I have suffered immeasurable losses. Sure, my losses can be quantified; their ratios rationalized to juxtapose the impressions left as scars. But the mass that weighs on my soul can not be scaled or justified.
Sometimes it feels like an endless battle, denied enough time to wipe the blood off our eyes before the bell rings. Perpetually caught in a whirlpool; digging and digging at the spiraling wall, never able to climb out.
The fortitude to fight such an absolute force seems futile. No matter how hard you paddle, you are just stuck in the same place, in the same current, still pulling you down the same path.
The brutal whirlwinds blind our eyes with swelling punches. We have no choice but to keep swinging in the dark; the thought of trusting the emptiness brings a feeling of vulnerability, leaves us open for attack.
Counter intuitively we continue to fight, connecting with our strength. Our struggles a testament to who we are and what we have been through, proudly branded as a badge to identify ourselves. Afraid to rip off the lamenting labels for fear we would be discarding a piece of our selves, we hold tight to our struggles; cutting our palms with handfuls of stubbornness. After all, this scar is evidence to the life that I have lived and the battles that I have had to face. Can’t we see that our scars are reminders of our strength and not the source of it?
Neglected children, survivors of abuse, conquerors of cancer, they all earn a title belt as prize fighters. So proud of my stats and the strength it took to win all those bouts, I stood tall as an advocate for those who needed help fighting. This is the gift I can give the world. That even when I felt like giving up, somehow I always manage to stay upright in the ring just one second longer than my opponent. I was a heavyweight champion; skilled from battling the mass of my mistakes and regular reps of carrying those misfortunes around with me.
So I just keep spiraling down this whirlpool of sadness; caught in an endless washing cycle, ironically incapable of cleaning my wounds. Maybe, just maybe, the real courage and strength comes from letting go and trusting the fall.
In sports Kayaking, there is a maneuver called the mystery move. The kayaker purposely submerges themselves under water, spinning around in the current, and then pops back up above the surface down the river. This mystery move captivates me every time. Beneath the surface, the clash with the current slows and the kayaker dances with the flow of the water. A special place few are brave enough to know. These thrill seekers gravitate towards the whirlpools and strong currents; seemingly energized by the knowledge that a secret worm hole exists that will thrust you out on the other end safely.
Sometimes you can go around, avoid the pull; but avoidance only robs you of those experiences. You miss the rush from facing the obstacles in front of you. You miss the blanket of faith comforting your soul. You miss the reward at the end when you shoot out past your problems, more experienced and prepared to handle the next obstacle in front of you.
Sadness is a necessary emotion in processing loss. The tears lubricate the wounds helping them to heal. It’s natural and essential to nourish our hearts with the spectrum of emotions, even the painful feelings. If you don’t let them out, you will continue to carry them deep inside you, to remain hidden behind thick skin. To fight the fall only prolongs the inevitable and beats you up longer in the wash.
If the layers of grief are static, all you have to do is open your arms, lean back, and let gravity propel you through the painful process quickly. Sometimes it’s more beneficial to stop fighting so hard and just let go, trust the fall.
Is it possible that depression polarizes a person differently? That instead of shooting out to the safe side of the spit, you are drawn to a bottomless black hole? The magnetic attraction to strong to overcome. Maybe that is the case. Maybe it’s not safe for me to just trust the fall.
Our losses are seldom felt by us alone, even though it so frequently feels that way. Loss is hard on everyone. If you can stop spinning long enough, you might see that your loved ones are revolving around the same whirlpool, fighting to keep the same pain at bay.
So don’t go it alone. There is no denying that love has the most powerful pull of all the human conditions. Together, the bond from your chemistry will be strong enough to prevent you from being attracted to that black hole. When the grief from loss and the struggle to stay afloat is just too much, grab your loved ones and let your attraction steer you towards a path of healing. Dance with your partners in the whirlwind of emotion and trot the secret worm hole to happiness.
Disclaimer: the worm hole to happiness may have a layover in Las Vegas. Be careful not to get stuck in the quicksand and detoured down the road to Fear & Loathing, Las Vegas.
(come dance with me sis)
Related Posts: Please stop by The Renegade Press and check out the beautifully penned post, Eunoia, by Chris Nicholas.
Header picture by Elaine Kelly, author of Free The Truth