I have a hole in my heart and I recently decided that it’s going to stay there. I’ve also decided that I’m OK with this. We’re all walking around with open wounds—most of these wounds stem from some kind of loss, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. My loss was born from the death of my mother; sometimes, I feel like the grief has worn a hole through my body, surely one can see straight through me by now. When one finds a hole like this, the natural inclination is to focus on filling it up. I, however, disagree.
For me, there will be no going back to the way I was, or the way things were. I am changed. This hole in my heart is a part of me now and I must accept its presence. I’m not suggesting that this experience has robbed me of my capacity to love or be loved—quite the contrary, actually. This experience has shown me that I need to let my love and my sorrow live in harmony. There is nothing that will ever fill the void my mother left when she passed, so it seems silly to waste my energy trying. Instead, I will use that empty space as a reminder to live with intention—a reminder that everything in life is temporary.
Accepting this opening, gives me the freedom to get on with things. I could spend years trying to mend what can’t be mended or I can start putting one foot in front of the other again. Life goes on whether we’re ready or not, so we have to make a choice—resume living, or stay trapped in the struggle. I suspect that healing will come more readily if I humbly acknowledge my gaping wound and tend to it as needed, rather than smother it with bandages, in hopes of a swift repair.
There is beauty in accepting that we are damaged goods, so to speak. When we can embrace our hurts and vulnerabilities, we become real, which gives us the power to connect on a deeper level. Pretending to be OK is a waste of energy. It’s impossible to fully engage in life, when one is so busy trying to fool everyone else. It’s perfectly acceptable to be a work in progress—the key is to own it.
Owning who you are, means accepting what you are and where you’re at, without shame or excuses. You don’t compare yourself to others or even to your former self. You are not the person you once were—life happens, and we transform through the experiences.
In order to fully move forward— holes and all—we must recognize our current shortcomings, limitations, and fears. We don’t have to fix all of these problem areas before stepping forward; we simply have to admit to ourselves that they exist. As I adjust to my new self, I expect to falter from time to time, but I take comfort in knowing that my energy will be spent trying to keep myself upright, rather than checking to see if anyone saw me fall.