I watched what was left of the cloudy sunset tonight and because the sun had already set behind the thick wall of clouds lining the horizon, I found myself watching the waves in the ocean instead. And this got me thinking.
Waves rush in, build, peak, and then crash. Then they roll back out to sea and pick themselves up again. If only picking oneself up were that easy, I thought. How much simpler could life be, given the ability to just get back up after a crash from such a high peak. So, how can I become more like these waves? (I'm talking habits, thoughts, etc. here - not like how can I become two hydrogen atoms bonded to an oxygen). How can I develop such resilience, such optimism and fearlessness? Or better yet, after all these 22 years, why haven't I been able to, yet?
Well, because I'm not a wave. Waves don't have feelings. Waves don't have hearts. I am a living, breathing, functioning, baking, eating, feeling human being and my heart slows me down - sometimes in the best way possible, like when it tells me to call the family member I've been missing lately, and sometimes in the worst way possible, like when it forces me to feel the pain of loving someone who isn't on the same page. One of my very first posts on this blog was written by (who I thought was) a "broken-hearted" girl, one who hadn't yet experienced such devastating hurt. I hoped to never write about it again.
But my heart is slowing me down again and, this time, it's asking me to write this for the sake of vulnerability and for the sake of anyone else who needs to know that you cannot become a wave. Be thankful for that. I am...
... because the more I thought about it, the more I realized that waves don't really learn. They rush in, build, peak, crash, then rush back out and repeat it all over again. We are smarter than that (most of the time) because we have hearts and those hearts are made of muscle tissue. Unlike bones, our hearts don't "break". They can be tugged, pulled, torn, bruised, but not broken. Like the other muscles in our bodies, our hearts recover from injury when cared for.
Our hearts recover from injury when cared for.
Mine always has, even though in some moments I have feared that I would never recover from whatever pain was gnawing at me, and I know it will recover this time, too. I've crashed multiple times like waves do, but instead of rolling back out to sea to repeat the process, I've learned and developed resilience. You've also crashed - I'm sure of it - and you might do so once or twice more, so take those as opportunities to learn and develop your own resilience. Your heart didn't break - maybe it was bruised. I'm not making light of any of your challenges, but rather encouraging you to encourage yourself because your heart is your own muscle and it's one of the strongest in your body.
The girl who wrote about heartbreak four years ago wasn't actually heartbroken - if her heart were broken, she wouldn't be here right now. It was severely injured, no doubt, but she knew how to give that muscle the proper attention and recovery process so that she could continue on finding herself and pursuing her passions. She's here again, and her heart was severely injured, but she refuses to let this take her off the field. With injury, her muscles were torn and with each careful recovery process, they built themselves back up. Stronger than ever before.