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The Truth

It's been a long time.

I haven't been able to write.

And people haven't been very able to tell me their stories.

This is why:

THE TRUTH Have you ever found yourself fallen apart, awake to a morning where your pieces are all spread out on the floor, an arm here and a leg there, memories and stories and regrets scattered all over the carpet? You are in pieces, not whole, or so it seems, and you are wondering how this happened. How did I fall so completely apart you ask? And all of a sudden? But it was not. It was not all of a sudden. And you know it. You heard the whispering. For a very long time you felt the breath of words you could not say. For so many days and months and years even, your body was rigid with the doors you would not close. So please, do not say it was all of a sudden. Nothing ever is. But now it is morning again. And your pieces are on the floor and you begin to panic, blood beating too fast, breath choppy, stomach aflutter, falling to your knees to gather up your heart and bones and old stories. You hug it all to what’s left of your chest, try to hide your nakedness as you do the things everyone has to do. Shower, make coffee, eat breakfast, drive, work, respond, avoid, lose, pretend, fear, hurt. But it is so hard. It is so hard to hold all the pieces in place so that nobody can see how cracked and aching you are, how it is all disintegrating. It is so hard to do the things that you must. But must you? Cracked and aching and disintegrating. It is all so hard, but we can do hard things. We can. And we do. But when it goes on too long, morning after morning after morning after morning, gathering the pieces, throbbing and longing and knowing something else, the body begins to feel not so solid and suddenly you do not recognize it and you do not recognize anything at all. You do not recognize your life. And there is a reason for that. Do you know what it is? You do, don’t you? It is because it is over. Your life. It is over. This is why the pieces must be gathered and carried every morning, blood beating too fast, breath choppy, stomach aflutter, your heart and bones and old stories pressed against you to hide your nakedness. Because your life is over. But you don’t want anyone to know. And also . . . You won’t let it go. You won’t. You would rather hold onto gone things than to breathe new life because new life is so fragile and uncertain. But still. This is dreadful. This. It is dreadful. It is a grief that will destroy you. If you don’t let it save you instead. This is a grief that will destroy you if you don’t let it save you instead. Can you feel that? You feel it don’t you? But you keep brushing it away like a nuisance because you were not taught to trust so much instinct, that steady pulse in the belly that has become a pounding in the gut. You were not taught to trust knowing without knowing. You were not taught even to trust. So you don’t recognize this. You think this splitting wide open is false and dangerous and that it can be fixed by doctors or thinking or meditating or a talk with friends about gratitude . . . . . . all lovely things, but not this time. Not this time. This time you will need to stop. You will need to stop with these things you keep picking up and dusting off and putting away and organizing a little better, when really you should just throw them out. This time you will need to listen to the tears and the rage and the chronic worry, the mind that never stops trying to release you from this crushing wisdom . . . and understand that it cannot. The mind cannot release you. It has served you well, but no longer. Now it serves another, not you. Now it holds only stories formed in fear and it continues to chant that this knowing you have is false and dangerous when really it is . . . Do you know what it is? Freedom. It is freedom. That thing you feel. Those pieces spread out all over the floor. The whispering and the doors that need to close. They are freedom. And instead of falling to your knees for old ideas that are asking to be let go, you would stand and walk away, if only you knew what being free looked like and how it felt in your veins and cells and in all of your inhales. If only you knew. But you do know, and also you don’t. Not for sure. What you know for sure are chains and lies, and though they hurt, they are familiar, lessons taught for so long that they are well practiced. Perfected. Entrenched. And there is comfort in this, in the familiar. Even as it digs into your essence and carves out so much joy, throws it away like rinds from an orange, from your sacredness, there is comfort. You want to be sure. You want to be safe. And it works sometimes, for a while. Maybe it will again one day. But now? It is devastating. This comfort is becoming so uncomfortable that sometimes you cannot even think, cannot form words, find that you have not learned the language for what you must say. And it overwhelms you, threatens to swallow you up, this haunting lack of being free from so much bottled up certainty, and it keeps screaming to you and throwing things, asking to be acknowledged, tried, trusted. It begs you. It begs. Do not pick up the pieces anymore. Do not shower, make coffee, eat breakfast, drive, work, respond, avoid, lose, pretend, fear, hurt. No, no, no. All of that is turning to dust now, puffs of smoke left behind everywhere you go, clouds that nobody understands, as even those who love you most sit in a sort of desperate silence because they haven’t been this broken. Or. Because they have. So what do you do? Make friends with despair and don’t answer calls and make no plans and sleep too much and also not enough and crawl through this world clutching a painful truth. Maybe. For now. While you shed. While you shed. Shed the layers that are not you . . . And know that it takes time, this shedding. It takes so much time. And it is heavy. This dropping of so much that is not meant to be carried, still feels heavy. So heavy. Alone too. It feels alone. You are alone. And also you are not. Others have traveled here and are traveling now and will yet, but you will feel confined to a prison without visitors for a long time, maybe all the time. Maybe you will never get out until that day on the deathbed like so many. But I don’t think so. I think you will get out sooner because you are hurting far too much. You are devastated. Your are tortured by things you keep picking up and dusting off and putting away and organizing a little better, when really you should be throwing them out! And you know it. But it is so hard isn’t it? It is so hard. So do the best you can amidst all of the horrible noise that comes from clutching and ignoring, from grieving a life you are not living. It is so loud isn’t it? It is so loud. But do the best you can. Gather the pieces if you must. Gather them until you no longer can, until your arms cannot bear the weight and everything drops. Everything. Until it all sheds. Until it all sheds and finally you find knowing and trusting and truth telling. Truth telling, you ask. What is the truth? What? Tell me so that I know. But you do know. That is the painful truth. The painful truth, my love, is that you know the truth.


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