Sometimes the most healing thing a person can do is fall apart. Break down. Sob and cry and shake. Get messy. Crawl in to bed and curl up in the fetal position. Sob so hard your body shutters, your eyes get red and swollen, and snot runs out your nose. Wail. Scream. Beat the crap out of your mattress. Get your whole body involved.
I think being strong is highly overrated. At least, strong as defined by our current society. Strong is often believed to mean not crying, being stoic, never showing pain, keeping busy, never slacking in all we “have to do” and so on. I define – or am learning to define – strong a bit differently. I think one of the most challenging and courageous things we can do is to fall apart – to take down the protective walls around us and let the wild, painful grief inside us out. This is, for me, one of the strongest acts we can perform.
Strong is being willing to be vulnerable. Strong is exposing our deepest pain and expressing it to ourselves. Strong is facing our fears of seeming crazy and tearing down those protective walls. Strong is allowing ourselves to be still and to truly experience our grief.
Sometimes before we can heal and create our new whole self, we need to completely fall apart, break down, and shatter. In breaking, we release the old and the grief and, by doing so, we create space to build the new. Without clearing away and creating space, there is no room to heal.
In order to heal, we must first break.