Making Mistakes; Being Healthy

You know, I was really enjoying thinking I was healthy.

Not having to constantly flip through my deeds and intentions like the entries of an address book, fearfully searching out precursors to those same harmful patterns that I’d become so intimate with we could have been mistaken as dear friends, was starting to grow on me.

For the first time in my life, I was starting to like the man I was slowly fading into.

For the first time, I liked me.

Was it always doomed to fall? Was it my growing appreciation of the heart I witnessed blossoming within that set these wheels in motion? Are we all bound to self-images resembling perpetual machines, constantly turning round and round, never able to settle here nor there?

Because that’s what I feel.

Yes, I screwed up. I’ve made many choices over these past few weeks that have proven very harmful for myself and people around me. While I am the closest to the epicenter of the shockwave of consequences, those dearest to me are not far behind, blown back off their feet by an invisible force with the power to destroy. This is the weight of love, that you give yourself up to the potential to be hurt deeply by another.

I was selfish. I was greedy. I wanted that which wasn’t mine to take or to have. I longed for things I didn’t need, and I both pursued them and accepted them when offered. I know that I was wrong. I’ve caused myself so much pain.

But if I’m being honest, I was already in pain. That’s where this all came from, isn’t it? Being hurt. Yes, I know this is true. You don’t snap at people until you feel pushed beyond your limits. You don’t take a knife to the emotions of another unless your emotions are already on the ground, stabbed and bleeding out. You don’t do the same to your own until you feel they have no life left within them with which to scream at you.

Because even though I was healthy, there was still so much pain. And that’s really hard to come to terms with.

What was wrong with me? What is wrong with me? What does all this say about me? I was so proud of who I was becoming, the choices I was making, the direction I was taking my life. A life of trust. I thought that was all, all I needed.  Now I feel like the rug I where I was building my little block house was yanked violently out from under me, and when I turn around to face my aggressor I see only my reflection.

Is there really such a place as being healthy? Is life a constant trading-off between being comfortable with who we are and being honest with ourselves? How can I look beyond myself to care for the world around me when I feel like every step taken is tread on broken glass with bare feet? Where is God in that? Saying “keep plodding forward, care for my people,” or “stop, let me care for you?” Where is the line between self-obsession and self-improvement? Self-infliction and self-awareness?

Maybe healthy isn’t a lack of mistakes but having come to terms with the mistakes you’ve made, and recognizing that you’ll make many more. Maybe that’s okay.

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