As if anywhere is safe.
Hoping you make it. Hoping you succeed, even though there’s no way in hell you should. The odds are so heavily stacked against you, it will take a miracle. A big one. And a bunch of little ones.
Your chances are so slight, they’re nearly non-existent. But there you are, every muscle tensed for the bottom to drop out from under you, knowing it could happen…should happen…any second. Amazed that you lived from that second into the next one. And the next. Praying for another. Begging God to come through. To get you through.
This is how I have lived my life.
I haven’t had the resources I needed to fly. My wings were broken when I was but a wee bird. I didn’t receive the nurturing, protection and tenderness needed to avoid significant injury. So it’s no wonder I didn’t get the care and sanctuary I needed to recover from the damage from those who were responsible for injuring me. Didn’t happen after I fled the nest either. Instead of support and love, I was further wounded, tossed aside to perish. I never found someone to believe in me, who thought I was worth saving. And I certainly didn’t know how to believe in myself.
I was given no chance of survival; of healing. The damage was too significant. I was too shattered to consider reassembling. Too much of me was missing. But still I tried to fly. I didn’t know how to give up. No matter how many times I failed.
Giving up meant letting myself fall from the sky. Like a burning fireball plummeting toward earth, what little was left of my heart and soul would be destroyed long before my body smashed into the ground.
Didn’t seem like a good option.
I kept going. From one second into the next. Muscles tighter than guitar strings, holding on for dear life. Praying I lived to see the next second. Praying I would find a place of safety. A refuge where I could rest and recover. Scouring the horizon for that imaginary fantasyland promising restoration. Praying, praying, praying I would find it. Praying I would make it.
Until both wings came off and I was out of options.
When you’ve bet your life on one badly shattered, beat up, busted up wing, and it fails, leaving you with nothing to cling to, crushing all hope, everything changes.
It’s no longer about, “Will I make it?” Now, you know you won’t. You’re in mid-air and what little forward momentum you thought you had is quickly dissipating. The question becomes, “How hard will I hit? Will there be anything left of me after I smash into the solid, unyielding ground? How big of a hole will I make? And how will I get out of that hole…assuming I survive the crash. Assuming there’s anything left of me. Assuming I have enough will or courage to care.”
Always praying for the best case scenario. Which, when you’re motoring through life on a wing and a prayer, the best case scenario, the most amazing outcome you can envision, is living through the pain. Survival. Because you know you’re going to hit hard at some point. You know it’s going to hurt. You know there will be massive and catastrophic loss. You are already immensely damaged, so when you fall, your situation isn’t going to magically improve. If you thought you were an ugly, half-assed flyer before the world fell out from under you, you know your next steps, if you have any steps left, are going to be even uglier.
You shouldn’t have been able to fly to begin with. You cheated death and defied the odds. Now, you have to pay. And it will cost you your soul.
So many times, I have told myself, “If only I can make it one…more…step… If only I can make it through this morning. This hour. This day. This week.” I would push through, never realizing how much of my heart I was losing with every second that ticked away.
After you lose everything, after the crash and burn, it all comes apart, when the one remaining wing fails and the final descent to earth begins, you realize how foolish you were to think you had a chance. How futile those prayers were. How ridiculous you were to hope. That’s when you let go of every dream, every wish, every desire, every thought that has protected you, and accept your fate.
That’s when reality is revealed.
You were never flying. It was but an illusion of your wounded heart. A heart that so desperately desired to rise above and to be liberated from all the pain, it masked the extent of the damage. Camouflaged the ruin. A heart that dreamed of dancing on the wind, caressed by the sun and the stars, somersaulting on the clouds, warmed by a joy never to be known. The fantasy is stripped away. And you’re left alone, impoverished, holding your empty heart that has now lost all hope. Your heart that will never know what it is like to fly free, unbroken, and victorious.