To be fully alive is excruciatingly painful. To live fully is to dig deep and fully understand who you are and who you think you should be and the reasons for both. It is the willingness to unmask the ugliest sides of you that you’d rather not face.
If I allow myself to pull up the floor boards, dust off the skeletons, and take a closer look at the things I wish to hide away, the things I wish would die, I might be discovered, or worse, I will uncover that I am not the person I believe myself to be. For now, I wash the floorboards clean, pacing their span as though nothing lies beneath. But far in the corner of my soul, the Raven cries out “Nevermore!” and I cannot ignore the secrets anymore.
And so I pry them open with shame and doubt and I brace myself for the stench that never comes. One by one I pull these secrets out and hold them up to the light.
These are the things I use to numb reality, to dull down the ache and heartache. The things that beg escape from the unrelenting beat of my days. A life full of laundry, dishes, picking up legos, hunting loose beads, returning stuffed animals to their “nests”, peacekeeping, peace-making, disciplining, cooking, cleaning, mending, tending, loving, hating, knowing, doubting, sacrificing… on and on the list goes on.
And I want to run, far far away from here, to a new life, a new place, a new start, a clean slate.
But I’m reminded that when I numb the fear and the shame, I numb the joy and the happiness. I remember, somehow, that the life I have is beautiful, even if it’s messy, and the hard work of digging through the depths of my soul is the hard work of refinement. And with each wound to my pride, I let go a little piece of who I think I’m supposed to be, I discover hidden gems of who I am. And I must treasure each of them for what they are. For I know that gems don’t shine without cutting away at what binds and hides the beauty beneath, and breaking free to shine on it’s own.