In a world where information is everywhere still so many stories remain untold. We spend so much time worrying about our image and how people see us, perhaps we forget our own stories. We see the person next to us only through our limited knowledge of them or rather based on the assumptions we make when we scroll through their lives on their social media pages. We make judgements on ourselves for what we can or cannot do based on what they are perceived to be doing? We spend so much time engrossed in things that are sometimes only one angle of one frame of the actual picture.
I know a girl who loved a boy. I know a father who loves his son. I know people who have found love but then lost it. I know love. I know a mother who has lost a child. I know a son who lost a father. I know a person who lost someone’s trust. I know a person who’s lost a sibling. I know a daughter who’s lost a father. I know a husband who loves his wife. I know this love and this loss defines them in many respects but its something we don’t truly pay attention to. Finding love or losing love is maybe something that happens to someone. We think. We don’t actually recognise that it becomes the configuration, structure and formation of the person themselves. It has an influence on how we think and how we see the world. The actual effects of real love or loss only emerge later in your story when that love has enabled you to grow, that loss enabled you to learn. They allow you to become who you were meant to be, and then teach that same love to others in your life. The shape that loves gives to your character is only really seen through reciprocation and recognition of that love. As you love others in your life you learn but also, you love someone based on how you have learned to love.
Similarly, the scar of the loss that love leaves, is sketched into your soul. Perhaps the loss so deep that you rely on the muscle memory to continue in the world. You have to find ways to function without that person. You want to remember everything but maybe you also want to forget. But any love lost, or hurt experience inflicted by a loved one is actually just more complexity that makes the person who they are. When you to lean into that loss, you do remember everything that person was and still is to you. The object should not be to forget, because you might forget something of yourself in the process. It is the magic of knowing and experiencing that kind of love that makes you this person, that cannot be compared to anyone else. Your individual story, your individual experience. It’s so personal because it is rarely described or shared with someone outside of that love.
Like between a mother and a son. No other person will know all the silent times together, the giggles, the secrets you shared, the stories you told them about the dreams you have for them, as you rocked them to sleep in the depth of the night, when they were little babies. No other person will know the strength of the relationship between a father and a son. The first time they kicked a ball or rode a bike or bought a car. What we do know is the surface of that story, we know the documented part, captured in a picture, posted online. We don’t know the whole of that story, the intricate impact on the life of that little boy or grown son, the significance for the father in later years, the multitude of feelings associated with it, before and after.
So when you lose it. Of course the loss of it is indescribable. Of course the pain associated with the finality of someone moving on and leaving you is heart wrenching. Of course the death of this person you love, where there is nothing more you can do and the helplessness of that kind of loss, cannot be diminished. The loss is forever with you. The loss darkens you. This is probably the story you choose not to tell.
All of the difficulties you have faced become the parts you keep for yourself, but they are all there, and they do shine through in the most unexpected ways. It’s how you relate to a friend that confesses their relationship woes. It’s the part where you comfort your children with encouraging words after a soccer defeat. It’s the bit where you cherish all the moments with the people you do have. It’s gratitude, it’s appreciation, it’s forgiveness.
How you deal with loss sometimes is also how you live your life. You can bury head in the sand and hope for all the pain to go away or you can take the pain along the journey until it is bearable and not overwhelmingly all you feel. You can avoid the people who speak with truth because they are saying what you don’t want to hear or you can recognise the truth as love and embrace every ounce of love from anywhere you get it. You can be on the surface like said social media page or you can engage with depth and meaning. Embrace your love and embrace your loss. It will allow you to be real, be authentic, be genuine, be harsh, be intimidating, be honest, be fierce, be gentle, be kind, be all that you are. Your untold story is how you know how to just be.
very little grows on jagged rock. be ground. be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are… ~Rumi