“No one escapes a time in life when the arrow of sorrow, of anger, of despair, pierces the heart. For many of us, there is the inevitable need to circle the wound. It is often such a surprise to find it there, in us, when we had assumed arrows so painful only landed in the hearts of other people. Some of us spend decades screaming at the Archer. Or at least for longer periods than are good for us. How to take the arrow out of the heart? How to learn to relieve our own pain? That is the question.”
- Alice Walker
For all the wisdom in the world that we possess, human beings are often naive to a fault. All our lives we are so engrossed in being curious about everything else that we fail to see and understand ourselves.
And more often than not, this realization comes at a grave price. Sometimes when we lose someone we love the most, sometimes when we lose ourselves, but the theme of loss is a constant. In some way or the other. Often it takes the absolute destruction for us to pause and recognize the problem. And the tragedy is that very few manage to pause. And even fewer dare to reflect.
The tragedy of our lives lies in the fact that the courage and the desire to heal comes in the moments of an absolute loss of self. And yet many have found their salvation in those exact moments.
The moment they dared to see the follies of being a human, a fallible human, and realizing their ultimate strength in taking the step forward. Someone once told me that rock bottoms have created more heroes than battlegrounds and wars. That it is our intense desire to rise out of our purgatory that leads us to greatness.
My own journey to these realizations took me years of hurt, pain, rejection, resentment, anger, hopelessness and ultimately emptiness. And the lowest point in my life finally taught me to see things as they are without defending anybody or anything. It taught me to accept the situation for what it was. That was the first step in my journey.
This is the very first step in your journey back to yourself. This means a confrontation with the self. And to muster the courage to do that.
I ultimately did that. I finally accepted that it wasn’t always my fault. That others could be wrong too.That I was a people pleaser and deeply conditioned to be that due to my environment.
And this acceptance doesn’t mean the acceptance of things as they are and resigning to your fate or letting things be.
Acceptance is about accountability for actions where they lie. Where you let yourself down, where you chose to let anybody hurt you, and when people chose to breach your boundaries, where you felt hurt and couldn’t do anything about it because you didn’t understand the situation for what it was or didn’t even know what to do at that moment.
After that came an innate desire to change my narrative. Because I ultimately felt exhausted with my life, with my relations, with everything. I ultimately wanted from the depths of my heart to discontinue to let the past hurt me. And to not give others the power to hurt me.
The seventeen year old me was bedazzled by fairy tales and romance novels. She secretly wished for someone to save her. She believed in the knights in shining armors. She intently waited for her savior to come and love her so intensely that it would erase everything that hurt her.
The twenty seven year old me finally realized that she was her own knight in shining armor. The healing touch of love she read about in those novels actually resided in her own heart. I realized I am not a damsel in distress, but a Phoenix which is destined to rise from its ashes and soar the sky.
The sky isn’t the limit, but just a perception. That is the beauty of life. Life is born from death. In this case, the death of the old which doesn’t serve us anymore.
All we need is the courage to seek the light. The very flame which is burning within all of us.
In my next letter, I will further take you on my journey towards the next juncture of my healing journey. May you be empowered to find your flame. May you find the pull to move forward.
“We underestimate the power of choice, our power to suddenly wake up one day, bored of our own bullshit and decide to do things differently.” - Saskia Lightstar