Go and trace your bones. Hannah Brencher slung those beautiful syllables together. I sat rereading her words and thought about how absolutely painfully necessary it is to do this. To know the curves and hairline fractures that make up a body – especially your own. In the midst of making one of those “life decisons,” I kept hearing the same words from those who know me best, “You are someone who knows who they are, you need to trust that.” Their words stuck to me and clung to my thoughts as I muddled over the fact that these people seemed to think I had a clue. But after hearing it a few times, the words settled deep and I realized something crazy, they were true. Because I have done the gut wrenchingly hard work of tracing my bones, of knowing where every last line leads and let me tell you something: It. Is. Worth. It.
I know you’re over there like girl, you don’t even know the first thing about all the shit shoved way down somewhere no one will ever see it. You’re right. I have no idea what you are carrying, just how deep it has fallen into your being, or how long your weary arms have held onto the darkness. But I am so sorry that the pain is so heavy that it sinks to the very bottom of your depths without you even having to shove it there.
I can tell you that I am the queen and the duchess of a land called repression and it’s all a darkly veiled trick. You swallow all the darkness (along with the softly hidden goodness might I add) and honestly, it’s like it’s gone. Poof. Pain be gone. Except, it will begin to seep out of you. Course through your veins like oxygen. The pain and confusion will stack upon each other like old worn books until we see it in your soft brown eyes. Or you can stare the pain straight in its ugly face and introduce yourself. Hello. I can’t say that we’re going be friends, but we’re here together now, aren’t we?
Ya gotta look it square on. Cause the first time, it really hurts like hell. Allowing all the emotions and memories you have numbed for so long to wash over you, and wading through the mess to find the threads of goodness in there. You’re going to make a beautiful map that is stitched together with the fraying threads of all the goodness found in the most unlikely places of yourself. A map weathered with the saltiness of lost tears and glittering with the gems that spill out from places you haven’t looked in so long. There will be sharp edges in your corners, tearing the map and reminding you of the past, and then there will be the soft stitches mending the tears as you make peace with what was with what is.
And don’t be afraid to dig. Dig into your heart and see what it’s made of. It’s okay if you take one peek and come up gasping for air cause well, you didn’t like what was in there. Or maybe you think that it’s just death in there, but then you take an honest look and find the tiniest signs of new life and that is so breathtaking. Either way it’s okay. This is all about tracing and mapping out what’s there, good and bad. Make peace with process my friend. Because excavating out the dying parts of a soul and nourishing the life in it is something we will always, always need to do.
All these words, I hope you know they are something that happens over days, and months, and years. You cannot just jump face first into the deepest parts of yourself and just five minute feng shui it into beauty. And that’s good because there is so much to your soul, not too much – so much. Feel the difference of those words? There are the days of intricate digging and mapping, pure discovery. Then there will be long periods of needing to simply be, to accept what you found, and make peace with what was under all the rubble. Take the time to love the trinkets of yourself you find while learning your outlines. Wear those trinkets and listen to them softly tinkle on your wrists as you loosen your grasp on the mud that weighs you down. Who you are is good even if you can’t see it yet, and who you’re becoming is simply beautiful.
*The featured image is from petitefabrique