bruises heal from the inside out

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I am beginning to realize that so much of how we are in relationship with each other is about circumventing pain. We create a dance of distance to protect our inner bruises. We unconsciously draw people and situations to us that mirror past hurts, and we work very hard to avoid dealing with the past even though the present is pregnant with opportunity to do so. In all of this avoidance of pain, we create layers of pain on top of the bruises we are babying. Some of these new layers harden; making it even more difficult to reach those initial bruises. We tell ourselves that these layers protect the bruise from being bumped. But we are lying to ourselves. And that lie takes on a life of its own. Now we must add layers to surround the lie so it isn't exposed. More and more layers because we think it protects that initial bruise. 

How can we connect with each other with all of these layers between us? 

I have been telling more truths lately. More of the kind of truths that cut away at my own layers. I have been intentionally chiseling away at the walls that surround my heart to let the light in. It's painful. Not only for me, but for others too. Anyone invested in my layers experiences loss and, possibly, rejection as I chip away the pieces they knew as "me." In some cases it is clear that the layers contained the entire relationship and without them, there was no longer a connection. Or, the person hasn't been ready to release their layers and it becomes impossible to remain in balance.  

I suspect I will continue to confuse people with this life-long project of mine. And that's okay because the bruises I have been protecting all these years will only heal if I let go of pleasing, acquiescing and avoiding standing up for my truths in an effort to dance around other peoples' inner bruises. Self-love is contagious and people work hard to avoid it. Maybe because it is a lot of work, maybe because their layers tell them they don't deserve it or maybe because it seems impossible. 

As I chip away at my layers, I have been hoping to feel the elixir of the light pouring in from the external world. We are taught to seek "the" external source of light--it is that light, we believe,  that will heal our bruises and free us from our sin. All this time, I thought my layers prevented me from basking in that nourishing, inspiring mirage-like light... OUT THERE. I have been surprised to discover that the light I have been blocking all of these years, is my own and that these bruises only heal from the inside out. 

*Inspired by The Untethered Soul