And Sorrow Owned My Heart.

It hit me today.

That load of bricks that knocks you on the head and wakes you up

Have you known that feeling?

All this talk of authenticity, and the tension between being real and putting forth the version of the authentic self, rained of reality on my face today.

But for the first time…in a long time, the feeling that washed me back into the corner like a Tsnami hitting Thailand was joy.

Now, I’m not gonna go all Penelope on yall. Cuz that’s not my style. But I will say that this joy that smothered me up like a blanket on a five year old hidin’ from his Bath Time is a bit foreign to me.

It’s been a while.

You, see, we moved almost three years ago.  Now, moving, in and of itself, is one of the most stressful Life events, so that alone was rough.  But I’m a PROfessional at packin’ because I’ve done it about thirty-twelve times and I’ve got it down to a science.

However, this move was different.

It was sad.

We left behind a lovely town and some lovely friends.  Yet, we were so excited too, because of all the possibilities that sat so enticingly before us.  On to bigger things, or so we thought.

And then, LIFE…

You, know, that Life that points himself in one direction and then turns around, gets up in your face, smiles menacingly, shakes his head and cackles at your naivety? And, then, takes those “circumstances” that you thought were going to bust wide open the beauty of life and slaps them on you like handcuffs that bind your heart in a shroud of relentless pain?

Yes. THAT “life” showed up. And he took his bony manacles, reached down into my soul and slowly proceeded to oppress the sensitive areas of my emotional structure. There were points were I thought he was going to take his foul, green breath and blow, extinguishing what little spark I had left inside, leaving me a helpless, {balled up in the corner, knees to chest, hands on face} withering mess for the remainder of my feeble days.

And lookin’ back on that darkness that was blacker than bleak, I realize that searing pain done did some good in my mis-directed, unfocused life.

What brought me to this place, the hope of a journey yet untaken, has lead me through this mine-field of Life and put me precisely where I need to be. Where, I longed to be so many times before.

I have a vision.

I have goals…real ones…ones you can touch… tangible ones.

I’ve gotten to know myself. And, gosh dern it,  I like me. And that’s a feeling, fresh and beautiful.

I feel like a kid again…

But, honestly, I am pinching myself to see if it’s really real, and this Life… the one that has me up, down, inside and out, has relaxed his death grip on my heart and is seriously putting doors in my path instead of muddy tar-pits.

Maybe, I have a teensy bit of emotional PTSD…

But, that I can live with and overcome.  And just as Randy says in his last lecture, I’m gonna find a way to scale those brick walls that have been keepin’ me back for so long…

And, MOST IMPORTANTLY-ly,  I must needs remember that to experience true joy, we must know sorrow.

Kahlil Gibran says it much more beautifully than I ever could, so I leave you with these artful words…

Joy And Sorrow Chapter VIII by Khalil Gibran

Then a woman said, “Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.”  

And he answered:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall. 

~Kahlil Gibran

So Come, Joy, invade now my soul…because Sorrow has sat by my side, and I have known him and he has owned my heart .

Has he ever owned yours?

What the BOLD ones say:

  1. Andi @ Jane of all crafts says

    Girl if you only knew….I am in store for a whole lot of joy then!!! :) awesome post.

  2. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper says

    awesome post gwen and so true…. and i have known great sorrow but now my life is definitely full of much joy. and i know what you mean about either or, yin and yang, and i have a constant fear that a great tragedy is coming for me because my life is so sweet right now. isn't thar a horrible thing to think? but i do anyhow.
    and i read the last lecture and LOVED it. beautiful. insightful. amazing.

  3. Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust says

    Beautiful Gwen, What a profound {and deep} post you've written & I'd have to say I agree. But it sure is tough sometimes. I wish you the best in 2012. BTW, as a Pixie Dust follower, you are invited to pop over & enter a giveaway for an awesome clock. Good luck & thanks for reading!

    Warmly, Michelle

  4. imklvr says

    It's kind of refreshing to know, that under all your "hip talk" (oh, that sounds dated!) and comedy (which I love) is a real person, with a real life. I love your blog, have since I found you, but now, to me, you have more 'depth'! I am touched by this post, more than I can say. God bless you! Love ya!

  5. Tina@WhatWeKeep says

    I've read this three times, Gwennie. It really touched me very deeply. Sorrow has owned my heart countless times, but especially in the last 10 years. I felt every word.
    Great post.
    xo, T.

  6. DearHelenHartman says

    Life is definitely like that. You've captured it so well. An inspiring post. Thank you so much for sharing. Keep that joy in your heart, even in those sorrowful days its light can give you hope.

  7. Amy of The Salvage Collection says

    Voice found, my friend. Congratulations. This one goes down in history.

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