At one point in my life, I would take my days 20 seconds at a time. I didn’t know if I would turn into a puddle of tears or break out in an angry rant, all I knew is that for those 20 seconds I was holding it together. And by together I mean not spilling the bucket of sludge. The bucket representing my life; the sludge all the emotions concerning my current state in life, shreds bits and pieces sloshing and jumbled together.
Today its 20 seconds, tomorrow its 60, the next day its 10, healing is a slow process. Slow and most often blind. You never know how much time needs to pass until one day everything begins to lessen; the hurt doesn’t take over a whole day.
Maybe it shrinks until it is just a thought that drifts in once a day, week, or every couple of months. You find yourself suddenly no longer scraping by, but existing, wearily existing. Then at another unknown point you find the emotions you once indulged have nothing left for you, they are just worn out sentences. And then comes the choice.
1. Continue to stroke these words as you would a faithful pet that has been your partner during tragedy. Deciding to let the hurt and the pain that once demolished you, now walk next to you continuing your journey.
If you choose this you will find yourself defending your hurt and pain, sticking up for it, “You don’t know what I went through”, “I barely survived.” Reliving it, keeping it alive, stoking the embers of your own torture. Twisted but true, it will harden into bitterness.
2. You can acknowledge that the crumbled words and events you've meditated on for months no longer hold power. It was real, yes. It hurt tremendously, yes. But you will quietly honor that period of pain, then tuck it gently into bed. Letting it rest, refusing to tend to it when it cries, pick it up when it is restless, and carry it with you covered by a blanket of insecurity and shame.
It is a choice. Sometimes a choice we have to make every day, but a choice nonetheless. Not simply deciding to be sad or not, but more like deciding what's going to rule you.
The lifting of the foot.
Some refer to healing and recovery as taking a step forward or baby steps. As if the lifting of the proverbial foot doesn’t require energy and bravery, and knowing that when you set it down it could be in a pile of shit.
The lifting of the foot is power, a choice, hope, entertaining the thought of renewal in place of ruin. It is grace, and beauty in their raw and unrefined forms. It is heroic, sometimes subtle because healing is slow and blind.
So here’s to sifting out the sludge, and lifting our feet. Because it’s a choice and only we can decide.