Through our healing, we gather pieces to build with. Knowledge, strength, insight and wisdom we will never lose. Using these as our foundation, our stepping stones, we will
then walk upon the culmination of our experiences, our strengths and our weaknesses
and use them to get to the next chapter in our lives.
Regardless of how hard you to try to cover up a giant crack in any foundation, without any real work to fix it once and for all – it will always get worse. Like for me, when the foundation of who I was and where I had come from - cracked, nothing was done to fix or deal with it, so it splintered into others, which in turn splintered into more and on and on from there. Many of the fissures in my foundation were neglected because to focus on what had caused them, would have called attention to things my mother wanted to stay hidden.
Know what happens to something broken when you leave it to fix itself? It stays broken. Then one day, under the weight from a fallen feather, it will either explode into a million pieces or simply fold in on itself and the pieces get blown away with the winds of change. Whether you are ready or not.
Time and experiences that should have been solidifying the foundation of my life were instead destroying it. I knew on some level what was happening and after careful consideration decided that I no longer cared. There was nothing that I could do to prevent the total demolition of my life’s foundation which culminated a little over three years back. At a time in my life when my focus should have been on filling the rooms of my existence with happy memories, adorning the walls with photos of those magic moments and bursts of love and laughter from all of those who I had brought in to be a part of my journey; my focus was instead on the scattered pieces of everything I had ever known.
As the dust slowly settled from the firestorm that leveled my foundation I realized with sudden clarity – I had absolutely no idea where to go from here. No idea on how one builds a life from scratch. While I had plenty of new beginnings over the years, none were of this magnitude.
The foundation of one's life must be laid before the walls, the windows and the doors can ever be placed. The cornerstone of our foundation being the life that we are born into. Each additional brick we lay being the culmination of an experience. Our foundation is the sum of thousands of moments and memories, experiences and pieces of knowledge we gleaned as we grew older. Once that foundation is rooted and solid we slowly start the construction of the walls to hold in all that we have become. As the walls settle in, we begin to add windows to give our light some avenue to shine out of, and then doors to allow those who we have deemed fit, a portal to walk through into our lives. Finally, as we slowly decorate each room to suit our taste and fill it with as many people we decide to bring into our inner sanctum, we cap it off with a magnificent roof filled with skylights to let the light of the sun and kisses from the moon shine on us throughout.
Magnificent thought isn't it?
Except, sometimes our foundations crack before we are even really started. What should have been a solid start on which to build our lives, needs to be repaired, if not totally destroyed and started all over again. I remember when the first crack appeared in my foundation. Years ago, when I was barely 20 years old, my mom decided that was a good age to tell me that the man who I thought was my father, wasn't. Big crack. Huge. Devastating. Then, over the next decade or so, that big crack splintered off into even more cracks that widened and chipped away slowly at the foundation of my life.
So, I have wandered here and there. Living on instinct. Following routines. Trying to not become lost in the span of time between something ending and the start of a new beginning. Withdrawing into myself because I had no idea where to start. I had no idea what to do. Part of me clinging to the shred of who I was before the walls came down, because I feared the unknown. Who the hell was I now? What did I even believe in anymore? Did I believe in foundations? Did I still believe in new beginnings? How do I release the anger, the hurt? Who do I trust?
There is a whole span of time from something ending and something beginning that no one ever warns you about. I now consider this the healing time. A time to pull within yourself and focus on you. Especially, if like me, your life had never really been your own in the first place. This span between the destruction and the rebuilding is the time you need to get reacquainted with yourself. The amount of time this takes is different for everyone. (It's also a huge lesson in patience.)
How are you supposed to believe in the power and magic of new beginnings when you have no idea where, what and how to even start? After a while the pressure builds up and threatens to completely overwhelm you. It is exhausting. Anytime you have to restart life after something destroys the foundation you have carefully constructed, when your world falls out beneath you, what follows next is like purgatory. You are neither here nor there. Up or down. You simply are. Breathing, yes. Still standing, mostly. Battered and bruised for sure and unwilling to trust yourself to get to the next step in life, probably.
When you lose your foundation it's losing a huge part of your identity and you are left wondering; "Who the hell am I now?" Which has been my world lately.
Over the past 3 years everything has changed. Everything that was, is no longer. Who I was, while at the core very, very similar, is different. I watched the foundation of my life crumble beneath my feet, knowing there was nothing I could do to stop it, knowing that at some point I was going to have to build anew. Only problem was, I didn't have the foggiest idea where to start, how to start or what I wanted to build the new foundation with. It is both exciting and terrifying at the exact same time. It's exhausting.
Everything we build in life starts with a cornerstone.
We are the cornerstone.
We are the anchor that holds it all together and it's high time we figured that out. The cornerstone of our lives is within us. It begins and ends within. However, what I have learned is this: every brick we use to build our "new or redesigned foundation," is not for building walls! Take those pieces, add new insights and knowledge and lay them at your feet as stepping stones. For the foundation of your life is in the steps you take to heal, to love and to live.
The cornerstone we build from is simply the sum of who we were before life changed.
Through our healing, we gather pieces to build with. Knowledge, strength, insight and wisdom we will never lose. Using these as our foundation, our stepping stones, we will then walk upon the culmination of our experiences, our strengths and our weaknesses and use them to get to the next chapter in our lives. Sometimes, when we grow weary, we can use them to build a bench to sit upon and reflect for a while, but we must always continue on. Guided by the whispering of our soul inside our hearts, our gut feelings and instincts that have been honed by our experiences and the strength of our shoulders we earned from carrying the weight of the world for so long.
A broken and shattered moment in life is giving you the necessary pieces to place at your feet to lead you to whatever comes next. We may have no idea what is around the corner. In truth, we never have and we've made it this far. Life is a journey, an adventure. It is an epic tale, mystery, sometimes love story, sometimes tragic tale. Each chapter is a stage in life where we learn or grow, discover or heal, love or hate, triumph or fail. Every new chapter growing from one that ended using the broken pieces of the one before as stepping stones into the next awaiting chapter. Eventually, when your time on earth is through, every single broken piece will have been weaved together, not as a foundation, but as the stepping stones on your life's path. The mosaic of the final piece , telling the most beautiful story...
The story of your life.
JV Manning's work and keep her in coffee ♥
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