Life Happens

From the Heart of Grace Waters…


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Silent Tears

Sometimes you just hurt. Not that surface kind of hurt, but that deep-down, soul-wrenching, unexplainable hurt. That hurt that seems to invade every facet of your life until you find yourself drifting through each day, pasting on the appropriate smile, and saying just the right things. But that pain deep inside is there as a constant reminder that things really are not as they seem. I have been there. “Where is there?” you may ask. There is where you silently cry as your significant other sleeps beside you. You soak the pillow with your tears, feeling lonely even in your togetherness. As you cry, your body shakes as you try to control the sobs from breaking free and disturbing their sleep. I mean, they wouldn’t understand anyways, right? There is trying to describe to someone you love how you feel, attempting to rid yourself of this vast feeling of going nowhere and mattering to no one, and them responding, “Well, you have a good life, right?” as if that makes what you are saying and how you are feeling null and void. Yeah, they missed it. Or, maybe you search through your mind polling the many phone numbers in your phone, but not one catches your attention as someone you can call and have them talk you out of this lonely place. 

I mean, when you look at the surface, life is great, right? You have everything you need and some things you want. You have a loving partner, maybe family and friends, even some children sprinkled in there. You are the one everyone depends on to encourage them and be there for them, but sometimes you want to shout “WHAT ABOUT ME?” On the surface, you have it going on,  but no one knows you’re struggling with being a hamster running around the proverbial wheel of life, seeming to get nowhere, but running because that is what you were told to do. The days spent building up others’ dreams while you see yours collecting dust on the shelves are tough days, but you grin and bear it. You have no choice, right? Working a 9-5 you hate because your family has to eat, right? Pushing others to be great when you want to give up. Yeah, I know what “there” is. But even with all of this that no one ever sees, you manage to make life look amazing. 

That is because even with all of that, it really is. Even with the soul-searing pain, at least you can still feel. Even with the loneliness, at least you still function. Even when it seems no one on earth understands or cares, there is still One who knows just what He is doing every step of the way. Maybe you are in the place I described. It is a ROUGH place, it is, but it is not the end. You may feel like giving up. Been there. Suicide has crossed my mind several times. That is not the answer. That is only hurting others because you hurt. Next up, getting in a car and just driving…disappearing like you see in the movies. Yeah, that would not work. Eventually someone would find you or you would just get tired of running from yourself. Well, maybe if I turn my back on God who doesn’t seem to care anyway, and I just do whatever I want, that will change things. Nope. Same issues just masked by “good times” which are really camoflauging empty moments. 

Sometimes just acknowledging the feelings is the first step. Acknowledging that you are broken and hurting, feeling unnecessary and overlooked, seemingly unproductive and thinking you can be easily replaced, yeah, that is the first step. Unfortunately, this may be a journey you take alone. It may be the roughest journey you ever embark on, but in the end, if you can acknowledge it, you can beat it. So, yeah, maybe there will be a few nights, weeks, months, of tear-soaked pillows…Maybe your phone will become useless as you can’t figure out anyone to call, but in the end you win. Let the silent tears flush out the bitterness and the hurt. Allow yourself to be in the moment, and know that as long as there is a tomorrow, there is another chance for things to get better from here. It has to get better. It just does.

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Intrinsic Vulnerability

Today, at my husband’s urging, I decided to try something new-something a little out of my comfort zone, but good for me. I went to a Korean bathhouse/spa in my area. There were separate sides for men and women, as well as a unisex area. In the separate sections, it was suggested that you walk around naked. Now, this was something I absolutely did not want to do. I mean, who bares their all to a room full of strangers? Certainly not me. That is, until today. Beyond the nudity, I watched as the women walked around confident and relaxed, secure in who they were, and willing to┬ábe vulnerable to get what they wanted. It was amazing to see that there were no comparisons, no expectations of perfection, just utter bliss and a camaraderie even without speaking. Because I went alone, I was able to relax completely and make sure I took care of all that I needed. I meditated on my life and all the things that have happened up to this point. I thought about my purpose, and what I am passionate about doing. As I relaxed, I thought more about the seeming point of the spa-(w)holistic health and wellness and the ability to be present and vulnerable. What would happen if we, as a society, chose to be vulnerable to each other? Not in a way where one race, ethnicity, or group subjugate another into being vulnerable, but in a way that we each open up to each other willingly and collectively. What if we chose to show other’s how much we really care, or we chose to celebrate the differences and complexities of each other? Would our world be different? Would we be different? The spa made me vulnerable to others in a way that I usually shut down quickly, but I found that being able to be vulnerable allowed me to talk to people I may have otherwise walked by before. As we sat, lay, leaned, etc in our respective spa services, we talked to each other beyond differences. Some of them I will never see again, but just for a moment there was a connection just as a human being. What will it take for our society to realize that vulnerability and openness is not a bad thing, and we can heal from within which transcends to without? I’m ready for our society to be that vulnerable to one another. It’s time for each of us to be whole intrinsically, intellectually, physically, and emotionally. I’m willing to do my part to help make that so. Won’t you join me?