There are movies that I feel compelled to watch, even though I know that they will be hugely difficult and triggering for me. I see them coming my way, peripherally watching the trailers or making plans to see them with my friends. And then, when it comes to watching them, I freeze.
There is never a good day to break your heart wide open.
There is never a good day to travel to that deep and dark part of your experience and chip away at the shame and hurt corroded there.
Instead, our lives are filled up with days that we try to keep good and maintain our equilibrium by making the distinct choice not to go there.
So what happens, if we are carrying pieces of our own story like the plot of a particularly difficult movie?
What happens if we are carrying pieces of ourselves around, pieces that it doesn’t serve us to hold anymore, but there is no nice or appropriate time to share?
Many of us carry stories and fragments that feel impossible to hold.
When we are feeling particularly vulnerable, we pull those pieces out and lay them on the table in front of us as we construct the story of our worth. We connect the dots, attaching our deserving to the emerging patterns.
We tell ourselves that we are our stories. That we will never escape where we’ve been.
And the when brush all those pieces back into their hiding places, slinging the bag over our shoulders and trudging down our paths.
In the scheme of the world, there exists a spectrum of hurts. A wide net of perceived trauma.
My hurt will be different than your hurt. And some hurts carry labels and diagnoses and cultural relevance. And some don’t.
Yet, to each individual person, the dark part feels impossible to hold – no matter where the action or story might fall on the grand spectrum of the human experience.
Your hurt matters. Your shame matters. The quality of your life matters.
It is not useful to fall into conversation with yourself about whose pain is worse. If it hurts, if you’re holding it, carrying it around like a hot potato that is burning your hands and you are looking for a place to toss it – then it matters.
If it matters to you, it matters.
There is never a good day to break your heart open. And, yet, you are deserving of a sweet reprieve. You are deserving of a safe place to land. You are deserving of a life free from the tight and maniacal grip of what was.
You deserve to construct your inner landscape in such a way that you can hold your pieces – without giving them the power and permission to write the entirety of your story.
You can give that gift to yourself.
You can choose to bring in a support team.
You can ply your darkest parts with understanding and care, even when you are simply going through the motions while holding onto some distant prayer for a life free from daily hurt.
You can choose yourself. Your life. Your spirit.
There is never a good day to break your heart open, to travel deep into the mine of your lived experiences with a small flashlight and pick to begin chiseling away at the layers of shame and hurt that stand between you and where you want to go.
But, you can choose to begin today.
You can trust that you are worth the effort.
You can believe in yourself, unapologetically.