A close friend of mine looked at me last night. After giving me a long stare she said, “You do protect your heart, don’t you.” She was painfully correct. And that painful truth made me think about my beloved friend.
Loss causes one to reflect. Sadness has the ability to mute the world, heightening the sound of one’s inner voice. I’ve gone through quite a series of emotions over this past week. Even anger ventured in. I wanted the chance to slam my fist against my friend’s broad chest, and scream at him for not believing in himself. I’ve wept. But most often I found myself staring off. My face holding the expression of a porcelain doll, not quite smiling, and not quite frowning. At times I all I can do still, is hold my hand against my chest in an attempt to snuff out the pain. After it lessens, off I stare again.
The human mind can be one’s ally and it can be one’s foe. The mind can harness the creative genius that saves humanity from famine, plague and disaster. The mind can be the portal for a passion that surges from the spirit and onto the page, canvas or screen. But so too can the mind be the all mighty barrier to all that we are meant to be. The voice of fear echoes with a sinister tone inside the mind that is numb to the movements of the soul. I know, I once was terribly numb.
Since I was a young girl I struggled to believe in myself. My early years were filled with upheaval and fright. I ran away over and over again. Rarely did I do so with my feet. No, I ran inside. I huddled down inside my inner being and listened to the voice of my fears. I knew that voice so well it became familiar. Eventually, that voice transformed into the chorus of depression that accompanied me on and off throughout my adult life. Rarely did I want to step too far into my dreams, desires, joy or that vulnerable space of allowing my heart to be loved. Fear told me I would fail. And because the din of fear was always louder than any other voice I knew, I listened. It was only after I broke open that I understood how to hear the voice of my soul. It may not be louder. But its always the voice of love. Fear tries to hold us down. Love tries to set us free.
As I sit and look off into the distance, I allow myself the graciousness to acknowledge how far I’ve come. I hit bottom one day due to depression. It was my, make or break, moment. I broke into a thousand pieces that day. Then I took my broken self, and began to write. Within weeks I began my life’s work. Yet even with all this, a tear forms in my eye as I hold one particular part of myself into the light and realize how far I’ve yet to go. For a time I had a beautiful soul in my life that wanted more than anything to hold my heart. I tried. I gave more than I’ve ever given. If I had it to do over, the scared little girl who fled inside herself due to the fear of her debilitating home life would come out of hiding. Oh yes, in many, many ways I’ve come a long way. I know the soul. My life is the work of the soul. But for me, dear reader, it seems the final frontier is to learn how to give my heart. This was shown to me. Easier for me to care for another, than to allow them to care for me.
Fear is the dark space of the mind. But the darkness is what summons the light. One follows the other. It’s the cycle of life and it is the cycle of our soul’s evolving. So with that, I may not have it to do over, but I can shine the light on this part of myself and see it for what it is.
I do hope that these words have helped to shine a light on you, dear reader. You are more precious to me than you know. Don’t damn your mind, even when its fear-filled. Just keep shifting the light. Fear is a tool, it’s never your guide.