Not long ago, I go to sit down with Erin from 2 Elephants in the Room to discuss process. We talked about how I completely fell apart in 2015, the extra-marital assualt that catalyzed my young divorce, and how writing allowed me the massive permission I needed to heal and breathe. You can listen to the episode below.
there are so many ways to fail,
but I chose the one that let me
wander through the streets of Cape Town
with no rand in my hands,
and my lungs full of
detached from stem.
The street guard approached me sitting on the stair in front of the flat we were staying at in Cape Town. He said to me,
“Don’t cry, sister.”
I had hoped to stay hidden. It was midnight and I’d made another romantic mistake. This one was so public, expensive, and far from home; I wasn’t yet sure how to recover. So, I crossed my legs and let my sneaker dangle close to the ground. I crossed my arms and took a look at the older gentleman on the other side of the gate.
His concern was a comfort. He was the voice of God for the little girl inside of me that was asking why I’d travelled so far to learn more of the brokenness of men. He told me I was strong and worthy of love. He told me to give it some time and to trust myself to make the right decisions.
Almost a year later, I sit inside of bakery at midnight wondering if I’ll fail again. I wonder how I’ll know if I’ve made the right decision. That’s the thing about love and risk. There is always a possibility that something won’t work. Yet, there’s some beauty in taking a risk to find out. Perhaps that risk will lead to another ending, but it will have been a beautiful discovery; a process that I would have never known, had I not tried.
the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.
I’m learning so much about suffering. Like how the thoughts that travel from my heart to my head can almost always be a direct product of whatever kind of suffering I’m experiencing in a season. Heart feels like it’s on lock down some days, a little too afraid to be known and seen and loved—a little too afraid to feel cherished.
There is an alarm that goes off in my head whenever I experience the affections of another human being—primarily the platonic affections of someone male (we can call this daddy issues). It’s like my brokenness becomes a false prophet speaking lies into my heart about what the other person might be thinking or feeling of me in a moment.
I voiced my concerned about these thoughts to a male friend—how I felt that he thought about my presence, and he laughed. He said, “But Daje, I don’t think those thoughts about you at all.” I was shocked to realize that he did not think of me as small, immature, and insecure—he actually thought I was bold, attractive, and honest.
Suffering has taught me that in order to survive the waves of insecurity that come with exposed wounds, I must teach my heart to affirm the truth, constantly. It is the only thing that will keep me breathing.
The truth is that my heart feels exposed because it is a little raw from being wounded. The truth is, too, that those wounds can be healed if I can give them a little space to breathe—a little space to taste the air and know that oxygen isn’t dangerous; and neither is love, nor care.
Shame is a liar.
I can still love, as long as I'm honest.
Friendship with Jesus is healing to me. He teaches me how to love and be loved, despite wounds.
His words are life to me.
Writing poetry teaches my soul to breathe and process that life.
Humans are not weapons.
Wounds require more oxygen than healed skin, and that's okay.
I am loved. I am never alone.
My kind of suffering can be a gift if I let it be.