I am an idealist.
I see in pictures. My life is full of metaphors and meanings – often resulting in the tell-tale eye glazing reaction of the person I am trying to channel all this passionate towards. Which is why I love writing. The white space just absorbs all the feeling and fear and clarity and confusion and I feel a sense of peace and tranquility at having expressed my creative energy.
What that essentially means is that I too often get hung up on ideas. I could brainstorm the iron off a tea kettle and then some. Trouble is – reality doesn’t often (read: hardly ever) – line up to reality. And that is the sum total of my ‘emotional’ disasters.
The most painful experiences in my life have centered on the death of a cherished idea.
Granted, they were disguised in all sorts of experiences: facing the end of a friendship, having to accept when the idea of a relationship was greater than the actual reality and even just being faced with the same situation time and time again and feeling the maddening frustration that things are not changing.
I am not the same person I was a decade ago (thank God for that!). And as I have learnt important life lessons over the years, the push for growth necessitated that I leave certain places, things and people. Knowing full well that my cherished idea (of the relationship, place or thing) was dying a ghastly death, I held on for dear life, not wanting to part with this-is-the-truth-I-know feeling of certainty for the now-what-the-heck-am-I-supposed-to-believe confusion.
But there you have it.
As much as I have fought – to the death – time and time again against the loss of my cherished ideas, I have had to surrender to the thing that would not live under my choking control. And it’s a humiliatingly humbling process to have to endure – over and over again as the cycles and seasons churn and change beyond the horizon of our understanding.
Still, as I revisit the gravesite of my soul – reflecting on the times and situations that I thought would be the death of me – I am surprised to discover that they have actually transformed into signposts marking my moments of poignant growth and transformation. I see now that the level of my growth has been determined by the extent of my willingness to let old things die and allow new things to be born.
I am finally learning one of the greatest lessons: in our lifetime, we die a million deaths. Only to be reborn each time.