Have you ever felt worn down, exhausted, and like you are just plain running on empty no matter how much rest you get? Like you can’t catch a break because the universe keeps throwing things your way faster than you can deal with them? As if every time you finally get your head above water someone or something comes along and pulls you back under the surface? Or maybe just plain numb, because you have spent so long dealing with pain that the only way you could function was to not feel anything at all?
If you, like me, are the kind of person who cares more, loves deeply, and feels everything with an intensity most others can’t begin to understand, you also get burnt out, exhausted, and worn down from the intensity of it all.
It’s easy when life is good, everything is going right, and the sun always seems to be shining. But when it’s hard? When you are constantly trying to be strong, to not let the weight of what you feel suffocate you? That’s when you throw up the walls around your heart and cocoon yourself inside the fortress that you built for yourself. You can come out as often as you like, which is rare, but no one is getting inside of there without your permission. You even get to the point that you would rather feel nothing at all than the pain you have inside of you.
Sooner or later someone comes along and digs a hole under the wall and gets inside when you are least expecting it and makes you feel again. Or a tornado comes along and crushes the wall, leaving destruction and heartache in its path.
The truth is, hiding your heart away, building a wall… or fortress… or letting your heart develop a shell that resembles a fossilized dinosaur egg doesn’t protect you. It doesn’t make you stronger, it makes you brittle.
It’s okay not to be okay all of the time. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. If you don’t give yourself the chance to let your guard down and REALLY deal with what’s going on, at least on an emotional level, you will constantly feel the oppressing weight of everything you are trying to ignore. And sooner or later the weight on your shoulders will become too much to bear and you will break under it.
When some people go through trauma, they shatter like glass into a million tiny pieces, never to be whole again. Others crack, like pottery, that can be repaired, and still beautiful, but never quite the same. Others still, bend like metal, forged in the fire and strengthened by the trials they face.
If I’m honest, I’m somewhere in the middle… not glass, but not metal either. I don’t even know if pottery is who I am. My goal to learn how to feel, bend, and experience without breaking under the pressure. To be made stronger through every challenge, not weaker. But I’m not quite there yet. So for now, when life is hard and hurts, I will go, and collect those broken pieces, glue them back together, and see who I become next.
Normally I try to end on a positive note, inspirational and motivating. But today, I just want to let those souls out there who are hurting know that they aren’t alone. It’s okay, someone understands. You are allowed to break and not be okay for a little while, everyone does now and again. Last but not least, someone out there cares. Me.