"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." —Sir Winston Churchill
Life has a way of going on, even when you are not ready for it.
Like a slap in the face I was hit with heartache. Not unexpected, but nonetheless, the stung hurt. I remember it clearly – a Sunday morning, I was awoken from a restless sleep to a ding that a message was waiting for me to read it on my phone. The words I took in were like sharp needles for my eyes to read, and my mind to wrap around (and if you know me, you know I loathe the very thought of a needle, so only fitting that the message to me was delivered wrapped in a tiny buddle of such a piercing sensation). I remember a tingling feeling in my nerves, gasping to regain breath, a whiplash of emotion from angry to sad, from pain to confusion. And just like that, the damage was done.
Life holds pain of great magnitude. And the trouble with such pain is that we can get caught up in it. Finding no pleasure, waking up crying, forgetting what it feels like to truly laugh without the fake smile that accompanies. Moments have the power to change us – to give merit to the meaning “jaded”, “cynical”, or even worse “loss of faith”. Faith in the realness of giving yourself completely only to be rejected and discarded like yesterdays news.
The bad news? Life indeed will showcase these moments and try to demand an Oscar for such a performance.
The good news? You have the power to highjack the performance and when the dramatic music plays, it will be you that has to prepare and deliver an acceptance speech for best supporting actor.
In this world, with open hearts and minds, we give ourselves completely and without conditions. I have the tendency to love sometimes too much, but never enough. I would rather be true to myself and my feelings than to hide behind a wall of regret and wonder. Does it mean I won’t fail? Obviously not – my heart has been broken more times than I care to keep count. But with that pain comes reassurance that I gave myself to the point where that person, or life choice, or decision, or moment touched me in a place in my soul deeper than I thought capable. And within that pain there is a discovery to another layer of yourself; a layer needing to show more of what is next on the laundry list to work on. Addictions, obstacles, choices – making it evident that in our mistakes there is learning in healing.
When you find yourself broken, know that new light now has an opening to shine in. Allow it. Does that mean hold in your feelings? No. Cry. Scream. Vent. Get angry. Throw things. Hell, break things (within reason, that expensive China will only lead to a whole other form of heartache). But once those emotions are out, let new ones in. Healing. Love. Spirituality. Comfort. Console. Peace. Come to terms with your grief in your own time, just as long as you do … Don’t let the pain of yesterday take anything from the pleasure of tomorrow. When you get slapped in the face, damn it – slap back. Don’t back down, don’t give in. Face the hurt with courage and a resolution that this too, whatever the source of the pain, is something you can and will indeed overcome. You will indeed learn from. And you will indeed walk away from, enlightened and stronger, and perhaps, with your very own Oscar.