Sometimes nothing can make sense of what you’re going through. And that’s really okay too. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about what you’ve just seen and felt. And yes, I’m going to write it again. It’s okay. We often feel so scared of not being able to put some kind of reason, purpose or positive spin on everything we experience, on everything that has some kind of impact on us or on others. But it’s not always there. It’s not always needed. Sometimes shit just happens. Sometimes things are just hard. And sometimes things just shouldn’t have happened like they did. And embracing those possibilities can be far more reassuring and healing than doing anything else. They can unlock the kind of sage-like feels that get you through it all, but that you can only get to through the most brutal honesty.
I don’t want to always feel I need to fill in the blanks and sew up the holes and put filler in the gaps. I want there to be space. I want there to be blanks and gaps. It makes breathing easier. It offers a kind of balance. It feels most human.
Sometimes the silence that comes in the absence of the “right” words truly is enough and full of warmth. Sometimes just your presence in the absence of being able to find a reason or purpose for what you’ve watched your soul-pal go through means more than all the insight in the world that you might offer them if you were a guru. Sometimes just admitting you’re as powerless as them in dealing with all that’s happened, comforts more than any call to action or a things-to-do wisdom list, because it validates. It validates. It makes honorable and something to respect, their lost-fulness, that look of utter disbelief in their eyes as they look up at the huge and thorny mountain they’re now expected to climb. It melts away any guilt or shame they may have over having such feelings. We feel so bad & conflicted about feeling weak, feeling suffocated, feeling unable because these feelings are not validated enough in life. They are made out to be obstacles, feelings not to trust, but they are our own. They happen without our say-so because they are natural. And if we weren’t taught to immediately try and solve or deny these feelings, they wouldn’t be so troubling. In fact, they might actually turn out to be relieving, like most honesty is anyway.
It can be so reassuring to have those genuine, honest feelings not covered over by a sense of robust & insensitive positivity from someone, but instead appreciated & respectfully accepted as natural, brave and also shared. Doesn’t it help when someone admits that they feel weak as well? That they feel doubtful too? It helps because it validates and it takes the sting out of these very real and raw emotions. Rather than avoid or mend, we can just share our feelings with one another. We can just be. And in that, we find our therapy. In that, we can find peace.
I don’t know about you but I draw close to the ones that say “I actually don’t know,” rather than “this is what you need to know”. Or they say “I can’t even fathom what or how you are waking up every day” rather than “you need to make something good of this and this is how you can go about it.” Of course advice from the right kind of heart is pure joy, but for someone to dare to be as vulnerable as I feel broken in the moment, and allow the space to remain empty and wordless because some feelings just have no words for them and allow themselves to feel as small as I do in the face of my storm they are peering into, this for me penetrates into the heart so deeply. More than insight, more than textbook labeling, more than any words from a spiritual or religious dictionary, more than strained smiles. It’s honest, it’s real, it’s brave and it’s validating. And anything that genuinely validates, empowers too.
I think it takes real courage to stop yourself from trying to make everything pretty or positive or purposeful. It relinquishes a sense of control. So we can find our deeper instincts in tune with the soil and the stars, that both function so beautifully in the dark. It offers new space for our lungs to breathe in, for creativity to dance, for possibility and authentic life to occur, for surprises to form, for peace to emerge. I’m grateful for the people that don’t try to add words to my words or label my experiences and put them in some kind of box. Those who add nothing when I offer my story because they are so with me and attentively listening is gift enough. They know their presence is all I really need. They know their presence is invaluable and precious and heals in all the right places. Just because they dare to go with me into my spaces and try to feel what I feel and not belittle it. I am so grateful for that. It’s a gift like no other. It’s all we ever really need of each other.
Nerina Bhayat, Guest Blogger