They broke me. Brought me to my knees. Cracked me clean into pieces.
I remember what it felt like to be surrounded by so many pieces of myself. Fragments, some never to be seen again. Stripped straight down to my core.
And for that, I will always be grateful. Truly, deeply grateful.
They broke me open, and inside that opening, I was set free in ways my heart has always craved. In ways, I was never brave enough to lean into on my own.
There are simply no words for how deeply my heart thanks them. For the heartache. The grief. The waves of confusion and uncertainty. The way I was completely unraveled. Turned upside down and inside out.
The breaking. The cracking open. The fragmenting of our lives.
They’re the initiation. The invitation. The gateway.
I know it doesn’t always feel that way. I know that even when you know it to be true, it’s still frustrating and painful, and the last thing you want to hear.
Believe me, I know.
I know what it’s like to have life, love, and loss continually sucker punch you in the back of the head, kicking you over and over while you’re down.
Knocking the wind straight out of your body and leaving you in a ball on the floor.
I know it well.
Truth be told, it takes a certain kind of strength I don’t always have in order to stay open.
The strength to choose to not go numb and hide inside within myself, to put up walls where there should be doors, and to keep certain people and experiences at an arm’s length. Sometimes we don’t even know how closed off we’ve become, until life finds a way to reflect it back to us over and over and over again, and until we’re willing to see it for what it is.
When that happens, we have a choice.
We can choose to stay closed, safe, and distanced. Or we can learn to open ourselves wider, love more deeply, and feel more fully into everything and everyone.
Because, if we let it, it’s the cracking OPEN that brings us alive most fully. That activates our hearts and makes way for us to uncover our soul’s work in this world. That creates more space in our lives for purpose, passion, love, and connection.
As Jewel writes, “change is for the warrior.”
I say growth is for the warrior. Trust and faith are for the warrior. Living this life fully open and present? That’s for the fiercest of warriors.
You are a warrior. All you have to do is choose to be open.
And keep choosing to stay open, no matter what.
Over and over and over again.