Life is not a soft, gentle place. It is full of hard edges, bumps and dark places where you can fall off the cliff. There is no respite as long as you continue to breathe. And in my experience, if you think you have found a soft landing, you can be assured that there are shards of glass lurking beneath your fluffy, cotton wool illusion.
I was listening to Breathless by Texas recently. I have always liked the song. Some of the lyrics speak to me.
“All these bruises keep me awake
I guess I’m just too tired to sleep
And God only knows I’m too lost to cry
For kissing liars has kept me true
I’ll fall (hold me tight)
But I’ll heal (hold me tight)
So hold me tight
Cause I’m so lonely
He hates so much his love he says
Inside it’s dark, I need to smile
He shouts so loud I never hear
That’s why the truth’s always abused
As I slip into unconsciousness
I never felt so much to blame”.
I may not have been one of the truly unlucky ones who had physical bruising, but I have had my fair share of the emotional and mental ones. Enough to know that when you land in a cushy and downy spot, don’t be fooled. The cuts will be coming soon. The razors hidden beneath a facade of caring or kindness. It is inevitable.
I know that we are all human and we make mistakes. We say or do the wrong thing when we are tired or grumpy or having a bad day, but it is what you do afterwards that matters. How you make amends for the infraction. I know too that we have our filters and biases, so communication is vitally important. People tend to expect the other party to know where they are coming from and understand their point of view, especially if an interaction is between people that know each other well. I am guilty of this at times and it is one of the things of which I am trying to be mindful.
I have a tendency to excuse behaviour and be forgiving of things said and done. But I have stopped turning the other cheek to those that transgress my boundaries repeatedly. Although, that said, I realise that certain people are given a lot of leeway, because I want to believe the best of them. I want them to not be what they are showing themselves to be. My soft spot for that person makes me filter their actions in such a way that in my mind, they are not someone who is hurting me.
And eventually I find myself back in the space where I am too tired to cry; where I am in the foetal position on my couch wondering how to protect myself. Wishing for oblivion; feeling heavy and my mind too numb to feel. The weight of the world presses down on me.
I try to find solace in small things, like lying on the grass in the sun, a candle lit bubble bath, a mug of cocoa, a glass of prosecco or listening to some music. Some days, I need to distract myself a lot, which tends to look like binge-watching a series or burying myself in work until 1am.
In the end though, I have to get up and show up at some point, no matter how much I don’t want to. I’ll fall, but I’ll heal.