The Love Warrior tells the truth. She does not apologize when it is uncomfortable or inconvenient or shameful. She is not here to preach or manipulate or slap other people across the face. She is here to do the thing she cannot do. She will speak the truth. Out loud. She will bring it into the Light and trust that Light will do it’s healing job. She will wait with expectation. The Love Warrior is not apologetic because she is becoming something new. The Love Warrior chants night and day: Shame is not the boss of me.
The Love Warrior stays on her mat. She holds her position 3 minutes longer than is comfortable. When she is rocking her baby or playing cars, she will sit for 15 extra seconds and study the face of the child she adores. She will not disengage. She will not blindly scroll through Insta or jump on Pinterest or zone out with Kim K. She is present and resilient and will keep her eyes open, just a few minutes more, to watch her babies fall into sleep. The Love Warrior will do the hard work of remaining present. When she writes and feels like a rambling narcissistic idiot, she will keep going, just 5 more brutal sentences. She will tell herself: Stay. You have something to do here. It might not matter to them, but it matters to you. Don’t get off the mat. Not yet.
The Love Warrior has one job; to reach down, deep down, and push into the pain. She will ask pain to do the hard work of healing her. Her mission is to stare at the cursor and watch the blinking line. To sit for hours, on the mat, and call out again and again, Shawna, what hurts? Go there. Find the pain and push. Pain is your teacher. Pain will always teach you.
My dear friend, my love, my Pain-
Come in and stay awhile. Remind me of the truth because I always forget. Today, I am not running away. I’m not backing down. You have a home here and I am ready to listen. I showed up with my mat and my truth and my sorrow and I want to get down to business. Welcome, Pain.
In which Self and Pain have a conversation-
Self’s jaw drops to the floor. Oh my god, I. Could. Never.
If I wrote about that, imagine the repercussions! There are too many people involved. Too many half-truths floating around. Too many images I have created because I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about me, you know. I’m bad sure, but I’m not as bad as her. I wouldn’t want to hurt feelings and step on toes. I wouldn’t want someone to feel left out or looked down upon or jealous. I wouldn’t want someone to be accountable or uncomfortable. I don’t want to call anyone out and make a spectacle of myself. And I wouldn’t want everyone to know that they are light years ahead of me in their theology and their thought processes and um, Shawna, didn’t we all get over that, in like, the fifth grade?
But Pain just nods her head. Pain says write. Speak it. Don’t shy away. Don’t back down. You’re still in the fifth grade and that’s okay. Fifth graders are my favorite.
Self laughs back at her. Suuuurrre, let’s write. Let’s tell the truth. Great idea, Pain. You’ll love this:
How about a friendly blog post on sexual abuse? I could write about that. But then it’s super awkward because I’ve literally never spoken that Pain out loud. Are you allowed to write about things you’ve never said? I read that somewhere. That’s definitely against the rules. Plus, no one likes an attention whore and I probably imagined it. What was I, 5, 6? You don’t remember. Neither do I. So I’ll toss those thoughts to the back of my mind and shake you off, Pain. Don’t forget, somewhere in your twisted body, you liked it, didn’t you? No one wants to read about that.
A little blog about the verbal abuse, maybe? I like this topic more. The experience feels more familiar, like it actually happened to me in my own skin. But Pain, was it really so bad? And what do you expect to come out of that dialogue anyhow? An apology? An acknowledgement? You’re being dramatic again Pain. Don’t be so sensitive. Don’t be so hard on her. If it was abuse, wouldn’t my siblings bring it up from time to time? But we don’t talk about it. We don’t talk about anything. We sit silently at Christmas dinner and pass the rolls and whisper under the table, hush, Pain, not here, not now.
We could talk about the old boyfriend and how I lost my virginity in the front seat of his dad’s car. The backseat felt a little too cliché and listen girls, I have standards. If we were really feeling brave I could mention the part where I didn’t even know we were having sex. But I’m pretty sure that’s TMI… and then there’s the whole awkward consent conversation everyone’s pushing and girls are so dramatic these days. That’s a little too political for a blog post, sorry Pain.
Oh, I’ve got it! How about that one day my boyfriend told me he was also fucking his cousin? And how I proceeded to share that information with everyone in our high school and permanently trashed his reputation? Talk about a doozy!
Best of all, we could discuss how I like to make myself a victim so people feel sorry for me and don’t hold me accountable for my actions. Ha! Let’s save that for a rainy day. I’ll be interested to read your thoughts…
Pain curls up on the couch in her blanket. She whispers, “Honey, we might be here awhile…”
and we both smile because I am finally home.
I am truth teller and I am in training and I am becoming and I am not scared of myself anymore.
What if I take all of the dangly uncomfortable parts of my soul and let them float here on the page for a while? What if we actually create a safe and sacred space to tell the truth? And what if you sit and read and withhold judgement and questions and nod your head and say:
“Come with every wound and every woman you’ve ever loved; every lie you’ve ever told and whatever it is that keeps you up at night. Every mouth you’ve punched in, all the blood you’ve tasted. Come with every enemy you’ve ever made and all the family you’ve buried and every dirty thing you’ve ever done; every drink that’s burnt your throat and every morning you’ve woken to nothing and no one. Come with all your loss, your regrets, sins, memories, black outs, and secrets. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than you.” – Warsan Shire
Love Warriors, come. Come with your lonely nights and dark thoughts. The men you’ve loved and the ones who used you as a punching bag for pleasure. Come with the alcohol and the drugs. Bring your jealousy and your small talk and your bitterness. Come with the nightmares. The cancer. The abortion. The scars on your thighs. Come with your abandonment and your abuse. Come with the twitching and the cursing and the hurting and the pain. Come with the shattered heart. Bring your hopelessness and your passivity. Come as the manipulator and martyr. Come as the phony and the fake and the never ending act you can’t escape. Come with your self-centeredness and your ego. Come as the exhausted warrior who can no longer lift her weapon alone. Come with all of the stories you have been shamed out of sharing.
I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than you.
We belong to each other.
I love you,
-Love Warrior in training
P.S. Shame is not the boss of us