What would it take? What would need to happen in order for you to feel safe or strong enough to soften in to your pain?
The vulnerability and exposure of truths to others can be bad enough, but for me, facing myself in the mirror has got to be the absolute worst. Seeing those two wrinkles on my forehead right in between my eyes is my telltale sign that I tried desperately to hold it in that day. When hit with anything from loneliness to fatigue, I squeeze my eyes shut as tears spill out and down my cheeks, while pressing fingers to my forehead to smooth it out with no success.
Most of the time now I can see it in other people. Definitely in pictures, but more pronounced in real life: the broken. For the most part, we are a silent group sprinkled in to ordinary society who bears the scars of loss. I see those of us trying to put on the happy face when in reality the corner of our mouth, the pupils of our eyes or a tightened fist says quite the opposite. If the pain of our reality is unveiled, we often face the backlash of others wanting to fix what cannot be mended or their telling us to sweep up the mess in our hoarding house life and call it clean.
The funny thing about my grief is that it has removed a thick layer of shyness. I am more confident to speak my mind, go public, and get to the point. “It is what it is,” I say. I have come to this conclusion: Instead of living my grief in a cycle of perpetual sadness, I am determined to live in a cycle of perpetual giving. I find that on my hardest days, that’s when I fight back with the biggest effort to do something for others. It takes the edge off of my stark reality to make someone else smile, because I find myself smiling back.
To be an expert at something you have to practice. Learning a new skillset, you have to open yourself up for failure. To really pursue and understand perpetual giving, I need space first. Closed walls and familiar places need to be replaced with fresh air and a change of scenery. In total mindfulness, I see myself removed from my home and deposited somewhere on the open road. I am not alone. Someone is with me that I can trust. This someone would honor my body, be fascinated by my mind, and laugh with me. I want to give, so I can receive. The road that I am on leads to many destinations, but I am all about taking the journey, and in doing so, find myself.~Paula