‘Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”
Cheryl Strayed - Dear Sugar
It’s true. Not everything will be okay. This is not okay. It’s the deepest ache. It’s a solid core of loss layered on top of loss. I know it is. But there you are in that small, quiet room, and although it – all of it – may not be okay – you will.
I feel this deep and true and right in the marrow of my bones. You will be okay and more than okay and so much more than you could possibly know. There will be love. The kind of love that changes everything. And maybe more heartache. And so much laughter and breathless kisses and the hard fall of tears. There is so much more ahead. And it is so very good. I promise. I know this.
I hope that I get to see you love what you are. To know yourself as gift and worth and truth. That you see what a huge thing it is to have the courage to break your own heart. That you have chosen wholeness – even when it has shattered you. And that you will one day see that you can be whole and broken in the exact same spaces, that they nestle side by side – and that this is the way of things. Not your punishment for wrongdoing, or for not trying hard enough – but just the way of things. That you can stand and look at yourself in a mirror and see your goodness right there, see the worth of what you bring on the surface of your skin, just like I do. That you trust there is brilliance to come. That you own what is yours to own, both the bad AND the good. That you do not insist on owning it all. It was never all yours to hold. Release to the wind, love. Let it be carried away on the breeze. It does not serve you now.
I know you, and your darkness and your shadow and all the things for which you practice self-flagellation. And I still see you as good, and true and strong and powerful and exquisitely present in this world. You have not chosen the easy way. Life has not granted you a gentle path. Not even close. But you have followed your own trail, again and again and again. You have done what you needed to move forward. You have placed one foot in front of the other and kept on going – even when that was the most difficult thing to do. You have defined your space and your territory. You have said ‘This is mine. You may not enter now’. And you meant it. And you stood by it, even when it was impossibly hard.
And all of this, my friend, is no small thing. In fact, these are all very large things. Infinite and powerful and true.
The voices in your head that say otherwise? These are born not from truth but from the stories others have created for you. These stories do not have to be yours. Even if they once were, you need not accept them any longer. Give them back. Every last one. You’ll write a new story now, on a blank page, with a new pen and in your own incomparable voice.
I wish for you so very much. Seaside wishes and spin the bottle daydreams. Lucky pennies and shooting stars. A safe place to fall and a high place to leap from into the deepest pool of the clearest water. That you shed the shackles of past and grief and loss and betrayal. I hope you are possessiveness of your own wilderness. That you stake your claim and encircle your space with charm and enchantment and only grant entrance to those who bring you fully alive.
I wish for you space to cultivate a relationship with your own divinity. No external god, but the divine that lives within your own stubbornly pulsing heart. I wish you the energy and emotion of the greatest love affair, given as a gift to yourself. That you come home to the woman you are and the woman you are becoming. And the I hope you find what it is to love another in your mother tongue, a love that requires no translation and only delivers the ease of being fully known and fully seen. A love that brings you alive, that carries you home.
No mistake, this is the phoenix fire part. The burning down to ashes part. The preparing to rise again. This is a space without anchor, without moorings. Even the north star may be obscured by clouds. But your compass lies within. Your soul knows your truth north. Can find it without map or directions. You need only trust yourself enough to listen to the whispers of your valiant soul.
Lay your head in my lap, love. Tell me your stories. The ones that have formed you into the gift that you are. Now take a breath and let it go. Let it all go. Let the sea breeze carry it away. Let your tears fall. You will be held now. You will be carried. You can stop running. You can cease the endless motion and constant struggle. You can rest now. You are safe.
And maybe, just maybe, now you can be still.