The Journey

In the time I have been writing here, I have included some posts of a very personal nature, sharing some darker aspects of my life experiences; exploring what these have meant for me; what I have learned, or not learned. I have posted them in a public space in the spirit that when we share our vulnerabilities and struggles, we allow others to know that they are not alone in theirs. I have drawn tremendous strength from other writer’s courage in exploring those aspects of life that might have found them – at points in their life – broken, alone or exiled. There but for the grace of God go I is a wise saying – anyone of us might find ourselves at the bottom, bereft and lonely. There is a power in sharing those moments because they speak of survival, of being able to rebuild and rediscover ourselves again, but also, just as importantly, they let us know that such moments are a part of life and that sometimes it is ok to feel broken, to not feel like we have to strive to put our lives back together, just yet.

My lovely friend Julie – who tragically lost her son last year – has taught me something of extraordinary value. She spoke of how as a society we distrust brokenness, immediately wanting to fix it; make things as they once were. In her grief, she knew that such was impossible, that her son’s death had changed everything irrevocably, and why would she not feel destroyed by this? It is hard to accept for those around a grieving person that feeling so low is ok. We love people and don’t want them to hurt; however, sometimes we put unbearable strain on others trying to ‘mend’ them before they are ready. Sometimes, the pain has to be felt; the endings have to be processed and accepted, for that person to heal and move forward again. Although help and support are crucial, we should never enforce our version of ‘help’ on anyone, as this can be as damaging as no help at all.

Recently, I have heard a person speak about the mental health of their estranged partner like it was something that they had the right to mould and shape as they saw fit; they seemed to have little respect for their partner’s feelings or needs, wanting to ‘fix’ them in order to reclaim a life that once was. Sometimes, painfully, loving people means letting them be broken; sometimes, even more painfully, it can even mean letting them go…

Here is the poet David Whyte talking about and reciting his wonderful poem The Journey…Whyte is a poet who understands deeply the power of brokenness and its place in discovering a greater emotional wholeness and authenticity.

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