2017 thus far, and a study in healing broken hearts.
I’ve been avoiding words for the past six weeks, slinking away from the same quirks that plague me, among them laziness, above all fear of digging. Digging into the soul, weaving the wounds into the happiness, finding purpose in the flow of repetition. Grinding, grinding, grinding. Realizing that passion isn’t the god-gifted, daily deliveries of inspiration that show up for free on your doorstep. Getting tired of using the word in the first place, listening to people throw it around, trying to find it, wanting to live it. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, and I don’t mean to walk over your experiences, but have you really thought about what it entails?
By definition passion is “a strong and barely controllable emotion.”
Practically the opposite of what society imposes upon us, it’s more or less the close sibling of obsession, cousin to fixation, child to mild insanity. Come on people, the Passion leads to Jesus’ crucifixion. Are you ready to throw yourself into something so intensely as to mimic that metaphor? On one hand passion could take you down a path where you emerge with frizzled hair, twitching eyebrows, and potentially deranged… but to tone things down, passion is also the parent to dedication, persistence, and and unyielding willingness to do better than before. I wrestle with this daily, acknowledging my laziness and fear that keeps me from even getting started. Hopefully writing this out will give me more motivation to get going.
Personally speaking, passion could take you to art as love, as expression, as hate. In a recent conversation with a friend we reasoned that art is sometimes all the love you could have given to another human being, but didn’t because perhaps their heart was too small for you. Their capacity to receive could not contain the storm you were about to offer. Art is the love that manifests itself in a way you can share it with the world when one person cannot. You could ask, is it safer that way? When you pour your emotion into something that cannot hurt you? But, perhaps more importantly, is the creative process complete without heartbreak? Artists slave day to day for the technique, but without the soul behind it, it’s hard to make a lasting impression.
Maybe this is the only way I can justify the pain of heartbreak — finding consolation in the fact that I have the capacity to feel deeply, wholly, humanly. We all do, we all can, and it’s totally alright if we don’t. But this one’s for the ones who dare to dream, for the right or wrong reasons, messily and dangerously and impulsively. We should be proud that we’ve been born with the blessing, the curse, the ability to take our emotions and express them beautifully. I have mad respect for those who major in theater, music, dance, the ones who had the courage to want to match their professional career with their art forms, and I have regrets that I didn’t. But I do know that who I am today is built upon the layers of my yesterdays, and the level of appreciation I have for myself is higher than it’s ever been.
As for healing broken hearts, there’s always the “time heals all wounds” or “it gets better” but honestly, does that have to happen? I think it’s alright if we never get “better” in the sense of the word. What does that mean anyways? We return to how we were before we met person X? That’s impossible. Perhaps with time you stop letting everything remind you of them, you stop crying every night, you allow yourself to love new people, stop hating yourself, stop hating them, but what’s left is memories and the way you molded yourself to fit their frame. What’s left is their imprint on your heart, the ghost of their wounds, the intangible feeling of loss. It’s so much work to sift through the files labeled “Us” to find the parts you want to keep and throw away, edit the scenes and copy/paste them into that forgotten archive of “Me,” so oftentimes we just set fire to everything and call it a sh*tty day.
No one changes you directly; you change yourself for the sake of other people. Then, you either tell yourself that they were the reason you became a better person or you blame them for the pain and heartbreak. Of course, these two situations aren’t completely incorrect, but what I’m getting at here is that you are still your own individual, with or without others around. It seems like a no-brainer that a relationship involves two individuals (or more, but that’s the topic of another posting), but we often forget about ourselves in the flurry of attraction and commitment. You can choose to reinvent yourself completely in the aftermath of a relationship, but in most cases you’re left missing the way they sleepily said your name, their awkwardly parted bed head, the surprise kisses and spontaneous adventures and deep discussions. Maybe you talked about the future, maybe you dropped the L-bomb, maybe you were both too afraid to try. But it’s hard to leave them, leave the you that you were with them, because we’re creatures of habit.
This is why couples split, get back together, break up and still act like they’re together, get tangled up and spat out and forget why they got together in the first place. Here, think about it when you’re not overwhelmed with emotion. Remolding takes time and effort, but it can be done. You can choose for certain things to stay with you, not because you’re a nostalgic little sh*t but because they’re actually going to help you. Your wounds make you a wiser person, regardless of the partner you were with. You got worse because of them, but you can also get better because of what they left behind.
We all walk around with baggage, yearnings, attachments, and it’s not the responsibility of a partner to take the all the crud and chuck it into the nearest fire, as much as I’d love to do that for all the people who I love. Loving someone isn’t loving them with all their pros and cons, it’s loving them in a way that helps them figure out how to accrue and reflect on everything that’s happened in their life, glean some lessons, and grow alongside you. It’s not passive, it’s not easy, but nothing that’s deserving of you is easy. Heck, you aren’t easy for yourself — it’s hard to figure out what we even want independently, much less with another. But life throws things at us, and love happens, and stuff. You know. Stuff.
At the end of the day if you let someone walk into your heart you should not regret that, because it’s your privilege to have the richness of soul that enables you to share yourself with someone. Of course, knowing how to finesse that is a discussion that could span a full-length book, but these are my considerations for the time being. You are responsible for your own happiness, so go out there and make it happen.
As always, peace love and ice cream.