Saturday, February 4, 2012

Scraped Knees

This morning I was jogging with my host family's large brown labrador, Ubu. While a fresh blanket of snow had covered all of my familiar paths and roads, I have great trekking on my shoes so I would not be stopped by mere ice. 

This dog is very sweet. But also extremely unaware of his own strength and most of the time, his own movements. So when another dog started barking at us as we passed his fence, Ubu did not hesitate to gallop (this dog is huge) forward enthusiastically, and I went flying head first down to the pavement. Besides some scraped knees I was perfectly fine, and after a moment I continued on. 

Whenever something like this happens, scraped hands, chipped tooth, stubbed toe, burned finger, I am immediately filled with a tiny tingling of adrenaline. It almost feels like I can breath more clearly, or a larger piece of me is conscious. I feel that much more alive. 

And then, as I usually do, I thought about this on a metaphorical level, and then it hit me. Holy CRAP. What would any of us do without pain we experience? All of the breakdowns I had when I was fifteen finally made sense. How would we ever rise from any ashes if there was no fire? If it weren't for the blood and the burns and the crying what would be the point of picking up and moving on? How could we sleep at night if we occasionally didn't get out of bed in the morning? 

ALTHOUGH please don't screw up your life intentionally to find something better. Your falls will come whether you want them to or not. Take it from someone who has an incredible amount of experience in this area. No matter how many staircases you are hurled down, you'll find a way to climb back up, and eventually you will even forget how you tripped. With every rejection and every moment you wish you could erase you come one step closer to wholeness and success and freedom. The harder you fall the stronger you rise. (If you're willing to work hard enough, internally and externally). 

So feel good about crying. Fell good about hurting. Like someone took a chisel and buried it in your chest. Revel, drown, become drunk in your own anguish frustrations and fears. These waves you feel control you is just a sea of tests of your strength. And as long as you don't become waterlogged it absolutely strengthens you. These horrors and memories may follow you like a shadow for the greater part of your choosing. But if you learn to turn around and face your shadows the new sunlight will all but blind you. Maybe that's why we are so visual in the first place. Who knows?