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I am not good at being alone. Lately I have been so scared of any time I spend in silence, any time I spend by myself, any time there are no distractions. I have been scared to be alone in the quiet because suddenly my mind is so loud. My mind has been toxic lately, filled with thoughts of inadequacy and unworthiness. I recently started dating someone who makes me smile and laugh and when I’m with him I feel special and clever and lovely. It confuses the hell out of me, because I’m finding that there are these rooms in my heart that are so dark and so filled with self-doubt and insecurity that when someone tries to say I’m worth their time, everything inside me screams “no”.

About 2 years ago a man tried to rape me, and that event forced me to confront places in my heart that I did not know were there. It opened doors that had been so tightly shut I had forgotten there was anything behind them. It revealed a fear so visceral and crippling that I didn’t know how to process it in any other way then running and falling and drowning and breaking and running some more.

Life is a journey of healing. There are things that happened to us when we were 8 years old that still affect the way we respond today. Every tiny heartbreak has found space in my heart and it bursts forth in my tears and my insecurities and my irrational behavior.

For so long, I have been angry at my emotions. Why am I crying? Why am I mad at this person? Why can’t I communicate? Why am I so sad? Why did I panic when plans changed? Why am I so anxious about an imaginary scenario that will probably never happen? On my darkest days I am filled with self-hate and unable to move, hardly able to breathe. I lack the ability to take those steps towards healing. I expect everyone to read my mind. I don’t eat and I don’t sleep and I push people away. I fall into myself and descend deeper and deeper into the darkest parts of my heart until I forget light ever existed. This pain is not the problem. It is a symptom of unhealed heartbreak.

Heartbreak is unavoidable. It happens in huge crashing waves and in tiny breezes and all of it changes the way we see ourselves. So much of my heartbreak I have locked away. But lately through choice and by accident, those doors have been kicked down and the blackness has been forced out. When that happens we have to confront it. We have to fight with it and get to its gnarled tangled roots. We have to go back to that moment when we were 8 and we felt so alone and we have to speak truth into our young, broken heart.

This is not a story with a conclusion, because this is where I’m at now. I’m unlocking and breaking down and opening up and I am coming face to face with those things I wanted to forget.

There is fullness on the other side of this. There is healing and love. But this is not a process that ends. I know that I haven’t seen the last of heartbreak. It will happen again. I cant control when it happens or why or how. But I can control what I do with it.

Right now I am on a journey of emptying myself. Right now I am looking deep down inside of me and shouting into the caverns of my heart and calling forth the demons and the darkness and all my damaged parts. I am so afraid of what I will find. But I know that the love of God shines into those places. The darkness doesn’t have to stay dark. Light exists, even when I cant see it.

There is so much promise in emptying yourself. There is so much hope. Just think of all the beautiful things you can be filled with. Just think of all the room you’ll make for love and joy and sunshine and mountain tops. There is freedom on the other side of this fight. Cling to that hope even as you stumble through the darkness.

“I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted to lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty. How free it is, you have no idea how free…” –Sylvia Plath

 

-Elizabeth

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