Letter to the Tired

Dear Reema,

It’s one of those days; I feel dead inside.

How do I do this, this task of life. I don’t bother with a question mark — it’s less a question, and simply a state. An absence. A dead-end.

Again, that word. “Dead.”

Sincerely,

Me


Dearest You,

You are moving through a wave. Those times you feel unlike your full, true self, and find yourself disengaging from the world. Perhaps the wave has already passed. Either way, I feel, I hope, these words of love and reassurance will resonate, now and during future currents.

First, this is entirely your journey, and it moves to its own design. It is yours to move through, yours to access. There isn’t a rush. There isn’t an “optimum” or correct tempo with which one is supposed to travel, reconcile, purge, rewire, heal, or grow. There is only this moment followed by the next, and, most importantly, the choice to move through them in a way that is empowering rather than disempowering.

Second, I understand and I empathize. I feel you know this, but it’s worth gently reiterating.

Third, these waves aren’t dead-ends, or condemning “flaws” or imperfections, in your self or your evolution. I bring this up because I know you are deeply critical of yourself and your progress in life, and punishingly so. These waves aren’t a sign that life or you have “failed”.

Thing is, anything positive or perfect in life bears a shadow side. We start off thinking that perfect and imperfect situations, or qualities, live independent and separate to each other. But I’m realizing that for something to be rare, golden, and sublime, it has to have been processed through, and brings with it, a consequence. A deal. A bargain. A toll. And we cannot ask to keep the perfect while shunning its shadow.

For instance, an unfortunate fact: deep maturity comes only from deep pain and adversity, and the way one responds to those forces. The adversity and pain will always live on some plane, attached to one’s maturity. That’s the bargain. Another example is the ability to create profound art. That can only come from living in a raw way. Which can be exhausting, excruciating, and lonely. But that is the path taken for art — one cannot create fire without walking through it. Another one: deep, profound intimacy and love. To breathe that rare air means we also open ourselves to deep ache, sorrow, and attachment.

You are remarkable, and not by accident. You are unusually mature, empathic, kind, insightful, and strong because of the tragedies you’ve been through and your consequent choices. Their echoes cause these waves, these days when your mind and spirit feel unlike the most awake, true, full you. You know there will come a time when these days are far less frequent, and will recede altogether. That is when you’ll be “left” with only, or mainly, the positive notes. The echoes may visit still, but not in the way they do now.

Ironic: sometimes, when we are feeling our deepest and growing our most, it registers as numbness, as “dead inside.” It can be scary. For what it’s worth, know that it is okay, it will be okay, and it’s not a fatal diagnosis.

My main point, my love, is that which ails you is that which bestows you your rare, remarkable depth, beauty, and strength. “Perfect” or remarkable cannot be devoid of scars, trials, or darkness. Perfect IS shadowed, for something positive can only be so if it has a negative — a magnet is only a magnet if it bears both faces. It is tempting to condemn one’s less than polished pieces or periods. But these jagged edges are vital. Here’s a little on that from a book I know:

“Pain, insecurity, trials, anger, confusion, the near-reckless desire to love and be loved deeply, these are our common specialties. Our fault-lines are where our paths intersect, where your shards align with mine. Reasons to never feel less or better than anyone. Reasons to never feel alone.

How lovely that being human soothes the ache of being human.”

Dear one, this wave isn’t an obstacle in your journey, but rather a valuable piece. Chances are, you may be learning so much, right in this moment of pain and confusion.

Move through your wave. I’ll be here.

Love,

Reema

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