Loss is a funny thing, its nature is like quicksilver, exquisite and toxic but difficult to hold or contain. I saw a photograph this evening that triggered my heart. It was as though I was swimming in a black pool, my head finally above the water after years of grieving and then the loss appeared, prepared to pull me into the abyss of my grief. In this moment, I find myself fighting back tears, trying to clamour back to the surface of the water so I can gasp for air.
And then the shame sets in. Why am I still crying about this? What is wrong with me? This wound is years old now and yet it still lingers as though it was mostly fresh, the raw and redness of its edges still tender to the touch.
With the hot water of the shower pouring down on my head, crying silently while my husband and daughter fall asleep, I begin to realize that very simply, this particular loss touches my wound of I am not enough.
I believe this wound is a soul wound, I also believe it is a collective wound. I think most people deep down feel they are not enough. This deep intrinsic need to be loved and the fear of being rejected arguably drive many of our choices: what job we have, what car we drive, how we dress, how we parent, how we eat, it’s why we judge and compare…truly every human action is a call for more love. (I can’t claim that statement as mine, it’s a quote from someone, somewhere and I don’t know who but it’s amazing).
I can’t recall, like most of us, when I was first taught that I wasn’t enough. Maybe it was at home, I know I’m in the habit of inadvertently disappointing my mother. Maybe at school, I certainly was not the most popular of kids, I can honestly say I still feel, in many circles, that I am on the outside looking in. I think the thing about soul wounds is that you often times arrive to this lifetime with them (yes, I’m speaking of reincarnation).
I have had other losses as well. Numerous in fact. Loss of lovers, friends, of my father. The thing that is tricky about parents is we expect them to die because they are older than us. My father died young but not totally unexpectedly. I mourned him for many, many years but was pleased his deep suffering was over. What a relief for him, too bad he’ll have to keep coming back until he figures it out (see reincarnation belief above).
If I think back of all the losses I have had, the answer to healing is always the same. Time. The length and duration of which is undetermined. Who is to say what healed is anyways? Does it mean you stop crying or you don’t care? Does it mean you aren’t triggered by photographs? Does it mean making friends with the abyss?
Sigh. All these options seem overwhelming at the moment. Other times I feel nothing, today, right now, I feel that suffocating tightness in my chest when you are doing your best not to explode into tears. Some of you may say cry, but I have cried all these tears a thousand times.
Maybe rather than mourning, I should try forgiveness. Again and again. Forgiveness for myself.