You may have gathered from all my vague "loneliness" and "difficulty" references in my latest burst of blogs, and all the short stories of broken love, that I recently had a breakup.
The relationship lasted almost 2 years and the 2 months since have been incredibly hard. I hadn't bargained for this. I cry most days, cry hard. I still think about it much of the time when I'm not doing something else. Most mornings the heaviness of it descends on me within a minute or two of waking up and I often spend the rest of the day working through it. And I've woken up to probably a dozen dreams about coming to terms with it ending.
This also corresponds to timing in my life when (non-censored moment coming up) I've been more successful at purity: the typical guy struggles. I have entered into a new era it seems! (if you'd like to hear what has worked reach out to me.)
But the reason I put those two things together (a difficult breakup and purity) is to emphasize having to go through pain, instead of medicating it with a quick and false fix. I think we each have vices and distractions of many kinds. I know watching movies could be one of mine. Instagram's another. Maybe over-eating or oversleeping or facebook or video games or drugs or alcohol are yours. Maybe not bad in themselves always, but they can prevent us from going through the pain.
I've been reading a lot of books that say you need to go through the pain and even revisit old wounds if you're ever going to be a whole person. But this going through the pain process for me was really initiated by one main experience.
I had someone welcome me into it.
I was just having a really hard time and I asked if I could pray with my friend William on the phone. He prayed a beautiful, patient prayer as I bawled my eyes out on the other end. I don't remember if it was him or me, but by the end we had been given the image of Jesus reaching down to me and saying something like "I am a man of sorrows. I understand. I'll walk with you through this. Come with me."
And so now I have a sort of invisible partner in this, that is if I look to him.
And he's invited me onto a train whose destination, I have to trust, is peace. It jolts with fits and stops and seems to be lurching along at an almost unnoticeable pace most of the time. And I just have to wait. I am in a hard, liminal space between two destinations and I cannot speed it up.
And sometimes this big dark raincloud called sorrow rolls through the train car. Instead of holding my breath or distracting myself with my phone, or squeezing out a window, I try to breathe it in. I encourage my heart to soak in it and let it speak up. Then everything tightens from my gut to my eyes. And the despair seeps out of me like a big hot tube of toothpaste being squeezed from the bottom up.
And through it all I try to remind myself of the guy sitting patiently next to me, who invited me on this trip. He's very comfortable with tears. He is a man of sorrows.
Sometimes I just bleed out all my reasons and regrets and sorrow to him. Sometimes I'm angry at him. Sometimes just sad. I'm like a child saying I want to be done with this. I want my love back. I don't want to be broken anymore. I don't want to hurt people anymore. But I don't get to have any of those things right now. I just have to wait until the cloud clears and the train starts moving again, ever so slowly.
But maybe what is growing inside of me through this, is an internal force. A trust in this train of his, that is guiding my life. A trust that I do not need to manipulate life to get what I need.
But I'm used to pushing everything forward myself. I'm a white, middle class, middle-age male. I'm used to meeting my own desires and needs by doing whatever I need to. That is sort of what society expects of me too, whether for good or bad. But this time right now, this is a waiting. I'm learning to surrender. I'm learning to express my hopes and needs and just say, I don't get to have either of those things right now. It's in someone else's hands.
And I hope learning to trust the process in his hands will heal me from other things. Hopefully I will learn not to use other people to meet my desires. I hope I am able to just sit in those desires if it is not the best time for them to be met.
Honestly, in some ways, it's been a sweet argument with the one next to me. He wants these deepest parts of me. It's a sweet train of sorrow. I feel like I'm touching new parts of myself I'm not well acquainted with. And even though it's hard, it feels like deeper life. I feel more human.
And it's still really, really hard.