Do you remember the many days of your life? The quiet moments that passed so slowly, adventures you had wished would never end, the tragedy that came out of nowhere, the love that changed your heart and taught you the greatest lessons?
Do you remember?

I cannot forget.

It goes far back to snapshots of scenes of when I was 4 or 5. Some truths are woven with fiction now; my mind is not a perfect account and it does occasionally get things wrong, yet more than most people I’ve ever met, it seems my memory and recall ability is quite special.

This both serves me very well when I need to help someone else remember, or find solace in a sweet memory to cheer myself up or ease the missing, but it also torments me, especially late at night when the world is silent and the only thing I can see is some scene from some memory everyone else probably forgot.

As is I think its aim, to bring me great comfort but also great pain – when I cannot forget, this gets me in trouble in my heart, because I cannot seem to let go.

Recently, life has been… A steep learning curve with many valleys and very few peaks. Without divulging the details I’ll just say that I am challenged with the noble task of forgiveness, every moment of every day, so that I do not lose what I have tried to build completely. I did not ask to be put here, the placement and timing were unforeseen at best, and it is now upon my shoulders to bear it. Such is life, yes, yet it served to awaken my soul to old wounds, bringing them to the surface oncemore, so the tsunami is both past and present, but the emotions arising are the same. I am thrust into processing two different realities both existing only inside me.

There are no bandages for a broken heart, and there are no outward signs of this injury, yet I am compelled to pronounce myself present for this pain, wanting now to take a look deep inside, though it hurts to do so. This is living and if this is here now, it is my duty to allow it to teach me; the hardest things often have the most fruitful lessons, but you have to be willing to face heavy loss, pain, and the malevolence of man… I am a Warrior and call them forth to face me – there be no hiding here.

I am incredibly introspective, but it doesn’t always mean I understand my own emotions. When it comes to facing pain, especially from the past, it can be difficult for me to assess whether it’s appropriate or not, to express these things and try and process through it now. I feel shame for holding onto it sometimes, when others seem so readily able to forget even significant moments. I remember it all, from the mundane to the transcendent, all my sorrows, all my joy. It all folds and folds and folds into itself, constantly moving from one to the next – reprieve comes when I write and try and make sense of this, but even that has challenges – there’s this thing that happens when I think too much about it – I start to analyze every word and sentence and it all goes to logical shit.

When it comes to expressing my emotions, if I’m not being ENTIRELY authentic, I feel like a fraud. I have deleted thousands of words. No, more than that. I write all the time I just keep it to myself, or I write and then get mad that I’m not living up to my own standards and scrap the fucking thing. I am sure there were some great works I completely abandoned just because I couldn’t come up with one word to describe some deep emotional experience.

I cannot think my way through this, and I have to trust that what comes out when I’m expressing this way is the truth, not second guess it or filtered in any way even to appease an audience. This is how I have to write, or it’s not good for me at all…

The heart of the thing is this: I once let go of my entire life because of pain, and now I am trying to hold together my entire life while in pain because of what I learned NOT TO DO from the first experience, and it’s causing me great restlessness, and deep sadness, that I cannot go back and do what I am doing now, back then.

I remember all the moments I could have done so. I remember… all of it. I can’t do anything with these memories now, though they stay with me like an old friend. The restlessness comes when I am frustrated with things in the present time, and the sadness comes when I remember scenes, moments, and yet I cannot change them or even touch them now. It is written, it is done, for everyone else on this earth, except in my heart.

Because I learned that I’ll remember everything, what does that mean I do with the present time, especially when I need to make decisions? If I learned from memory, I’d make the right choices, knowing what I know because I’ve already lived this the other way, now that means I have to try and repair, mend, move forward better, and not forsake something I love because of pain. I am trying, because I remember, the alternative did not heal my heart, in fact it only broke it further. Choosing to stay now is proof I learned the lesson, but it makes me feel so sad in contrast to the first time, when I left.

It makes me feel so sad, because it was real love and I ran from it. It makes me feel so sad, because I just didn’t know what the right thing might have been until years later, and I don’t want to make that mistake twice, so it also makes me sad that someone else benefits from this lesson, the one who caused this present pain, not the one who should have received forgiveness way back when.

That’s the thing about life as grow, you realize you give grace to others because you don’t want to live in misery, you learned its better to find harmony, but that means there had to be mistakes along the way. It makes me sad that someone I loved so deeply had to be that, a lesson, instead of a lifetime of true love.

My child needs me so I’m getting sidetracked.

… I wouldn’t call it regret, I think it’s more just acknowledging the truth of how things are. It feels sad, to remember and not be able to change it. It feels sad, to realize how I could have made it different, if I had known. It feels sad that losing love is what’s propelling me forward, presently, for I know the pain of that, and don’t want to repeat that, but it means I have to first feel all over again the sadness that taught me this lesson.

There won’t be any, “If I could go back” actual scenarios, because I can’t. But if anything, I know I got to have great love, and if that sustains a lifetime even when we are apart, I wasn’t wrong, and my memory served me well.

Now, I face the cruel task of taking what I learned and applying it to a very painful season, this time aware of what I could lose, even though it’s incredibly difficult to acknowledge there IS good when I am wounded.

Here is where I paint the gold into the cracks of porcelian; sometimes repairing broken things turns out beautiful, so I have to try.

I just sat for a while and went back to a memory. Today is a special day when it comes to that, it was the very first time I told a man I love you, and it was the very first time I heard it back. It was a day or oranges and popsicles in bed, it was a day of pure innocent goodness and joy, knowing I had finally found someone to see me, to hold me dear. I found someone I could give my love to, and I gave it completely on this day. That was 19 years ago.

Now, I know the value of love, and I know its cost. I know that I have a choice here, and I know the consequences if I were to walk away and save the work, my pride, and my sanity, but I’d be losing love. Family. Everything I said I believed in. Just to avoid the pain? Oh, Christina, haven’t you learned? It’ll follow you no matter how far you run.

So I have to face this.

I remember. Everything. So, use it. Learn. And find a way to transmute these painful, wonderful, sad, glorious lessons into a beautiful transformational season now, wherein I get to honor my broken-hearted history by choosing to love, now, even in the pain. My family will someday appreciate this, I hope.

To the one who taught me how to love, if you’re reading this –

Remember I called you my love, Sparky? We had these days, these rare beautiful moments that showed us why we are living. For two years, I learned your secrets, held your hand, dealt with your moods, and argued over esoteric things and religion. For two years, I knew great love and you were my very best friend, and it was because of you opening your heart that I came to finally feel safe. I am sorry that I didn’t yet know how to hold what I value most, for it was certainly you. I did not know. I hope you learned it is okay to receive love, and you still let yourself have it now. I hope you don’t feel sad when you read that I still get sad, because I know you can feel how I do, but I hope you see that it wasn’t for nothing; we came to teach each other, you and me, not only about love, but how to endure a lifetime after it. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m doing my very best, and I know you are too.

To the one presently trying to love me –

I’m still here.
That means enough on its own, but I’ll just say I am grateful I learned how to stay, because the great cost of that lesson from long ago is still with me now, and causes me pain, but it also shows me I really do love you. So I’ll do my very best, and I hope you are too.

I wish I had more time to write.

Please, I welcome your thoughts, perspective, and new ideas on anything I have written here!

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