It’s amazing to me how quickly things come crashing down. Those precious elements of your life that you so carefully arranged, so carefully placed just so. But then the earthquake comes and everything falls inward and on top of you. The survival of these moments often looks like the shape you occupied in the womb–a tight-woven fetal position, tucked in somehow beneath the rubble of what once was. And that’s okay. That’s instinct, protection.
But it feels weak.
This is not the first time life has shaken beneath me. It’s not the first time I’ve curled into a protective ball. But it is the first time that–once the noise and chaos and shattering began to subside–I have stood up and assessed the damage. There is a lot. So much work to do, so much to sweep into a pile and see it for what it is: brokenness. And I will; I will do that work. But right now I’m still standing here in the middle of my life, looking around me at the destruction and wondering what really happened.
This is not the first time I’ve wondered that either. But this is the first time that I have leaned into the safety of a community that sees me for who I am, that tells me the truth, that lets me make my own decisions without pressured judgements. This is the first community that hasn’t used me.
So, tonight, though I cannot think of tolerating standing any longer in this mess, and as I curl back into that tight ball of arms and legs and neck, trying to be as close to my self as possible, I don’t feel weak. I feel sad. I feel scared. I feel angry. But I don’t feel weak. I’ve learned what it means to be connected to a community, where strength is shared. And that connection is keenly felt in these small, dark moments of aloneness.