A funny thing happens when you don’t get answers (or proper closure) for that matter. The answers sometimes come to you when you least expect it. Or so they seem to come to you. I will never get answers or understand why God has paved the path ahead of me with a broken heart to mend, but I know as long as I’m in His hands, everything happens for a reason. We just need to be smart enough to understand the meaning and listen to the stones along the way.
I’ve been trying to meditate lately just because it helps with healing, staying focused and clearing the mind. And I don’t mean like, finding a moment of zen while stuck in traffic on the I-69—although that’s a great place to start. I mean, really take out time from your schedule and let your mind free up any unnecessary clutter and negativity.
As I was winding down from a busy day at work and school, I decided to sit on the floor of my living room, clearing my head of all thoughts and tossing out the negative, insecure voices that often find their way back in during a quiet night. After a few moments of silence and staring at a checkered patterned blanket folded neatly on my couch, I realized something. As crazy as it sounds, I realized that my heart was not broken in vain. It broke because we are all serving a purpose for one another in some twisted hope that each of us can reach our true direction in life. Sure, it sounds crazy and kind of hippie-like, but not only are we important players in this world stage, but we’re all catalysts for one another too. I might never understand why someone I gave so much of myself to could only emote back in a very damaged and flippant way, but it’s because there’s a greater meaning to it all. This moment of pain, hurt, and nights of crying to sleep mean so much more and will count for a greater story down the road.
Growing up, I played chess with my older brother, but never understood it. There was a time when my father with his infinite wisdom would share that life is a lot like a game of chess. I never understood it, because I couldn’t care much for the game, so I never bothered understanding the mechanics and philosophy behind it. But as I got older, I understood exactly what he meant.
These last few weeks have proven that we are all pawns in the greater picture of life. Every move and decision we make brings us an advantage or disadvantage, but acting upon even the most cleverest thought can bring out a negative outcome. What may have seemed like a genius idea based on a moment of sheer happiness or a moment of fearlessness to move on, is more of a lesson in hindsight that is part of our destiny. Just like life, pieces keep moving back and forth. Some stay on the board, some don’t. Sacrifices get made along the way and it seems grim at times, but in the grand scheme of things, we must expect the unexpected through every step to realize that mistakes are part of our fate. Regardless of what comes at us, even if we seemingly have the best things right before our very eyes, we face losses. Losses in love. Losses in life. Losses in work. Losses that take so much out of us that the scars show on the surface of our skin. But we accept them because they are our battle wounds that bears a story that brings perspective.
And through every failure, every piece lost on this board of life, we ironically get better at ourselves and understanding who we are. One of my favorite poets, Ralph Waldo Emerson summarized this concept best when he said, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”
Isn’t that annoying? Come to think of it, that’s actually really annoying. It’s as if to say life is a yo-yo. But the reality is, it is. We go in and out of motions like those very pieces on a chess board because every moment expects an unexpected moment.
As I lay flat on my living room floor staring at the ceiling, I wondered about him. Perhaps my heart was broken because it served a lesson for him—not for me. God knows how I am. I love my family and friends with a great big heart, and will never apologize for it or suppress it. Obviously, things are different now and I have been told by vexatious voices to stop, but you don’t get to choose who you love because love chooses you.
Perhaps my heart was broken because at one point when he was brave enough to move forward, he had the courage to reach for his own happiness and start anew with me. It was something he mentioned over and over, but I know for certain that as he looked around on that chess board in his life, he realized it wasn’t feasible. There was too big of an army surrounding him to make a move—an army of practicality, history, insecurity, all of it. In that time we spent together as twenty-somethings, he was doing everything he wanted to do artistically and it made me so proud of him. But in all my self-loathing from these past few weeks and the pain I’m working through, my mind cleared just enough to share with me that I was worth something for someone.
When I first fell in love those six years ago, we were perfect. We were two individuals getting to know each other, sleeping late because we kept each other up, yapping and laughing about everything and anything. He was beautiful and sweet, a giant goofball and I will always love him for who he was and who I know he will become no matter what path he chooses. However, he had kept a dark secret from me for half a year. When he finally opened up to me about his truth, he was worried I would hate him. I should have been mad—I should have hated him. But I never did because I never can. We stayed close because he trusted and cared for me, and because we were real best friends. As he would put it, I was his true friend among the small few he spoke to the most.
Through the serendipity and fate that pulled us together, in some twisted way, I understood him. When I cleared my head and thought outside of myself, I know there’s a greater purpose to this darkness that has overshadowed these past few weeks of fall. I came to realize through the shouting, the screaming, the crying and lies what he felt for me. And despite it all today, I know what he feels for me right now as he sits alone, pondering his life’s decisions. I could never think ill of him because I understand him. And in realizing that he took half a year to share his deepest secret with me because he feared losing me, a thought crossed my mind, making me think of the reasoning. It made me think of all those nights we shared and know despite it all, it wasn’t a mistake. God granted me love for a reason, despite it turning into what it did. But in all clarity, this love of mine took half a year to share with me his deepest secret in fear of losing me, making me understand my worth at one point in time. And seeing that he is who I know he is today, that sentiment of care hasn’t totally diminished. But it made me think of how he took a little more than half a decade to confront a very real reality with the other truth.
Was it fear that drove his decisions to keep secrets? Did he deliberately sew his eyes shut for this long because he was afraid to see into the future? The future can be incredibly scary because like all things, it involves a great level of the unexpected and that induces anxiety. Or, can you really have it all if you appear to have it all, by pushing fear under the rug? The thing is, the more you leave out in your life story, the more you highlight what you leave in.
Six months begs the question of respect over half a decade—something I dove into earlier this week. Is it about respect at the end of the day or insecurity? If it’s respect, it’s wise to know such actions of secrecy are not about respect at all. Respect is mutual. Insecurity is harmful, depletes self-esteem no matter your position in life, and a definite characteristic that not only brings about doubt, but is the true hallmark of bravado.
Something important to note about secrets and communication is hearing what isn’t being said. There’s a great art to reading between the lines, but it’s a life long journey that comes with experience. It also comes from being able to define yourself and your intention before defining yourself to others. Like chess, life isn’t what the other pieces think you’re going to do and be, or what move you’re going to make. It’s about who you are at the end of the game. Your perspective on life comes from the circumstances you find yourself in. The only question left is how strong can you be and what’s your real worth.