“Girl, well how long has it been?”
Don’t you just love that question? It’s probably my absolute favorite. (I hope you are picking up on the serious sarcasm I am laying down here, by the way.) This is a question that haunts the parts of me that did not catch the memo that I am healed. You see this question, and others like it, are the reminder that I am communicating through hurt or offense as a filter. When I hear this question, I have to back track through the conversation to figure out where I gave it away. How could they know I was still salty, or hurting, or annoyed, or living in a perpetual state of unforgiveness which was rapidly turning the corner into bitterness? Maybe it was the captions on my Instagram and Facebook posts. Now that I think about it, it could have been the subtle (to me) yet overt (to everyone else) comments around subjects that even loosely mimicked the loss I incurred. Who knows, really?
Then there is another question, more so, deeper concern that challenged the level of introspection I thought I had attained.
“How could I not have known I was still in pain? Why didn’t I know I wasn’t done healing?”
I spend a great deal of time in front of people. Whether from a stage or behind my desk, I consistently assure and ensure the well-being of others. I am trained to observe behaviors that help to tell stories hidden beneath what an individual wants me to see. I can spot the uninspired, unengaged, unmotivated, and those unwilling to tell the truth from a mile away. Yet, I could not recognize that there were parts of me that were still undone.
I was terrified at the thought that I was not the woman I believed and portrayed myself to be. It’s difficult believing you are whole and ready to move into the next portion of your life, after loss or disappointment, only to discover that you are not mentally or emotionally where you thought you should have been. This is even more startling after doing the work to get better. This work includes things like speaking with professionals, praying, reading my faith book and other relevant publications, creating moments for myself to think – but not too long, about how I am impacted and how to minimize damage.
The issue is that I was hiding from myself. I wanted to believe that I was the best version of myself that I could be, even if it wasn’t the truth. I couldn’t be disappointed by loss, and still suck at being my best. Then I gave myself permission to be and to become at the same time. I said five words that changed my life, forever.
“I’m not over it, yet.”
I’m NOT over it, yet. It still gives me so much relief. With this statement, this admission of imperfection, I was free to be exactly who I was – no strings attached. I was simultaneously released to reach forward. There was no impossible standard I had to live in. I could actively reach toward better without feeling guilty or unworthy about where I was reaching from. I felt safe in those words because they acknowledged the totality of my strength and frailty. This admission conceded that I could be in two places at once, and it was okay.
There is a word in this sentence that may go unacknowledged. I want to take a second to shed light on it.
Yet – adverb – up until the present or a specified time, by now or then. (Google Dictionary)
The definition is telling in that although we may not be over “it” at the present time, there is a SPECIFIED time in which we will be. Keep holding on. The time is specific; and, it’s coming.
We are privileged to wear many hats. Some of you may be wives, mothers, professionals, domestic engineers, fathers, husbands, boyfriends, and this list can clearly stretch to the ends of the earth. Sometimes we cease to BE in fear of what those that benefit from who we are may say or believe about us. I offer, instead, the notion that if we cease to BE, we can never BECOME.
That’s what this life is about: BEING and BECOMING. STANDING and REACHING. Give yourself the permission to BE healed and to BECOME whole.
It’s coming, soon.
With love until next time,