let the love unbind and flow freely down your face.  Friends will hand you tissues.  They will want you to stop.  They will squirm with discomfort.  Let them be uncomfortable.  Let them tell you it will get better, but do not let yourself bind this love, these tears.  Just let them fall.

Like you fell for her before the hurt, before the love, before the surrender.

Give yourself over to it completely.  Slowly, the tears will come less often as you start to fall in love again, this time with your shiny new self. But it isn’t over.

It will come like a lightning rod striking the heart; unexpected and without warning it will break you open – again.  Suddenly, it feels like it just happened yesterday.  You don’t know what you are going to do.  The only thing you can seem to manage is to keep breathing.

So you breathe.  You let the light in.  You shine like you mean it.  You keep courting yourself.  You learn what love feels like without attachment.  You step further into yourself.  You lean in – into your discomfort, your fear, your grief, your life, your work.  You lean in to love. And you hope to wake one day and find yourself whole again.