Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fresh Starts and Broken Hearts

When people think of the phrase "fresh start" it conjures positive images.  I always think of new life, grass and flowers, springtime, and infinite sunshine.  Most fresh starts, however, do not begin in fertile soil already tilled to perfection.  They originate in the hardscrabble, rocky dirt of brokenness and neglect.  Fresh starts begin in desolate, bereft fields full of potential but not much else. They are fields that require intense hard work to make them ready for new growth.

This morning my friend told me that without the knowledge of the opposite thing, a person never really knows the truth of the original object.  Fresh starts are born of this knowledge, this slide along the spectrum of emotion.  They come from having known both happiness and sadness, right and wrong, light and dark.  The desire to move back into the lighter aspect of the spectrum from the darker end creates the catalyst for positive change.  It is what motivates a person to begin the painstaking work of digging out the rocks and weeds in one's life to prepare a field for newness and growth.

I never regret feeling badly about things that go awry, people that disappoint me, or failing myself through my own behaviors.  Being upset, hurt, or angry allow me to understand myself better, to have a deeper knowledge of the truth of the entire emotional spectrum, to acknowledge that for which I am grateful just as much as being happy, joyful, or peaceful do. Life is a series of fresh starts.  It is, by turns, fields in their full glory of blooming health and barren scraps of dirt and desolation. You can't have one thing without the other, and I want it all.

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