When The Bough Breaks

I’ve examined the situation. Thoroughly analyzed, quantified and logged the circumstances of my present day life. Evidence? Weighed. Arguments? Made. In the end, there was only one course of action: I quit.

I’d given it all I knew and then some. Poured out more of myself than I ever thought possible—in all the wrong ways.   Raked in more than my fair share of pain and loss—left my heart with gaping holes the size of Pluto. And they don’t just exist. They grow. They secretly morph into clusters of dark abysses that consume everything—shred everything. Memories. Reason. Reality. All of it, altered.

So, I quit. I wasn’t hurt, I was wounded. I didn’t just bleed, I hemorrhaged. Breathing hurt. Talking hurt more. And before I knew it, silence became my ally—my only constant in a sea of tsunami like events that ravaged just about every place it touched which, in case you were wondering, was everywhere. Not a blade of grass prevailed nor a stone left unturned. Their smiles kept me alive; hope kept me afloat; joy rescued me at night—none of these were true. In fact, it was silence that snuggled with me in the midnight hours begging me to hold on a little while longer. It was silence that spread its pinions and collapsed them around my shrinking frame. It was silence that proved to be most loyal and unfailing. I thought I’d wither in the silence but oddly enough, I grew.

Strong and defiant. Beautiful and grateful. Life was unfair and some crosses proved to be too much to bear. But silence breathed into me power. Power? Yes, power because not only did it teach me that I didn’t have to justify my sense of loss to those whose minds had already been made, it showed me that much like grace, no was sufficient. No explanations or dissertations, just no. One word, two letters, complete freedom. And with that freedom birthed the audacity to live on my own terms, to grieve in my own right, and to laugh or sing if and when my innards felt like it.

I stopped giving away pieces of my soul like it would replenish at will. I started calling a spade a spade with all the love and kindness I could muster granting truth its right to prevail in the face of cruelty and indifference. I measured thrice and cut folks loose only once because in my line of living there are no backsies. Bottom line: I lived. Through hurt, hell, turmoil and triumph I lived. I gave up more times than I can count and got up even more times than that. I fought for joy until it danced in sync with my soul’s rhythm. I waged war against doubt, until it succumbed to the fullness of the light at the end of this struggle. I cursed fear, until its foundations crumbled giving way to the dawn of a new day. Yes, I quit. But then I got back up. And truth be told, so can you. Whatever it is, no matter how it hurts, no matter what you’ve lost, fight for your tomorrow!

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