That moment when you realize someone is not who they say they are. Or at least, you’re finally willing to admit they are who you thought they were. So really, there is no grievance to claim. Perhaps out of a need to control our fate we accept only the truths we want to be true, when what we’re shown contradicts that completely. Like a mask worn to conceal the reality underneath. Two luchadors circling the ring. And yet somehow it is the one who is defeated that must take off their mask, revealing who they truly are. So many people see that as a sign of weakness. I see it as a testimony of strength.
Photo of Luchador Huracan Ramirez courtesy of Tumblr
We reach the highest heights
only by first descending to the bottom.
It isn’t until you’ve been fully rejected
that you can begin to fathom
the possibility that you might be worthy.
The drive to seek is a natural instinct;
I seek to be free
Of the longing and waiting
No more wishing and praying
Or taking for granted
the pain required to grow.
No, I am rising above
all the critics and exes
who would have me believe
I can’t be loved
I expect too much.
They will see me waving,
they’ll be anticipating
my slow and steady slide.
But I won’t abide.
I told them I’d be right there by their side.
I guess, well, I lied.
I can see why some people just decide to spend their life alone with no one to share it with as intimately as you do with someone you love. I can see why some people simply give up on finding someone and making it work. I teeter back and forth with this idea. And I’ve come to accept more than I ever have the possibility of being alone. I’ve come to love who I am when I’m alone, which is to say I’ve come to accept that there is a lot about me to love, regardless of my relationship status. And maybe… just maybe… that’s been the whole point of it all.
I have been in the belly of the beast,
I have braved the greatest of storms;
both spat me out, sodden and worn.
I suppose my flesh wasn’t quite the feast
they were looking for–
Too tough, perhaps, not enough chew
in their bite;
it comes from being hung over the fire
and left there to die.
Many a time I have sat and I’ve waited;
night after night
I have cried and I’ve cried.
Overwhelmed by fright but certainly,
For here I stand before
my darkest hour,
face to face
with the death it assures me of.
Ready for another fight
because it’s my only option
as long as life
still promises the light
Good intentions don’t always yield the results we had hoped for. I found myself spouting this tidbit to a fellow comrade this morning, realizing the relevance it has had in my own life lately.
Rejection tends to leave one feeling broken, weak, and powerless. Instinctually, out of the pain and betrayal I feel, I want to hide behind my fear and anger. And I have done this. But once the dust has settled, once the storm is passed and I am back in touch with the deeper meaning of my life, I choose instead to express love, kindness, forgiveness. Because I believe those are the only things that last; certainly, they triumph over every misguided or ill intention I may have at one time harbored. And unquestionably they are what give my life meaning. I could choose to remain bitter, I could choose to disown those I feel betrayed by, to cast them out of my life like a thorn in my side. But all that does is increase the likelihood of eventually stepping on said thorn, creating more agony and turmoil for me down the road.
Ignoring someone who has hurt us isn’t facing our fears; it’s running away from them, especially when that person is trying only to show us the healing power of love and forgiveness. When we run from fear we run in circles, ending up always right where we started. Progression, growth, these things imply a linear movement forward or upward. They are also impossibilities unless we relinquish our fears and reach towards the light that is the extension of someone’s merciful hand.
Some motivations to express kindness are self-serving. Behind these acts there is a desire to get what we want, to feel better about ourselves, to feel less rejected. I’ve been rejected in love plenty. I now have what you would call a thick skin. You could set me on fire and I’d probably not bat an eye. And yet, to those who I have been hurt by and regardless of whether the same generosity is rendered to me, in the end I will always choose to extend graciousness and benevolence, not with my ego, but with my heart where the purest of intentions coexist often with the deepest well of sorrow and discontent. And in this way, I’d like to think I am destined for growth and for true love.
Happy Thursday y’all! Time to throwback to 1997 once again…
Look upon a sea of doubt;
of sorrow that lingers even after the tears–
Not one being lives without.
Nestled inside us each
there is a struggle within reach
awaiting a stronger hand
to carry all we hold.
For we’re bound by intimidation,
needless to say,
searching in darkness
without any light to help us grow.
What must there be
then to at last be free?
There are so many angels wandering around
hoping through life’s miracles they will be found.
To see them, you must look up high
for angels do not fall, they fly.
If ever you get discouraged by all of life’s mistakes,
just look to an angel for greater strength.
Whoever holds the key to her heart knows the depths of her soul and the inescapableness of her beauty that resides there.
I’ve given it some thought on this rainy Tuesday morning and it seems to me that the key to sustaining a nourishing relationship is being able to answer ‘yes’ to these four things: 1) Do I love this person? 2) Do I love them so much that I would be willing to be dragged through the mud in a torrential thunder storm with them? 3) Do I trust this person to be honest with themselves in addition to being honest with me? 4) Above all, do I feel respected and important?
I really feel that if you can answer ‘yes’ to those questions about another person, and they can say the same about you, you’re probably destined for truly amazing things. You are probably on your way to becoming your best version of yourself because it is through our trials with others, especially with those we love and trust more than anyone, that we gain the power (if we allow it) to rise above even ourselves instead of becoming wrought with fear. And by rising above ourselves, we can know the beauty of true love. It really is quite simple, and yet so complicated. But then, I believe we all too often make things harder than they really are.
I think we have to recognize that times are going to be tough. Insecurities will arise; they’re part of what make us who we are, each one telling a story about where we’ve been, what we’ve done, things we’ve seen. And they’re also part of what make us so uniquely divine. In those insecurities are opportunities for strength and vulnerability; for it is by admitting our vulnerability that we actually gain strength.
Allowing another to see us… really see us… opens up the path to love and enlightenment. It is frightening and full of uncertainty, yet still, this is the path I choose. Which one do you choose?