Sometimes I am pulled from a deep sleep, into my conscious mind, by this cavernous, unrelenting pain.
It isn’t physical pain. It is pure emotion. It is all of the things I keep myself from feeling during the day, all of the hurts and arguments and fear that I have logged into the tiny crevices of my body. It is as if my body gives up in sleep sometimes. It puts the shields down for a second, trying to get some precious rest. When those shields are down I wake up in a place that is unlike any other. It is dark and empty and from the oozing volcanic ground erupt these black demons that seem to be made of tree branches covered in tar. Their fingers are long and sticky and their eyes glow red and they grab for my neck. Their bodies are hollow and I can see through them to past versions of me, future potentials of me, bits and snippets of centuries lived. They attach themselves to me and we start to sink downward….
Down, down, down
Until the only things left are the tips of my fingers reaching for the sky. Panic on my face as the ooze starts to invade my nostrils and I begin to choke.
Sobbing and gasping for breath I find myself once again in my room. Fingernails biting into flesh so hard that I am brought back to this plane of existence.
The only thing in the room with me then is my own choking fear.
This is what the bottom feels like. This is what being stripped of your flesh one cell layer at a time feels like. This is the point where people give up on life.
And I completely understand why.
Living takes guts. Living takes looking those demons in the face and saying “not now, motherfuckers” and it is coming back to face them with tools and an uncertain readiness to take them on. Living is not backing down, even when you feel so tired that any breath could… happily… be your last. Living takes grit and courage and determination.
Living takes a tremendous amount of faith. Faith that even though you’ve never felt love, love exists for you, inside of you.
And when you realize that you are the one who powers your life, that you are the keeper of all of the love that you need, that you are a badass warrior that has survived eons of violence and discrimination… that is when you can fully live.
Being human is boundless joy and the most wretched rawness imaginable and it is everything in between. It is full spectrum. And when those demons are quieted and boundaries set and patterns broken, there is a soft warmth of healing that sits in the chest and you know, without a doubt, that you are free. ❤ ❤