still hanging

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Truth be told, I’ve always sucked at letting go.

All the unanswered questions are threads still tied to my wrist, tugging and beating against my thin skin to the rhythm of my heavy heart. They keep me hanging on.

It’s all because of you that I hate being left hanging now.

But I keep it to myself, because I already hear their words spitting harshly in my ears, “That was a long time ago. Shouldn’t you be over it by now? Just stop thinking about it.” Yet I’m coming to find that when it comes to the matters of the heart, time plays a very minuscule role, no matter how much they try to convince you otherwise. It feels as if very little time has passed, especially when I see your face, when I am reminded of you on freeway, at the cafe, or in those moments when you randomly pop into my mind. The wound is still there, bleeding profusely, but I only clench my fists and wish fervently that it wouldn’t matter anymore.

I often tell myself, “You had a serious lapse of judgment there.” The neon sign flashed at me, telling me to turn the other way.

But that’s the other thing. Although in all other cases it is an apt sword, logic, too, cannot tame the tsunami of emotions that flood you when you let yourself go to love.

And when I let the emotions flow, they scream out, I hate you. I miss you. I’m hurting so bad right now. Get out of my head. Leave me be. I want your memory to die away into the deep recesses of my pretend. And how desperately I still want to pretend… but my feet are firmly rooted, and I worry now if I will ever fly again.

When two people break apart, you are left to pick up the broken pieces alone, to make sense of it, to reconcile, to forgive, to move on. But what do you do when you are missing so many pieces, that you don’t have enough to put something together?

So I keep trekking, keep rising up. Hope is my air and I inhale. Make do with what you have.

The threads pull and wrap around my wrist tighter.

My heart is a mangled mess and even though I try and try to re-right it back, I know nothing will ever be the same. I won’t be the same. Maybe I’m not supposed to be. Even with all the agony, pain and despair, we’re meant to be moved, to be affected, to hurt. Maybe that’s the only way we learn and grow.

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dare you to move

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To live is to move. Even in fear, pain, or stagnancy… it is especially in those moments in our lives that we are faced with a constant choice. Will we rise to and above the challenge, or will we stay down, to die perhaps a spiritual and inner death?

I had a meeting with one of my mentors a few days ago, wherein I was challenged, yet also deeply inspired. And I went home and found myself listening to Switchfoot, which led to more fuel being thrown onto the heady flame. “Dare You to Move” has now become the theme to this current phase in my life. Why, you may ask?

For months, I have been feeling stuck and stagnant. I have been locked and trapped in my past, the pain I continue to hold, and the disappointments of today. Nothing seems to be going right and deep down, I feel broken, alone and unbelievably restless. My frustration increases knowing what I am doing to myself and what has gotten me stuck in a hole. Professors and even my own therapist have praised me on my level of insight, yet before, I found it so much a curse than a gift. The old cliche of “ignorance is bliss” rings true, because in ignorance, I do not have to feel. I can continue on numbing and pretending everything is okay. When you are battling depression, or anxiety, or whatever demons you may have, the easy path becomes so very tempting.

Although I did not intend the conversation to take this turn, I ended up sharing with my mentor some of my current struggles. He then proceeded to push me (metaphorically speaking), and challenge me. I told him I need to reflect more on my issues, and he disagreed, “No, you don’t need to reflect anymore. You already know what you have to do. Now you just need to do it.” In short, I need to move.

This is what my mentor helped me to realize: Despite your fears, despite the hurt you will inevitably feel, you have to connect. You have to love. You have to risk vulnerability. Our four walls and comfort zone seem so very safe, but in reality, they are hurting us. They are starving us from what we need, causing our hearts to begin dying a slow and painful death. “I mean, look at you,” my mentor challenged. “You’re proof of that. You’re not happy right now.” And I didn’t argue with him, because I knew he was right. Because this is the thing about me: I hide. I hold back. I put up walls so people can’t get too close. All of this I do, because I don’t want to get hurt, rejected, or judged. I have been so many times in the past. I’ve been knocked down, kicked around, teased, and worse, ignored. That in my deepest moments of pain, I went unacknowledged. Even though I fear loneliness, I would rather choose the certainty of being alone, than the pain of being both rejected and alone. So it is easier for me to not trust people, and deal with things on my own.

But living that way, means we live in a state of constant fear. We do not rest when we are hyper-vigilant with every being we come across, and it is exhausting to persistently maintain those walls around our hearts. Maybe in your past you’ve been pushed down, or hurt in the most grotesque way… so you’ve stayed lying on the ground. Maybe it feels safe there. But in that state, the tension is there, “between who you are and what you could be. Between how it is and how it should be.” Although it may not seem so, in that we always have a choice. Are you going to move, or are you going to stay down? Are you going to reach toward the potential of who you were meant to be, or will you let it die away?

I realized that for the past five months, I’ve been choosing to let my potential die. To let myself stay down and others keep me down. But now, I am making a different choice. It’s not easy to get up, to move when you are still in pain from the fall. That is why God dares us to move. Because it takes the courage each of us have buried inside us to do. In the challenge, we grow.

The thing is, if we choose to live, it is guaranteed we will feel pain. All of this time I have been focused on the “pain” part, rather than on the “living” part. In the end, our true nature is to connect, to love. That is what it means to live. That is why He pushes us, dares us to move, to lift ourselves up from the floor, like today never happened. There, we move toward fulfilling our nature.