I pretty much do everything the hard way. It's almost as though I have no idea there is an easier way to do things--in fact, it could be suggested that I prefer the hard way. Which typically results in me hurting myself, damaging personal property or screaming obscenities. All because I'm too stubborn to ask for help or too lazy to locate the appropriate tools for the job. You could say it's a gift.
However, when it comes to my heart, I prefer to do things the easy way. You know, the way that protects my fragile heart and soul from harm. I have been protecting those treasured possessions of mine for quite some time. I keep them tucked away in a really good hiding place away from gawking eyes and painful questions, and they stay locked away in a blissful ignorance at all times. They could stay there for all eternity, trapped by the hands of time and my own urging to live without them. But life sometimes has a way of finding those hidden spots, those forgotten crevices, and pulling the contents to the surface and allowing them to bob in the waves of an endless ocean. Today was one of those days.
After trudging through the pain, stress and heartbreak of infertility, I decided that enough was enough. Truly, I was finished with every solitary aspect of that world. It has been holding me captive for too long. I am a prisoner to the unknown, the opinions and tests and grand announcements that left us with more questions and disappointment than we could stuff into Mary Poppin's bag. So, I did the easy thing: I just turned it off. I flipped the switch, turned off the lights, locked the door and walked away. I stopped dwelling on it. I surrendered to it all, falling to my knees and proclaiming that I was setting that part of my life free. I couldn't hold it anymore. I didn't want to live there anymore. It was time to pick up and move someplace else. So that's what I did.
I stopped crying. I stopped begging. I stopped talking about it. I stopped asking questions that had no answers. I stopped being angry. I stopped allowing myself to wish my life upon someone else. I just stopped. Until I was reminded today that I can't hide "that part" away forever. I thought I could, but I can't. Because ignoring a part of who you are--the part that hopes, dreams, believes in miracles, the part that believes in the impossible--well, isn't possible. I hardened myself to the beautiful side because it was easier that way. And, because I had been supremely disappointed. My hope had been dashed over and over again, and it was painful.
Sometimes it's easier to turn off the noise completely than it is to try and figure out how to turn down the volume. It doesn't have to be all or nothing; perhaps it can be just a messy hodge podge instead, I often remind myself when something tries to pry open that side of my soul. Maybe I can just let a little out today, perhaps I can just see what it feels like, if just for a brief moment.
So, what exactly was it that pried open the lid? It was a simple, sweet gift from a friend with a card that had the following inside:
I don't know how you feel, but I want you to know that I think, pray and hope for you every day. This reminded me of you.
"The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only 'I’m sorry for your loss.'
But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives.
Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?" - Laura Bush
Perhaps the "easy way" isn't the easiest way, after all.