Saturday, September 14, 2013

When the light found me.

A long long time ago, I had of what my life would look like. As if I were clairvoyant. Somewhere along the way, I got derailed. I watched those dreams extinguish, not in a puff of wispy smoke, but in that slow way a flame dies as a candle's wax is used up, shrinking smaller and smaller, until it is nothing but a glowing ember at the tip of a spent wick, and then it simply fades to dark, giving up its final hope of regaining life. I floundered. I spun in slow motion. I was directionless, as I watched new characters play the role I'd thought was mine. It was disorienting. The path I had put myself on had crumbled beneath my feet. I gave myself up for lost. I felt spent, used up. I wish I could say I wandered, but I couldn't even manage that.

I felt inferior. Cast aside. Yanked back by words that played on a loop in my mind, words probably meant harmlessly but that mocked me, chanting quietly, making me feel "less than." I hurt in a way I couldn't even properly identify. I masked it in anger but I knew otherwise. When you love deeply, you feel deeply, all of it. And most especially the hurt. I allowed it to carry me into places I never should have ventured. Places even darker. Places even more hopeless.

But even in that darkest of places, my happy ending was flickering to life. I just didn't know it yet.

There have been four significant relationships in my life, and if the first was my heartbreak, then the second was the unfortunate rebound, the one that deserved better and that, in hindsight, I would feel a sense of horrifying remorse and defeat over the way I acted. The third was my undoing. And the final is my final, the one that put my back together, piece by piece. The one that makes me light and grateful and wide-eyed with amazement. The one that is my greatest triumph over every dark place I've ever been. But if not for the three before it, maybe I wouldn't have this profound appreciation for this gift I've been given, this amazing grace of being wholly loved, despite my scars and my insecurities. If I didn't know how it felt to hurt in that way that makes it difficult to breathe, if I didn't know how it felt to cause pain and then live with it on my conscience, if I didn't know how it felt to be lost, well, then, perhaps I wouldn't see clearly how it is to feel my heart healed, to be aware of the privilege of being entrusted with the fragile heart of another, to know how it feels to be found.

Gratitude is a funny thing. It surfaces in the most unlikely places in our stories. The things you think might just kill you -- your spirit, if not your body -- become the teachers of precious lessons. We're told "without darkness there can be no light." I grappled with that for a small eternity. But it wasn't until the light flooded back in that I was able to see its meaning. It is not lost on me that my husband lists as his favorite quote: "When darkness is at its darkest, that is the beginning of all light." (Lao-Tzu) Indeed and how appropriate, because at the darkest of my darkness, he arrived, the beginning of all my light.

1 with their own thoughts:

penuttpie Sunday, September 22, 2013 12:33:00 PM  

This made me cry. I actually don't have words...but you know them all anyways.

Thank you for your perfect timing my friend.

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