sifting through pain


There are two opposing inclinations vacillating in my spirit. I’m in pain, about to bubble over like a pot of  water left on the stove. Part of me says, sit with it. The other, run like hell. Classic fight or flight.

For so much of my life I’ve felt abandoned, left to fend for myself, set aside to figure things out because, despite not having the barest of maps, I was a smart girl. Those that came before me figured it out. So, I assume, naturally they thought I would too.

But some conversations need to be had, don’t they? Pain needs to be acknowledged. Children need to be held, tended to. I was not in the wild. I needed looking after.

I turned 30 and it feels like I’ve run out of that ability to put things off until tomorrow. I have to sit in this muddied pain where things are not black or white, where lines are blurred and there is no such thing as absolute truth.

I may not know everything, but I know enough. I know enough to start sifting through memories, distinguishing reality from the stories I’ve told myself. These are the things that happen when words go unsaid. We tell ourselves stories so that we may live and eventually, we believe them.

At some point, we hit a wall. I hit a wall. And I suppose, the wall appeared because, I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling beaten and stuck and forgotten. I’m tired of people expecting me to give until there is nothing left for myself. Not that they did it alone. I was complicit, happy to be acknowledged with the least of everything in exchange for a glimpse of being seen. Pleased to be accepted by my peers who were far more accomplished in ways I’d only hoped to someday achieve. But, no more. I crave requited relationships, meaningful experiences. Not obligation. And not tenure. Despite being flawed, as we all are, I have value. I am worthy of love and capable of loving. I am hard and I am soft.

So I am sifting. Right now, that looks like quiet. Eliminating distractions, setting aside what I think I should be doing or reading or listening to and tuning into my spirit. Because, spirit knows. A body tells you what it needs if you’ll only listen. Already I’ve made progress. My feet were ready to run and yet here I am, planted, grounded, sitting with myself. Fighting the only way I know how. Telling, through stories.