I Still Shut Myself Out Of My Own Heart Sometimes

I still shut myself out of my own heart sometimes. Instead of comforting myself, I berate myself. I pick at wounds and imperfections out of fear and dislike, as though I think picking will make things heal faster. The truth is, picking makes little nothings into visible somethings. My picking, like a microscope, makes undesirable things bigger, it opens wounds and makes them bleed. My picking is just another form of resistance. It’s a way to deal with a loathing of what is. The truth is, picking makes wounds scar, not heal.

 I still shut myself out of my own heart sometimes.

When I’m exhausted, run down, or feeling ill, my inner wise-self can be nowhere to be found sometimes. She gets buried under the rubble and instead of soothing myself, I despise myself for feeling bad. I blame myself. I beat myself up about it. On the hardest days, I avoid looking at myself in the mirror, because my own face gives me anxiety. That tired, weathered face staring back at me simply cannot be me, and I’d rather not look at all than see this person staring back at me. Isn’t that mean?

 I still shut myself out of my heart sometimes.

On those days I wear myself out by running. From distraction to distraction, I run in circles and in no direction in particular towards anything I might find that will let me forget how uncomfortable it is to be me sometimes. It’s tiring to run and you never really get anywhere anyway. There’s no rest when you’re trying to outrun yourself.

 I still shut myself out of my heart sometimes.

 On those days I feel angry and sad all at the same time. I feel lonely and scared, with no place to call home and I cry because it’s desolate and it stings to be shut out, it’s cold, and the day feels long. Nothing quite flows. Nothing goes my way and nothing satisfies. Things feel intolerable and they are, when I’m out on the other side of my own door.

 I still shut myself out of my own heart sometimes.

 Even though I simply cannot go on for long like this because it’s too hard, and hurts too much. Nothing stings quite like my own rejection. I forget sometimes, that I can’t get far without recharging in love. I can’t get anywhere at all when I let my mind give me the run around. Nothing brings relief and nothing brings comfort until I come home, back to my own heart.

 I get shut out of my heart sometimes.

When I catch what’s happening, I put my hands on my body, on my heart, on my belly. I stop and I just show up for me, for this body, for this one here, just as she is, as flawed as she feels. I show up for me, in spite of myself, in whatever small way I can. I feel into me, into this. I feel the textures of what it’s like to be shut out.

The door opens a crack and a small shaft of light filters out.

I lower the unreachable bar of my own acceptance. I lower the standards, the absurd requirements of receiving my approval. I recenter slowly, arriving with a clumsy stumble that is all human, back into a space of divine goodness. Enough. Good enough. Regardless of what I did or didn’t do, or of what I feel I’ve done wrong. I recognize this voice that seems to emerge from the distance and grow stronger in the center of me. It is the voice of my heart.

The door opens wider and I step through.

Existing is the toll for being honored here. In this generous space of acceptance, I am welcome simply because I exist. No matter how tired, how imperfect, no matter how unacceptable my ruthless mind claims that I am. I am welcome here as I am today, right now, like this.

The door is open.

This is your heart speaking. Please come inside and rest. Please stop being so hard on yourself. Set down your heavy load. Please stop beating yourself up for being a work in progress, for being human, for feeling bad, for not being ‘there’ yet, for being sick or scared, for not looking airbrushed all the time, for not having all the answers… Set it all down. I forgive you because there is nothing to forgive. I love you because all that you are is all that is love—all else is mere confusion.

Welcome back. Welcome home.

I still shut myself out of my heart sometimes but she always calls me back, she beckons, she whispers, she shouts, she roars if she has to. With endless patience, she does not stop calling until I am back, held in her arms. No matter how many times I forget, she reminds me. No matter how many times I stray, she welcomes me with open arms. Tired and weary from getting lost in the labyrinth of mind, my heart, in the forever of now, feeds my hunger, and guides me home.

Words and Images: Copyright © 2017, Marie-Ève Bonneau, All rights reserved.