Thursday, November 22, 2007

find somewhere, and keep it there, take it when you go

(It may not be appreciated, but I thought enough of certain of my words--mine only, mind--to share them with a wider audience.)

Some small treatise on the nature of pain...Because pain I know, pain I understand. Pain takes long and longer to heal, it comes and goes. Sometimes aching sharply, sometimes angering, sometimes cracking our hearts anew as we struggle to keep breathing. I know this. I live this.

When we love, we take the risk. In every venture forward is found the seeds of its destruction. Life brings death. We are trapped in cyclical motion, this rich-ragged, woman-world who takes as much as she gives. Sometimes she gives us kisses, sometimes she gives us shattered glass. It matters not at the point of risk.

So yes. The step forward. Offering a wounded heart again, it's never easy. Sometimes we win it all, and we get love and healing. Sometimes we're savaged and stagger away blinking at the violence. Never a way to know when it begins, and we do the best we can. It's all we can do.

Should we suffer, if we've dealt such pain out? That's a question I don't have the best answer for. Whether one originated a pain, or not, it still hurts. Getting caught up in whether or not one deserves it, well...the question should be asked, then: does it serve the one lost to a flawed love, or the one who flawed the love itself? Regrets are so sharp. They're no good for anyone.

And each one makes it harder to reach out again...

Some small part of a personal tale I've aired before.

Someone I once loved, still love, told me, over and over--he was not good for me, for anyone. That he would hurt me. That it would all end in tragedy. Not just once. Over and over he said this, as we grew closer.

After the particularly painful ending, I posted under the first life section of my profile that I'd only deal hurt, that I was not worth loving, that I might be, in point of fact, dangerous to hearts.

That phrase...dangerous to still found in my profile here. And occasionally on my SL bio. It seems truer than the others, but...During that week I met a fellow shapeshifter, and spent one night dancing until the break of dawn with a very dashing pony. While one is a love, now, and the other is a friend, I doubt either of them put any weight behind such melodramatic proclamations on my part.

We all falter, all of us. We all have doubts, all of us. We all have great fears that we will never love again, or love too well and lose. It's natural. It's as common as breathing.

The problem is in recovery. How do we move past harm dealt? Do we keep risking? Do we still reach out? Or do we hold ourselves back from our lives, fearing to lose again? Or perhaps go that one step farther, and decide ourselves our touch is poisoned, and chill from the broken heart out to the skin. It's an awful, awful mindset, in all senses of the word.

If I folded all in around me, told all that I loved that I could not be with them longer, that I'd had a surfeit of pain and loss, and better to cut now and sever cleanly than to go forward in ruin and fall? There would be many who would absolutely understand such actions. I would have, do have, clear and compelling reasons.

But to do that would be to lose myself, to die shut off from others, to wither away, in stages, or even all at once.

I have stood at the door of the world and been petrified to open it and walk through. I know that feeling. It is a cold feeling, it chills and it burns at the same time.

But we watch love walk away from us, whether we held the dagger that struck the killing blow or not. And we tell ourselves--out of pain, out of pride--that it shouldn't bother us. That we should be bigger than this. That we shouldn't care.

We care, we can't avoid it. Our heads give us all rational reasons as to why we should shake our heads and move on, chalk it up to the luck of the draw and the experience of the ending and find the next one.

Our hearts hurt. Our hearts cry out against the leaving. Our hearts want nothing more than to reverse the ending, spin back time, had what they had again, because they know, as deeply as the head knows, that they will stop hurting, once back in love's safe arms.

Our hearts are powered on "What if?" "What if things had gone differently?" "What if she took me back? "What if I could make everything better?" "What if she forgave me?" "What if we never stopped loving..."

What if. It's as dangerous in its own way as guilt and regrets.

There is one on the grid, one I love, in spite of everything. I will never, not once, not ever, even so much as hold him in my arms again. In one moment, everything we had turned to dust.

Just like...*that* was gone, that quick, and I didn't even see it break. But I was dealing with a broken heart, who decided in that moment not to let me closer, not to let me in, not to let anyone else in again.

It was a protective measure, as much as anything, and I did, I do understand. But it hurt so greatly that nothing I could do, no apology, no amount of conversation.....would ever mend the breech.

It is the most appalling realization that I have it in me to do such great harm to another soul, that they would sever all contact rather than risk one more day, one more hour, of pain from a single source. Knowing that it was half my flaw, *and* half his....doesn't help in the slightest.

Would I risk such pain again, pain that still hasn't, fully, healed? I would. I do. But it hurts every time. Warm my hands by the flame which could burn the skin? Oh, yes. But it hurt so much the last time.

And maybe it will hurt this time, too. But we have to take the risk. Remember rule six: Great love means great risk, and the potential for great loss. Love anyway.

Always. Love anyway. Our hearts will break, we will falter, we will shatter like jagged crystal and oh, oh yes, it will hurt, perhaps beyond all bearing.

But love anyway. Because there is no life without risk, either. If we do not love, we do not live, and that is universal.

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