December 4, 2012

She carries a pearl
In perfect condition
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

                                   - Grace, U2

I sway between hope and despair hourly. I wish I was a consistent person. I wish I was positive ALL THE TIME. But I feel glum quite often. I’m a glass half empty girl trapped in the body of a girl who desperately wants to feel half full.

Trying to mend my life is not a quick sewing job. It’s not as simple as replacing a button here or there. It’s a giant quilt with lots of holes in it. I need new panels of material. I need new stuffing in parts.

We all have pain. My life seems to be marked by it a lot lately. I’m constantly trying to transform all that pain into something beautiful.

When life throws you challenges you have two options. You can let the ugly things build up like a snowball, letting it pick up more dirt and mud as it goes along. Until eventually it’s a mass of pain that loses all purpose. And it’s so big that it can crush other people.

Or you can take those rough sands and refine them. Smooth them over and shine them into pearls.

I wish I was better at the latter.

Maybe despairing is what you become when you’ve been crushed too much. When I confronted my own mortality 9 years ago, it changed me. I’ve never been the same. I came so close to death that it scared me. And scarred me.

I’ve been trying to live a meaningful life since. Making better choices. Dealing with challenges as best I can. But I sink faster than most. I don’t have that resilience to glide through life like I used to. It takes enormous effort and courage to be positive. I feel things intensely. I get battered around.

I’m constantly reminded of grace. Grace to forgive myself for not being perfect. For failing as often as I do. For understanding what I’ve been through.

You know that feeling when you’ve used your creativity to make something beautiful? There’s nothing like it. It’s healing. My creativity with words is what saves me. It’s my grace. It’s how I turn ugly things into beauty.

The more we heal, the more goodness we see. The more we heal, the more beautiful we become.

I want to carry less snowballs. More pearls.