Breaking down has, unfortunately, become something that I am good at. It was something that I once considered normal. Something that was bound to happen again and again simply because I let everything around me build up so intensely. But after so many times of feeling out of my mind and out of control, breaking down no longer seems as appealing as it once was.
Once you've hit an emotional rock bottom so many times, it becomes a wake-up call that something needs to give. Something has to change. But taking those first few steps towards something better, anything better; is not easy. So often, even existing, can feel difficult almost to the point that breathing is the only recognizable connection to the present moment. But no matter how hard it is to move forward, remaining stagnant is not an option. By simply standing still, it becomes far too easy to go down the same exact path that got you there. Heading back in the same direction you came because the familiar is the only sure thing you have left to hold on to, even if it is the same sadness you felt before. The familiar is comfortable, even when it hurt. But to break that cycle of emotional addictions eventually becomes a decision of moving forward or remaining stuck. Refusing to push past the emotional and painful barriers that are keeping you from growing does nothing but conceal your inner and outer truths.
Breaking down is a lonely mess because you are forced to face your demons, your flaws and the parts of yourself that you kindly despise.
It is far easier to avoid them and that fight completely. And. Just. Give. up. Every moment, every day and every moon that goes by without facing who you are completely and how you got there, you do nothing but sacrifice the potential to experience a self. You trade the infinite colors and dimension of your soul for a comfortable penthouse view of an oh-so-bleak and lifeless world. So when it comes time and you are forced to look the world (and yourself) straight in the eye: you will bleed and you will hurt. But it is a fight that must be fought. The spiritual path is not the easy path.
Personal growth is beautiful yet a constant process of destroying and rebuilding. During this fight, the color blood you shed is up to you. Being hurt can bring about the most elegant of creations, either in the form of needed life lessons or tangible pieces of art. Or both.
Yes, there are going to be times in which you will be wounded by the world, but take advantage of it. Do something useful with the pain of the unavoidable battle: create, write, learn, grow. Use that energy as fuel to the spirit and water to your soul. But do not let the hardship of the fight forward take over. Do not become so attached to the pain that you let it define you and thus believe that you cannot leave it behind. Do not get in the habit of breaking down and being broken because one day you'll look back and realize that you never left that state of mind. Breaking down is okay, but please my dear, please do not stay there. This body is your temple, and this soul your home. A home filled with resentment, fear and past hurt is not a place for a heart to live nor a place for a spirit to flourish.
Taking the smallest steps forward, towards your truest self, is difficult. But it is ultimately the path we all must take, whether it be now or down the line. Growth may take time but cannot be avoided. There will be times when hitting rock bottom is needed because it becomes the catalyst for change. We need heartache and disappointment to crack open a part of our hearts that had remained closed or to wake us up from a dream of how we thought our life should be. When our world shifts and planets change, it is so often for the better even though it does not feel like it in the moment.
Breaking down is not the problem; it’s staying stuck. Staying stuck in a mindset, in an unhappy situation, or in a place of general comfort. It becomes easier to suffer mildly with a familiar pain than it is to fight against everything inside of you that is so trying so desperately to keep you in that place. But once the fight begins, that is where beautiful things start to occur. That is where you get cut deep but the blood that spills can be mesmerizing in color if you let it. How you nurture your soul, spirit and mind become the very colors inside of you. It is the proof that at once you have been broken but refused to let that stop you. You refused to let the very thing that stabbed you define you. This is because you are more than your pain and you are not your suffering. Enjoy the struggle and use it as fuel to create the life you truly want to live and experience. Fight for something better and bleed something colorful.
Want more? Listen to Episode 16 about a time I was both broken and lost in a foreign country.