Being human is something I’ll write about often as I learn to become one again and all the ways I tried to avoid being one…
Being human means more than being born into existence. It means being vulnerable and messy and courageous with your feelings. It means taking risks and getting hurt when you finally choose to expose your heart. Being human involves suffering. It means accepting a life you didn’t plan on having. It means making connections with others which is one way I thrive, but I stopped. After my divorce I wanted no part of being a human. I was done with all that foolishness. Never again, I said. I was going to live the rest of my life on my own and just be “happy”. Problem was I wasn’t happy because I wasn’t living. I’d gotten really good at staying in the deep end where I was covered up, my soul under water, without oxygen, but safe from the world. Keep your heart and soul safe at all costs, I would tell myself. So I stayed under the water that had become a comfortable friend, so just my mouth was at the surface and I could breathe just enough to continue treading the water. I didn’t realize how exhausting that was, but God forbid I actually come all the way up to the surface and float there on my back like they teach you to do as a child for survival. Nope, this was my means of surviving. Never would I come up and float on my back there and expose my bare, naked soul to anyone ever again, let anyone touch me or see ME and my true heart with all it’s cracks. I was much safer this way. Safe from feelings, safe from others, safe from my mess and my truth, safe from the whole wide world. Ironic – float on your back to survive. So, naturally, being the incredibly stubborn girl that I can be, I chose to stay under, to stuff my heart and my truth all the way down, and I almost drowned myself.
I remember a particular morning not too long ago. My boys’ father had just come and picked up the kids to take them for the week. Something I don’t believe I’ll ever get used to. Every single time it still completely unearths me like a violent storm ripping an Oak tree from it’s roots. I feel uprooted and alone. I was standing in my kitchen reflecting on missing my boys and slowly coming to life with my first cup of coffee. I was staring out the window feeling anxious, waiting. Waiting. Waiting for what? Cars passed by and I continued to wait for something or someone, but no one was coming. I was here alone. No one was coming to save me from myself or the loneliness. Then I saw a moth trapped between the glass and the screen of my kitchen window, frantically pacing back and forth, anxious, like he too was waiting and finding it hard to breathe, like me. I tapped on the glass and thought to myself, “Turn around little guy! Look, there’s a screen on the other side. You can breathe. You got this!” I realized I was cheering on a moth (and rolled my eyes at myself and the absurdity of it), but, more importantly, I listened to that message in my head. “Diane, you got this. You’re just beginning my friend and you’ll get it down, little by little. Just start living and keep going.”
So being a human really is all about LIVING. And living, really living, requires some pain and suffering. On the other side of that pain is joy and passion and contentment. And it’s a cycle that will repeat itself within us to some degree for our entire lives. So I’m learning, like so many of us, to float on my back a little more, to relax, breathe and enjoy it, to show more of myself and my heart. I practice a little more every day and find myself feeling joy again.
That is why I started this blog that I’ve been threatening to begin for years. I had hit rock bottom and writing was and is the one thing that can bring me out of anything. I want to share my story and my experiences with others so that they know they are never alone. Maybe then others will start to try floating on their backs, sharing their hearts, their words and their truth. To start living. After all that’s what we’re here for.