The prime objective

Well, here you are.

You have been through several versions of hell and remained. Each experience has rocked you and shattered what you love but you have not given up.

Even when you don’t recognize who you are, you have not lost yourself.

You can still feel the child you were. You have kept that child safe all these years. It wasn’t always pretty, but you kept yourself alive. That is the mission.

Everything beyond being alive is extra. (Look at how much there is.)

You have made mistakes. So many mistakes. And here you are, having lived through them all. They teach you what you need to know next (which doesn’t mean you know what’s next).

Sometimes you stare into yourself and desperation ices your veins.

Sometimes you can’t sleep and loneliness is the only feeling that seems true.

Sometimes it feels like the wildness has died out and your mourning will go on forever.

Sometimes you have to count seconds, have to tap out rhythms, have to squeeze tight fists to get through the anxiety, the panic attacks, the feeling like you can’t breathe.

Sometimes you just don’t know why.

You roll on with tension knotting your shoulders, bearing unbearable burdens, straining to speak unknowable words, as helpless as the rest of us.

And every damn day you keep waking up.

You won’t give into the idea that pain is the truest part of you. There is the part of you that existed before the pain and still exists, still lives, still is.

You see yourself in the tree standing crooked, branches broken and stripped, still growing after the hurricane.

The roots hold strong, cling deep — the surface looks like destruction and pain, like nothing real is left. It’s only the surface.

You exist before and after what happens to you.

Always the same, always changing.

You are heady with possibility. You dream things into life. You push roots down further, into the darkness, into the still earth, the richness, into the soil of womb and memory and being, and drink deep.

Your branches break, your leaves fall, and you mourn their passing with gratitude. Grief is the expression of value. You are thankful. You grind your teeth and howl. You have loved and you have cracked yourself open. Your roots plunge deep and you hold steady.

This is not the end of you.