Some would say a broken heart fuels creativity; that’s why we write, paint and make music.
The pain and the hurt that translates into art feels good because we love ripping it out of us and pouring it onto a page. Sometimes the feeling transcends words, so we put it into metaphors and abstract oil paintings, and people lap it up because they love the feeling it gives them. Sometimes the art touches them in a way they can’t explain, simply because of that incomprehensibility.
They love to read about it, to watch it, to hear it. Driving home as the rain hits your window, pretending you’re in a music video whilst you listen to songs about cheaters and broken homes, songs about violence; it’s cathartic. Marvin’s Room makes your tears feel hotter, but you listen to it on repeat and God knows why.
I have a hunch.
Misery loves company, and nobody wants to know they’re the only one suffering. Maybe they want to know their feelings are valid and shared. Maybe they desperately want to see how much worse it could be. Maybe they like the idea of other people suffering because the feeling of bitterness is perversely satisfying. We like pain and we like to know that we aren’t the only ones in it. We all exist somewhere on this spectrum of sadomasochism.
But soon afterwards, you’re listening to music about being a boss-ass-bitch, you’re reading poetry about freedom and strength, you’re talking about how hoes come and go but money will never wake up in the morning and decide to leave you. You post inspirational quotes on your Instagram story about the girl who should lift her head up because her crown is falling, even though you know nobody cares. You post cryptic things about your mental state knowing nobody really knows what the hell you’re talking about – you just want to share it. For those who look even briefly, it’s easy to find out exactly what’s happening in your life, despite your hilarious adamance that ‘you don’t know me by what I post on social media. I show you what I want you to see.’ Yeah. You want them to see exactly that.
You wear your heart on every single post.
So, you bask in this negativity.
But, instead of riding though it properly, you convince yourself you aren’t hurting and instead let it run in the background, tainting everything you believe to be good. You pretend to be strong, so now you only know strength that hurts. You pretend to love, so now you only know love that disappoints. You can either locate and feed the love you have for yourself or you can locate the pain and let it consume you until it is expended, but you do neither. You nurture the anger, the resentment, the heartbreak and the lack of confidence when you let it fester inside you. You indulge in lies, a façade of happiness, as a distraction and it serves as a breeding ground for negativity.
These are strong feelings that are too big to keep locked away, because all they do is seep into the rest of you anyway until the door bursts open and it pours into every crevice of your being. Unless you take care of it at the source, it will end up drowning you. Maybe a distraction at the start is welcome. Maybe, at the time, it really does seem like a good idea because it psyches you up as you prepare to look inside yourself. But after a hard days work of denying your pain, you still lay down at night alone with your thoughts, and it all comes flooding back.
And that’s when you’re most vulnerable and susceptible to crumbling. So it rots you, slowly. The next day the facade is back up, and it’s a vicious cycle, destroying you from the inside.
But what if you remembered love from the very beginning?
What if, instead of constantly finding ways to validate your pain, you let it run its course and found ways to rise above these feelings that don’t serve you? What if you read books that inspired you and indulged in art that showed you beauty?
I’m a firm believer in riding through the pain. I don’t believe distractions work; I am a wallower. I am the lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and talk to nobody until my heart becomes light again type. I guess that’s akin to ripping off the band-aid; purge and get the worst over and done with so you can start again with a clean slate. But some people think they can cheat their way into one by simply writing over the pain enough times that it covers up the marks.
It doesn’t work like that. As long as these feelings linger, you will never be at peace.
One of the best things I’ve learnt to do finding gratitude in the present; choose to try to be happy despite the pain. Notice I said ‘try’; I know all too well that sometimes it’s easier said than done. Gratitude is a powerful thing, even when you have to force it. Despite all the bad that is happening to me, I am grateful for the good that is also happening. No matter how small. I personally find that remembering these little things helps to lift some of the darkness.
If the pain is searing hot, yet you’re still able to dig deep and find things to be grateful for, you’ll be alright. Life is only what we perceive it to be, and you can’t go through it with unresolved heartache.
It is perfectly okay to succumb to the pain sometimes, to understand why you feel that way; only then can you destroy it. The first step towards healing is acceptance.
Sometimes, strength is found in allowing yourself to be weak.
Now Playing: Maybe Tomorrow – Stereophonics