The Truth About Anything: The Pain of Not Being Who We Were Made to Be

As I sat in the car during a winter road trip to a small winery in western Illinois for the Artist In Residence program, I peered to my right and gazed at the faraway orange-red sun setting behind the snow-covered country hills. Farms, barns, houses and haystacks all seemed so little, so far away in the distance. I, in comparison, seemed so little, so far away, a small speck in the sand of time.

I wrote over a dozen poems in one sitting when a wave of melancholy washed over me. I felt sad. Haunted. Not necessarily sad because of my life. I had created the opportunity to work as an independent writer and artist by first quitting my corporate day job which brought no happiness and meaning. I was free, as free as one can be.

… No.

Sadness was felt within my heart as I thought about the countless souls in the world, many which have felt so down, so depressed, so utterly and completely hopeless. Whether or not it was due to traumatic childhood experiences, a yo-yo weight and self-image problem, a heartbreaking divorce, a job you absolutely hate, not having a family because everyone is dying all around you, a debilitating disease that will shorten your years in this world dramatically, and so much more, the pain is ever present. Ever lingering. It is there and it will not go away.

Can you hear me?

I don’t know if you actually care about all this. I don’t even know if you will read this.

But you, my friend, are not alone.

There is hope. There is a way to ease your pain, to slowly erase it completely, until all that’s left were the scars that made your heart stronger — that made you stronger.

It is not through drugs, illicit activities or destructive behaviors I am referring to in order to ease the pain.

It is the time when you take a long, much-needed moment of the busy and hectic lives we seemingly play the part of, and we examine what is within our troubled hearts. We hear the forlorn cry of our wrangled souls and we come to it.

We take care to painstakingly wash our tender wounds. Not with the dirty rags society has thrown towards the dirt-and-slime-infused gutter, the leftovers which we feel we have to scramble desperately for.

We wash our wounds with a warm, clean towel, gently, ever so softly. We hum the soft tune of a sweet song, a song reminiscent of the bluebird’s harmonious ballads. We caress our fragile souls as it finally lets go of its tense and anxious grip it had on what has caused it so much pain: the pain of not being who we were made to be.

I wrote this poem for you.

All Along

To find our hearts
We often travel far
Lingering, flowing
Seeing, breathing
Knees tremble and fall
As our hearts break and mend
Movement deep within
Stirs, gathers
Strength that is beyond us
Our hearts were with us
All along

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