That’s when you see them. In those few seconds your eyes close to avoid the sting of the shampoo racing down your features in the shower, or in that mindless blur from when you turn onto a road you’ve driven on for years, or in those final ticking moments of consciousness before sleep, it’s then that you see them.
There they are. The subject of your adoration from years ago, when you were still fifteen and they thought you were funny and you thought you two would get married. Your first love. There they are, clear as day in your mind’s eye.
Just as tangible as their face, just as literal, comes to your body aching at the thought of their resurrection. Those undulating waves of cold skin, shivering hands, the roller coaster’s creeping up over the hump and about to drop, hot cheeks, heavy-faced- aching.
You have their face in your mind right now, their name clutched in your teeth, and that pressure pulling your insides to your feet, don’t you?
Look at your own hands. Look into your own eyes. Smile because you still have a body that will hurt you. Don’t push that feeling away- that physical reaction you conjured up from just a thought. Don’t lose it- that raw reactivity. Celebrate the fact that you kept the wound open with red all these years as to continue to see the lifeblood rushing underneath the skin. Yes, this hurts, but it means you’re alive!
There’s a quote I’ve recently attached to that I keep finding increasingly poignant. Within the final moments of the widely successful film and novel “Call Me by Your Name”, the lead character’s father tells his son this-
“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything - what a waste!”
I recently felt a heartbreak I thought would destroy me. My instinctual reaction was to pry away this fragile chapter that had just ended from the novel of my life. I wanted to completely maim every beautiful sentence and paragraph of memories’ past to alleviate some of the pain of their being written at all and not being written anymore.
But all that would leave me is this wretched scar as a reminder of the end and my destruction of all the fantastic in between. I will not sully the history of my years in an effort to preserve a heart that needs no preserving to live.
So, revel in that live wire nature of your body. Thank yourself for staying raw, staying outstretched towards others, and for never hardening over the years, for never shutting yourself off, for never losing your spark.
Certainly, you know of those who lost that light behind their eyes through cataclysmic events they just couldn't get through. Let us not be one of those people. Let us fight and fight and fight for healing and for the trust to give that freshly healed heart away again and again and again because it is in that perpetuity that life happens.
Our library of lives will be so full of the gore of heartbreak, and even though the ink may not have even been purchased yet to write of our healing, the healing will come. But it is vital that the many chapters of our individual healing are preceded by page after page after page of every gorgeous love we’ve ever felt and every devastating end that came from them.
For your next inevitable heartbreak- remember- through all the blood and tissue and splintered bone- still lies a heart just for you. Your heart- it's beating your Lifesong and pumping your lifeblood and housing in all of its chambers the many stories of your destruction and repair. It is alive for you. It is there to be hurt for you so that you can live thousands of fantastically brutal devastations and trillions of fantastically magnificent perfections.
Do not fear the pain of an end. Always- ALWAYS- revel at every beginning and every second of every in between. If not, then what’s the point of living at all if not to risk said "all" for fleeting moments of pure and absolute perfection?
Now join me, wounded and bloodied, we will hold our arms outstretched to a humanity that either mirrors our raw visage or stands comfortably poised forever as self-made statue headstones. We will hurt greater hurts than we ever could fathom to exist, and not just survive, but live.
So close your eyes, remember that dimple they had on their right cheek or the way their freckles got darker in the summer, and take pride in your being hurt, being loved, and being alive.