Make no mistake, love; this has been the losing time.
The time of grasping tight and trying hard and still, in the end, being forced to let go. Of fingers locked tight and pried stiff from that which you’d hoped to hold for so very long.
It’s been the falling down time. The confused and lost and broken time. The ill-fitting skin that begs to be shed time. The kneecaps bruised from prayer time. The time of keening howl that rises from the center of the earth and pleads, no more. Not now. Please.
The endings, they came to you slowly. Pulling away inch by imperceptible inch. Till suddenly you realized the hand you’d held for years had slipped from yours and you were now reaching across a chasm of relentless empty.
And they came sudden. Hard and fast, so that there you were, without warning, curled in a fetal position on the rough carpet of an unfamiliar hotel room floor, black eyeliner smeared across your face and a lifetime ocean of tears being pulled like the tides from your obliterated heart.
You knew it was coming. You collected the red flags and tucked them back in the corner – hidden behind stacks of books scrawled with all the stories you told yourself so that you could continue to believe what you desperately needed to believe. Every now and then you took out those flags and counted them, didn’t you? As if by will you could force their numbers to decrease. You couldn’t. We never can.
And you. You had no idea. Blinders and rose-colored glasses have been your specialty for years. You’ve got a closet full. They kept you so safe. But on that last day there were no storm clouds, no early warning system to get you to shelter. Just a tornado that swept in from the east and flattened every last thing it touched. Until in the aftermath there was just you, standing in the midst of the rubble of a entire life.
You’ve been left. You walked into strong open arms and found a home that you imagined would be shelter and protection into a beautiful future. You had so much hope and faith, cloaked in all that tender cynicism. And such a hard layer of hurt hiding just beneath your fearlessly optimistic heart. And still, you gave yourself over to the sheer bliss of believing. You didn’t know you still had it in you to be that happy.
And you’ve done the leaving. You’ve walked away from the deepest of loves because you had to break before you were broken again. Because your wrecked runs so deep that there wasn’t enough love in all this world to hold your ache. Because in the end, you had to save yourself. Because, in the end, that’s all any of us can ever do. And nobody knows as well as you, just how much it costs to leave.
But here you are, love. Here WE are.
Still standing. Fierce with the reality of love and loss. Wearing the truth of our hearts on our tattered sleeves. And yes, this one very nearly took us out. And yes, there were days when the darkness was heavy and the climb out of that rabbit hole required us to mine our depths for strength we didn’t even know we had.
And here we are.
Broken open by hope. Cracked wide by loss. Full of longing and grief and the burn of that phoenix fire. Warrior painted with ashes. Embers from the blaze still clinging to our newborn skin, leaving us forever marked with scars of rebirth.
And just look at you. Heart broken but still beating. Arms empty but still open. Face raised to the sky and giving thanks for the light, even when it hurts your eyes.
My god, you are beautiful.
And this love. This loss. The one you have pulled around you like a blanket that still keeps you warm at night. Even though it is tattered and worn and full of holes and has no shelter to offer. It is a conduit. A bridge that you have unwillingly crossed. On one side who you were, and on the other who you will be. It was a long, lonely walk.
The ache is a ferocious kind of alchemy, the catalyst for transformation. The unanswered call? It creates the space and the silence you needed to learn to once again hear your own voice. The unmet hope gifts a crystalized understanding of your holy need. The longing that still curls in stubbornly hopeful tendrils from your open wounds? These will be your roots, seeking through hard earth to find you exactly what you need to thrive. The grief that took you the ground? It will help form the bedrock of your eventual rise.
So here we are, you and I. Grief is both relentless isolation and a common language that all hearts speak. Look into my sea glass eyes. Let me see your angel face. We come together in our sorrow because loss knows loss and needs no translation. And we come together in our joy, and our hope and our begin again – because always, it is together that we rise.
So yes love, I know this has been a losing time. And I know there were moments you imagined you might not survive. But here you still are, just like me. Here we still stand. Here our hearts still beat. Here we still love.
And in the end, you are here, broken and whole and still alive. Made even more tenderly beautiful in the depths of the shatter. Finding your way back to the truth of your soul and listening to the song of your stubbornly beating heart. And in the end, there is no greater testament to the power of love than this.