Learning to Breathe (Or 1 Million Blank Puzzle Pieces in the Rain)
I’ve never quite understood what it means when someone says that an action or person has “taken their breath away” in a positive manner. Have you ever been socked in the stomach? Or even worse the chest?
It’s not a pleasant feeling.
For a brief moment, everything around you is out of focus. The people trying to help you. The people trying to laugh at you. Or the people who hurt you. They all begin to look the same as you swirl about. The only two things that seem to matter at that moment are the basics: dealing with the pain and learning to breathe again.
Now, I’m not oblivious to the pain I’ve caused in my own life. There have been plenty of times that I’ve taken my own breath away, so to speak. Moments I’ve made mistakes and have left myself lying on the ground wondering how in the world I got there.
There have also been moments when I’ve been unknowingly punch in the gut. I’ve have my chest stepped on so to speak.
But ya know? The feeling is the same. The hurt. The confusion. The learning to breathe.
I’ve been knocked down by the best of them; but so far I haven’t been knocked out.
And I’ve learned that as life goes on, the pain doesn’t quite completely go away. Yes, it’s never quite as bad as it is as the pinnacle, but the tenderness and scaring will always remain.
And what I’ve learned most through all of this is simply this… that’s okay.
It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to be confused. It’s okay to wonder what happened or where you are or where you are going.
But it’s not really those moments that take our breath away that matter most. It’s the moments that breathe life in to our lungs and give us life again.
It’s knowing the hand that reaches out to pick you up and dust you off.
It’s meeting new people, from new backgrounds, with scars of theirs owns and stories to tell.
It’s not about shaking your fist at the sky and cursing the thunder. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
It’s driving around at 3 a.m. after a night with your best friends, with the sunroof open singing at the top of your lungs.
It’s learning how to be quiet. And still. And know that someone, somewhere out there knows what you’re going through.
It’s learning to forgive those who have hurt and harmed, and seeking forgiveness for the pain you’ve caused others.
It’s saying thank you.
It’s saying please.
It’s playing good defense.
It’s all of these millions of puzzle pieces with no image on either side scattered throughout the globe that somehow, we’ve got to put together to see what it makes.
And that’s where I am. And that’s okay.
The healing? It happens. Through prayer. Through family. Through friends. Through medication.
But mostly it happens with time.
And still, that’s okay.
Don’t be afraid of the rain that comes or the wind that howls. Don’t let the moments that leave you breathless leave you defeated. Let them be a sign of new air being breathed in to your life.