Creating Beauty From the Wreckage

I could feel her, out there in the universe. The blame and the flagellation and the tender heart. I know this space, intimately.

“What would someone who loves you deeply choose for you right now?”, I asked her.

“Hold everything I share completely safely and in non-judgment.” She replied

“My friend” I answered, thumbs typing truth and bearing witness via instant messager, “As far as I can tell from here you are doing exactly that. You are loving yourself so very well.”

“Today I’m just feeling like shit for all of the choices I’ve made,” came her response, pain and self-judgment arising like magic from the little text bubble on my screen.

And my response came tumbling out of me, faster almost than I could keep up with it.

Love, sometimes this life is about horrible choices.

There is a quote that stays with me, I first heard it in a song, but it comes from Jean-Paul Sartre.

“Freedom is what you with what has been done to you”

I”m sure you’d agree that often the worst of all damages are those we perpetrate against ourselves, and so I would add to that line, even what’s been done TO you BY you.

It’s hard to imagine that anything like freedom could live at the root of all our bad decisions, but I believe it is so.

So, we should do a thing sometimes, you and I.

Let’s fucking cover the goddamn walls with craft paper, the floors too.

Let’s write all our fucking horrible choices with a rainbow of sharpies.

Let’s write them big.


Larger than life (the way they live in our minds).

Let’s speak them all out loud. No excuses, no apologies, no hiding in a dark corner covered in a blanket of shame.

Let’s sing them and rage them and cry them free.

Just the real, no bullshit deal.

Let’s tell each other all the stories of how we have been the finest instigators of our own undoing.

Don’t forget the asshole moments. The selfishness. The sin without redemption. The broken promises and all the times we have been reckless with the most precious hearts. Get them all out too.

Remembering, of course, that memory is finite and false and a shitty recorder of actual history. So that’s really all they are, you know. Just stories. No more powerful and no more or less accurate than any of the others.

This might take a while, we’ve got some years of living to get through.

Day might turn to night, and we might still be at it.

There are so many bad stories to tell.

I get it, I’ve lived a life too.

And when we’re done. When we’ve covered the walls and the floors and maybe our own skin and laid bare our hearts, and we are emptied and it is complete. Then let’s take in all that proof of disaster and say:

“Okay, universe, look at the holy brilliant fuckups we are. Get a good look at us, standing here in the middle of this mess of our own making. See how human and how divine and how utterly unextraordinary we are”.

Let’s stand there in the aftermath and look at each other dead in the eyes until we cry and then let’s keep looking until we start laughing and then let’s laugh until we are dancing.

Let’s try to see if we can come up with anyone we know who couldn’t cover just as much paper as we have, or more. I’m guessing we can’t, so I say let’s throw our bad decisions one hell of a party. Let’s invite the neighbors and celebrate the holy wonder of this wreckage and invite them to add whatever shit they’ve been carrying around with them too.

We’re all walking around this earth way too heavy for our own bones.

So let’s throw off the weight. Tear down the paper. Rip it all to shreds. Paint over the worst of it. Dance on top of the whole damn thing. Trash the room with all of our bad decisions, until we are sweaty and breathing hard and the confetti of our miserable life choices tangles in our hair, proof of the way we carry them with us everywhere.

Let’s stand there in the aftermath, in the totality of what we have made, in the middle of a room, in the middle of a life built on shitty ass decisions, terrible choices, horrible lapses of judgement, moments built on anger and fear and loathing and trauma and the massive self-sabotage fuckery of the life we have built.

A life
Two people.
In spite of all the reasons maybe we shouldn’t be.
All the moments that could have taken us off this earth.
Still here.

You and I, love. We are still here.

Finding freedom from what has been done.

Making beauty from the wreckage.
Creating life from the unliveable.
Cause that’s what we do, babe, me and you and everyone like us
We make beauty out of the worst possible things.
And if we were not here to do that.
To live in truth.
To call it out.
To bare our skin.
To show others what is possible.
Well, so many of them wouldn’t live quite as much, or risk quite as much or live quite as wide open as they could.

And that’s not nothing my friend.
Far from it.
That, my dearest, is everything.


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I swear like a sailor, I've been called a word-witch (more than once), I believe whole-heartedly in the power of your voice,  and think words are as necessary as air. I work with humans who are seeking permission to stop seeking permission and offer programs that will get living and writing on your own terms (for reals). 

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