Truth Is….

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Push away the sugar coating, the sweet sunset photo memes on your Facebook newsfeed, the quotes in the books on your shelves gathering dust, the kind words recognized as merely cliches poured out on you from family, from friends, from perfect strangers. Lets set it all aside. Because we’re all adults here. We’ve all lived enough life to know the truth. To begin to face it unafraid, like a dragon of rage and violence it faces us right back, its breath singing our eyebrows. We tremble, but we face it. Because we begin to realize that without darkness, there is no light. Without anguish there is not joy.
Life is real. It will scrub your skin raw sometimes, exposing nerves that wrap in around themselves each time we venture outside. Love….it will smack you face down onto pavement, skin your chin, bloody your nose. And when you find the courage to get back up it might just smack you back down again, take advantage of your startled weakness and walk right over you, leaving a muddy boot print on the center of your back. Love is not easy. The first boy you swear you will love forever….he will be a mere minute in your journey. left behind. Or the one doing the leaving behind. You will find yourself asking God why. But will receive no answer. Because love can not be encapsulated in a series of explanations or letters penned with your very blood. Love simply IS. Sometimes it takes a sliver out of our hearts, sometime sit adds a brand new layer to our soul, sometime sit lasts a long time and we find eternity in their eyes, in the crook of their arm where we lay our head on silent nights, in the curve of their calf as they walk away from us for good. Love simply IS. Its drinking hazelnut coffee with him on the front porch. Its his scratchy handwriting on the grocery list, reminding you he use dthe last of the salami. Its simply all of the small moments.
Love is LIFE.
And life is no less dangerous territory.
Life will bring you betrayals from people you thought you would be able to trust in for the rest of your life.
Life will find you, curled up like an angry fist of fury, wrapped around the shattered pieces of your broken heart, trying in vain to hold it all together. Life will find you face down in the pillow, snot and tears blending into a river of grief on cotton. Life will find you burying your child, struggling to write a proper eulogy for the woman who gave you life, standing all alone at a lonely tombstone straining to hear the echoe of his laughter in the wind. Life will rip every last thing from your grasp like a furious tornado funnel, but will grant every blessing to the person just across the street. Life won’t play fair. Life wont be predictable. Life will wait to you get comfortable in your bliss and then yank the rug out from under your steady feet.
Life will watch you hold the picket sign and yell out your adament chanting for a faith you believe so strongly in. And then life will let the trees be burnt down to make way for a shopping mall. Life will let abused children stay bruised and alone while social workers look the other way. Life will let the mother of two die in the fire saving her children. Life will let the gay man be burnt alive for the simple crime of being gay and his ashes will fall softly like snow onto the ground that will push up daisies from cracks in cement.
Life isn’t ever fair. Ever.
Live it anyway.
Keep going.
Just like love is never what we want nor expect.
But love anyway.
Love the homeless man on the street corner who reeks of booze and slurs his words at you.
He is still someones son. He once was a miracle, kicking within the womb of a hopeful, fearful mother.
Love the girl at work who is always miserable and has walls up around her a thousand miles high. Love here because shes known enough battlefields to be called a veteran.
Love the men who wont ever love you back.
It’s good practice. For the real thing.
And when the real thing comes, you may not recognize it at first. It may be masqueraded as a friend. Or a man with a softening middle and a receding top. maybe he wont fit that list you made when you were 16 at all. But maybe if you dig a little deeper you will realize how shallow that list was anyway.
one more truth……
The real thing wont matter at all and wont be tangible until you first find the real thing in YOU.
You must take all of the lessons learned from all of the loving and all of the living…..take it into your bloodied hands and shake it, sift it all around, until all that is left in your palms is the TRUTH.
Because the true truth is this:
You are never truly alive until you discover how deeply you truly love yourself.
Love yourself so hard you wont ever settle. Wont ever allow bruises on your flesh. Will stand toe to toe with your demons and never back down. And never apologize for the fact that you HAVE demons. Love yourself so much that you will find the courage to say “NO.” Whenever neccesary. Love yourself that your so called flaws make you smile when you look in the mirror. Love yourself and go deep into the woods and simply dance. To the song emanating deep inside the most hidden room of your heart. Love yourself enough to laugh out loud in the middle of a diner and everyone stares and you don’t even care because joy tastes delicious on your tongue.
Love yourself because love is never love until it is true and nothing is true until you can taste.feel/hold/KNOW it.
And only when you can love yourself with that much passion can you love another that same way.
And only when we can love others that way can we truly LIVE.

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