I’m breaking up….

Funny that term, ‘breaking up’ it means so much more than two people breaking their connection with each other. When I say I’m breaking up what I’m really meaning is I’m breaking up inside, my heart is breaking apart, my life is breaking up into different pieces as yet unknown.

I spent most of life avoiding hard feelings at all costs. Especially sadness. Especially rejection. I’ve turned to anything, ANYTHING, to keep from having to experience that excruciating pain of my heart being battered into a million tiny pieces…. Convinced that nothing and no one could ever put that broken puzzle back into a beating and whole heart.

Running from the pain is a bit of work, but then there’s the sweet escape, so alluring, so tempting. Sometimes it’s wine, sometimes it’s obsessively pulling my hair or another nervous habit. It’s been cigarettes in the distant past, Another kind of cigarettes in the not too distant past. Anything to distract, parties, social obligations.

Since my 20’s the biggest and most satisfying escape has been the distraction of busy-ness. Of work. An overwhelming To-Do list doesn’t give you much time to drop your head on the table and cry. To feel into the hurt and allow it to be there.

Breaking up inside feels like the end. It feels like death. Whether that breaking up is caused by an actual break-up of a relationship, or another loss, it feels like a free-fall into a bottomless cavern.

It’s only recently I’ve discovered that perhaps it’s not death. Or… rather, it’s a death followed by a rebirth. It’s a shedding of the serpent skin, a release of a layer that must release.

All that time that I ran from my hurt, from my fearful feelings, all those years of hiding and smiling as I bit my tongue on my truth – so as to avoid that searing knife of rejection – all that it did was dull my life. Sure, the pain was dulled, but it wasn’t gone. It was only pushed into hidden depths. And the joy was dulled as well. It was as if my very existence was overlaid with a film, like smoke on a window. Clarity was filmed over, exuberance muted.

Even now, knowing this, knowing that turning toward the pain is the only answer, knowing that unbearable knife-twist in the gut effect doesn’t last long…. I still try to hide, to distract, to avoid. I have to remind myself again and again. BE with the pain. BE with yourself. BE with your feelings.

This is what it means to be alive. This is what it means to be human. This is the way to fully shed that old and worn-out skin, and to grow into the me that is wanting to be born.