cuts.

most people are
papercuts-
barely scratching the surface,

a quick and fleeting
s.t.i.n.g. that
hardly serves a purpose.

but [you] are the slice
that cuts so deep
it takes years just to scar,
throbbing until
I grow   n u m b
to the pains.

yes, you are the wound
that, in time, is fine
on most days,
but still aches
deep in my bones
when      it        rains.

forgive (don’t forget)

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“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
–Mark Twain

 
How do you forgive someone who has hurt you so badly that the mere sight of them actually causes you physical pain?

People hurt each other every day, but for some reason every time we get hurt it stings just as much as that first time. Sometimes it stings worse than the first time. Sometimes the word “sting” comes nowhere close to doing the feeling justice. So when it comes time to forgive the people who hurt you and move forward with your life, where do you even begin?

In my experience the first step is always forgiving yourself for letting them hurt you. I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Maybe that’s true, but I don’t know if that same idea applies to love and friendship. Sometimes your feelings don’t listen to your better judgment and you let people in without realizing it. Before you know it, your heart is in pieces and you’re pretty sure you didn’t consent to that. Forgive yourself anyway.

Remember all of the people who are still by your side, the ones that never wavered. Those are the people who deserve your time and energy, and that’s where you should direct your attention now. Those who hurt you don’t deserve your tears or your thoughts, your regrets and your sleepless nights. Be sad if you have to, and then surround yourself with the people who deserve your attention.

Go back to your life, to the things that make you really happy. Find joy in the little moments that make up your day. Take every excuse to smile, every excuse to laugh. Say yes more often than you say no. Get up and get out. Soon enough, those happy moments will turn into happy days, and happy weeks and happy months. Give yourself permission to be happy.

 Finally, realize that holding on to pain and anger will hurt you much more than they hurt anyone else. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. Hating the people that hurt you takes just as much time and energy as loving them. Letting go of as much as possible, of a new little piece of pain every day, is the only way to heal. It’s the only way to forgive the people that have hurt you, and the only way to deprive them from ruling your life from afar. Let go, and keep the past from controlling your future.

 Every time we get hurt, the process of healing is the same. And so is the final conclusion, the lesson we learn time and time again: life is too short to spend it with the people who treat you badly.

So forgive. Don’t forget, because then you won’t have learned anything, and your pain will have been in vain. But as difficult as it is, as much as it hurts- forgive the people who have wronged you, especially the ones who don’t deserve it. Because they’re the people that need it the most.

seeking scars

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“I don’t want to die without any scars.” -Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

I think most people are too careful about the way they tackle life. They’re afraid of getting hurt, of being scarred. They tiptoe around the perimeter, walk on eggshells, hop over the cracks in the sidewalk.

I’ve got plenty of scars, and I’m not sorry. Some are visible. The one my cat gave me over winter break that has resulted in a few concerned questions because of its unfortunate location. The one on my knee from Girl Scout camp when I was 9.

Some are invisible. The ones left in my mind by the person who hurt me more than I care to admit years ago, the ones that took too long to live with. The ones in my heart caused by people I loved being ripped out of my life, both expectedly and unexpectedly.

Other ones caused by new people crashing into it, in the best and worst ways possible.

Some scars come in memories and dreams, continuing to leave their mark many years later. Photographs leave more than paper cuts as they dredge up the bittersweetness of what used to be. Nightmares haunt waking hours with what could have been and what almost was.

Getting hurt sucks. The process of acquiring scars is painful, but scars have a bad rep I don’t think they deserve. People don’t like scars because they ruin the perfect picture of a perfect life. They remind us that we’ve been in dark places; scars won’t let us forget our past.

But, should we? Should I forget that someone destroyed my heart or that it hurt when I lost someone? Can we ever really forget where we’ve been? The things that give you scars are, many times, the things that help you grow. I’d rather be reminded.

We’re too focused on living flawless-looking lives that we’re afraid of even the tiniest of scratches. The threat of imperfection becomes too much to bear. Taking risks becomes taboo to the point where I wonder if we’re living at all.

What’s the point of being alive if you’re not going to at least try to do something extraordinary, if you’re not going to come out a little beat up?

I’ll never stop seeking scars- not because I’m a masochist, but because I want proof that I took chances and went after life with everything I have. I don’t want to forget where I’ve been; it’s made me who I am. Never getting hurt makes for a pretty dull life story.

Sometimes I think you’re measured by the mess you make.