Sometimes no matter what you do. It just hurts. You try your best, you reach out for help, you gather your friends around you, you follow your routines, and even though you feel like you’re doing almost everything you can. It just hurts.
You sit there in your bathroom staring at the mirror and wondering how you got here. You worked so hard on yourself. You sacrificed so much. You feel like you have achieved. But somehow none of it is sinking in. Instead, all that you feel, is this drop in your stomach, like you’re stepping off a ghost step at the bottom of the stairs. And your heart aches for reasons you couldn’t possibly understand.
What you really want to do is hide. You want to put your head under the covers and never come out. Except you can’t hide from this. You can numb it with work, TV, alcohol, and distractions, but you can’t make it stop. You can’t make this feeling go away because, well, it just hurts.
Some part of you in the back of your brain knows that it will change over time. You have memories of that happening before. You know that there are old pains you don’t feel anymore. Your heart no longers aches for your first love like it used to. Some of the people you’ve lost have faded from your memory, but even though you know it will fade eventually, in this moment it doesn’t matter, because it hurts. It just hurts.
Part of you knows that all you can do is hold on and go on as if things we’re ok. Hoping no one will know you spent the ten minutes before your shower this morning crying on the bathroom floor, trying to understand why a video on facebook made you weep.
Part of you knows that all you can do is be with this pain, even though there are so many reasons you don’t want to be with it. Even though you can think of a thousand possible solutions. Your heart just keeps telling you. I hurt. I’m here and I hurt. I’m sorry I was made to ache, but that’s how I love as well. I’m sorry I was made to ache, but that’s how I love as well.
The hard truth is, that in moments like this there is no escape from the pain, because its experience is teaching you. This rawness is showing you your own tender nature. The love that you tried to hide from the world, all the ways you pretend that you really don’t care, that it’s ok you’ve experienced loss, that you are tough and strong, and that you can take it, are falling away. And all that is left, is this tender center of your heart.
It’s not an easy thing to feel, but the beauty it reveals in you is breathtaking.
I really wish loving so fully and caring so much didn’t hurt. If it didn’t, then maybe more people would do it. Maybe we’d be slower to judge and faster to understand. Maybe we wouldn’t be so polarized and angry. Maybe we would help each other more and never leave people alone. Maybe we would smile at strangers and care for those who don’t know how to do it for themselves.
But this is the nature of love, to expand the heart to a point where it stretches and grows and when it does this ache begins like a leg waking up from sleep. And until the tingling is gone, there is nothing to do, but close your eyes, breathe deep, and say: it hurts.