I hide away, holding myself close as my inner guide whispers softly, “Everything is going to be alright.”
I stroke my left forearm with my right hand, up and down until my chest reduces to a steady drumbeat. I throw my hands up in the air, fall to my knees and say, “I surrender.” I surrender to the pain in that moment because it has a job to do. It has an occupation, a resume, a portfolio, an agenda. A briefcase, even. It came with a purpose. And I allow it to fulfill their duty. I allow myself to be audited, to mark down the notes of what is going on right now in this moment so it can be handled.
I sit still for a moment to cry and as I finish crying, I smile. I smile because I know that while I purge the grainy, muddy goop that comes from the bellows beneath me—spilling out on to the floor—I know this also means a new era is coming. A fresh start, a stronger self, a more conscious and aware self. There is a level after this if I choose to accept it. But I only get there if I sit with this, purging, letting out the goop.
I didn’t know what I had become until he called me a fake writer.
Gabrielle Bernstein says we must laugh at the tiny mad ideas that come to us. You must learn to laugh at them, she says.
We all have those Tiny Mad Ideas—the “I’m not good enough” voices that buzz around like angry flies. I knew my Tiny Mad Ideas and I knew them well. I danced with them like friends at Prom. I invited them over for dinner, I let them stay the night. I let them borrow eggs and milk so they could bake a cake with icing that read, “You Suck” on top. Tiny Mad Ideas were my friends, they were my go-to.
But in the time of my chosen separation from him I began to grow less and less friendly with those Tiny Mad Ideas. He connected to my Tiny Mad Ideas so as I disconnected from him, I disconnected from those friends. I realized Tiny Mad Ideas were no friends of mine. Each time they’d come, they came take—but offering nothing in return. I began to turn them away, they looked silly. I hadn’t realize how funny they looked, how outrageous they sounded. For months I had done without them, blocked their numbers, un-friended and un-followed.
So when he let one of them in, opened the door for them, offered them a seat and said, “you are a fake writer,” the only thing I could do was laugh. Laugh at the Tiny Mad Idea welcomed back, the one I had forgotten all about and no longer had their number memorized. I laughed and I laughed and when I stopped laughing out loud, I continued to laugh inside.
You are who you hang out with, and this old friend was no longer part of me. And neither was he. So with that, they were both gone.
* * *
Healing a wound is a lot like winter transitioning into spring.
It’s shedding, it’s letting go, it’s shaking everything off until nothing is left but the core of who you are. You forget that you’re strong, you forget that the root of who you are is still in tact, that you are in good hands. You hide away, stroking your arm and whispering to yourself, “Everything is going to be alright.” You surrender. You surrender all of it. You purge the goop.
And as that flash of warm sun hits your face, you start to remember. You start to see that you are not the same, you will never be the same again. It is time to start over.
As winter came I knew this would be a time of unraveling, but as it now draws to a close, this particular moment feels like an unveiling.