I’ve often suspected that my heart has a learning disability. My brain can have one too – like when my cousin tried to teach me to drive stick shift when I was 19 and my brain did that thing where it short-circuits and I give myself a learning disability and nothing progresses. And then I never try again. I get stuck in my own head, often. The veil comes down and the wall comes up. I have a lifelong learning disability; a block. And I’m only recently learning how to really heal it.
I literally give myself a learning disability caused by extreme lack of confidence. I get blocks. You know how people say they have math blocks? Or science blocks? They’re very real but they do NOT mean someone is stupid or incapable. I get heart blocks all of the time. I miss the obvious.
You can get far, too far, on charm, ingenuity, and fraud, but you’ll never make it the whole way with anything but pure heart. And if you do, I don’t think it would feel very good there. I don’t think you’d have peace, pride and self-satisfaction. My heart, well, it’s my heart. It tumbles up and down from perfect to dangerous, just like I’ve always suspected my literal heart does. Although I have no doctor’s note explaining away that one, because it exists solely in my mind, for now. And I don’t have a doctor’s note for my figurative heart either. Perfection and danger.
Just right and all wrong. Calm seas and impending, exploding storm clouds. I usually start out with a sturdy boat on a sunny day and with good intentions, but somewhere along the way, I spring a few leaks and hit a few bumps. The storms start to gather and I ignore them for awhile.
I don’t patch the leaks and I don’t avoid the bumps. It gets cyclical – the tosses and turns. It gets dangerous and then that boat is near underwater. So I pull it up again and clean it up, again. I patch those holes and make it stronger for nearby bumps. Better than before, but still not fully learning to take a new path. That is my learning disabled heart. I am too headstrong; too wind-strong. And every time, in hindsight, I can’t believe I didn’t see the warning signs lurking there.
11 years of marriage, 15 years of knowing him, 35 years of grief, 34 years of a blended family, 10 years of parenting my own family, and I’m mad every time that I’m still anxious. Still oblivious, still painfully self-loathing, still so fearful, still so blind. There is only one way to the other side and it doesn’t require a sturdy boat on a clear day. It’s the ability to get to the other side even when those things are often, constantly in jeopardy. One patched leak helps you get stronger for the next, but each subsequent leak is bigger and wider and will fill up and pull you under if you’re not getting to the root of the leaks. Different paths, different outlooks, and pure heart.
In hindsight, I can’t believe it wasn’t always going to be this post – mournful, yes – but hopeful, yes. I wouldn’t be able to find these words to write if I had been swept away by the undertow. Doesn’t that mean I’m still clinging to the mast and changing direction? And maybe this time is really different and not just different at first until I slip under again and lose parts of myself and bits and pieces of the beautiful relationships in my life. And I’ll think, “How did I get this low again? How did I forget to reach out, reach in, and operate with anything but clear, pure heart?”
In hindsight I would have done it all differently, again and again, but with nothing left but this soft air and this gorgeous foresight, maybe I’ll sail on until the shores rush up to greet me.
I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday (FTSF) for another great prompt. This week’s topic is “Hindsight (photo prompt)..” And there’s time to write yours. Link up your post HERE.