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It has been years since I looked back. I try my hardest not to think about it.
The pain. The mistakes I made. The people I lost.
And yet my past comes with me every place I go. I carry it like a precious burden that is such a deep part of me that I don’t know where it ends and where the present me begins. I didn’t realize when I began to change to avoid the demons of my past. When I let myself be the spectator, not the living, breathing being staring at the beauty of the world in front of me.
I didn’t realize when I became that girl who stays quiet during a thunderstorm.
You’re probably thinking, how does that matter? Oh, but it does. It matters so damn much to me.
Because when you stay quiet during a thunderstorm, you’re choosing to stay silent in one of two situations. One, when nature is showing its beautiful truth to you. The smell of rain, the dark clouds, the striking lightning; the heartbeat of the world escaping you with every sound of thunder. It’s showing you that light and dark can coexist peacefully in nature. It’s showing you that together they are not just beautiful, but so freaking powerful. But if you’re quiet, it means you’re not seeing it.
And two, if you happen to be scared of thunderstorms, you’re choosing to be succumbed by it. You’re just letting it in. Refusing to use your voice to be heard over the thunder. If you’re quiet, you’re choosing to let it consume you and be the only voice you hear.
It’s only a metaphor, but that’s exactly what you’re doing to yourself now. You’re choosing not to visit your past, to listen to it, to speak about it, to understand it, to make your current voice louder than the voices in your head. And you’re refusing to see the beautiful pieces your old self made you gain simply when you decided that you weren’t having any more of it. That was a brave decision. And yes, you moved on, but you didn’t make peace with it.
But do you know the beauty of thunderstorms, brave soul?
They show you that it’s never too late. The light is always seen before the thunder is heard. No matter how loud and earth-shattering the thunder gets, the light comes first. So, if you choose to see it, you will be able to see the beauty in what you had to go through, no matter how much pain and suffering it brought you.
And that’s all I’m asking from you. Choose to see all of it.
Allow yourself to feel the pain, the confusion. Don’t judge yourself. You did the best you could do at that time. Be gentle with your old self. You’re different now because of her. You’re stronger now because of her. You’re just not happier yet because you haven’t accepted her emotions. They were always valid. They always meant something. They were always utterly and completely yours. And so no one can tell you they weren’t worth it.
Allow yourself to forgive her. Who she was. Who she pretended to be. What she believed. Deep down, she knew that because she was in the dark depths of the thunderstorm, she wasn’t able to hear anything but the loud echoing thunder. Forgive her for believing that the dark was the only thing that was around her at that time. She didn’t know better. And she couldn’t have, really. Because emotions have a funny way of overpowering things like hope. And that’s okay. Because then you hurt. You hurt a lot. And slowly, those salty tears cleanse your eyes and gently mend some pieces of your heart, leaving you with the softest glow of hope.
Because you listened.
You heard and acknowledged your emotions. At that time, it was pain. It felt freeing in a different sense. Now, it is the acceptance of the pain, the past. So, it will be a whole new kind of liberation that will bring back the skip in your steps and the spark in your eyes. The kind that makes you giggle and stare at the sky in awe during a thunderstorm. Because you finally realize it’s beautiful.
If you choose to listen again.