I lost myself once in a Starbucks parking lot. I allowed the walls I had built up around myself to crumble to dust, to unceremoniously fall to the ground leaving nothing but broken concrete and glittering glass. It was the unfortunate culmination of weeks and weeks of confusion and sadness. I stood there, defeated. Shoulders slumped, tears flowing freely. Held up by a friend who provided grace and a soft place to land.
Like so many things in life there was no good explanation for “why is this happening”, it simply was. Like so many things it was completely and wholly out of my control, and the harder I held on the worse it got. I had done my best. For months. Each decision carefully weighed. I had given my very blood, and in the end it was returned to me in the form of silence. A closed door.
I was sick. Literally. The stress of it ate away at the lining of my stomach, gnawing and tearing until it finally gave me an ulcer. I was upset, and bewildered. I felt deceived. My days were spent obsessing over what could have possibly gone wrong. In many ways, I was destroyed.
But that night, when I finally stopped trying to hold everything together, and I finally let myself come apart I realized that I wasn’t helpless in it. Without the walls blocking my vision, I could see options. When the ceiling fell in, there was suddenly fresh air. And as I leaned into my friend, allowing her to hold me up, I knew that I wasn’t alone.
I can let the situation destroy me, or I can destroy the notion that I’m not good enough. That I’ve somehow done something wrong… And I can rise up in love. For myself and those who have hurt me.
There is no creation without destruction. I cannot rebuild myself until I have dismantled myself brick by brick. There is no joy without pain. All of it is a holy contradiction and I will dive in deep to experience all of it. Because that is what it means to be truly alive.
*To read part one, please see my last post HERE. To read Jessamyn’s take on this session please visit her HERE.
**The Holy Contradiction Project is an ongoing art project/writing exercise between myself and my good friend Jessamyn. Together we choose two contrasting words and create photo sessions around them, then write about those words in our life. To learn more about The Holy Contradiction Project, please read our original posts HERE.