Life is a balancing act. Holding on and letting go. Holding on to hurt, holding on to words, holding on to a thoughtless comment or deed. I’ve held on to many. A heavy burden to carry.
I’ve also held on to small hands, vistas, laughter, tears of joy and loving someone so much you can no longer catch your breath.
It is only very recently that I have begun to consciously seek to let go of the type of holding on that holds me back.
The hurt that we bury deep inside. The hurt that tethers us to unhappiness. Hurt that we dig back up every time we no longer feel worthy, when we feel alone, when we feel threatened or simply, when we are tempted to play self-destructive games.
We dig the hurt back up and we poke at it with a mental stick, until once again it is raw and felt as acutely as the day it was inflicted.
This month I unexpectedly found myself face to face with someone who had hurt me. So much so, that I had withdrawn from our once shared social group. You see, I am porous, no Teflon coating here. Words and actions can cut deep.
Always fearful of confrontation, I could feel my hands beginning to tremor, my heart fluttering like a trapped butterfly in a bell jar. I had a choice in that moment, to scuttle back to the safety of my car or have the conversation I had been dreading and finally free myself from the weight of words.
I'm still not sure what the catalyst was that evening, what gave me the strength to finally voice my hurt. Perhaps it was sheer emotional exhaustion or perhaps it was realising that I was holding myself back. I was no longer in possession of a generous heart, just an injustice I had spent too long nursing.
Only I could stop the power of a heavy heart.
I went and spoke to the person who had hurt me. We ended up standing in that car park, in the dark that cold evening, talking for a long time.
I apologised for not having given them space to have this conversation before. For withdrawing. Then we hugged and in that moment....my heavy heart lifted.
We can't go back and re-write the past. We can't undo wrongdoings or rebalance the scales of injustice but we do have a choice as to whether we allow something to shape our forever or not.
We can choose to create a new now and to create a new ending.