We all have fault lines that run through us.
They have been acquired over time, these small cracks and fissures in our emotional facade; caused by overbearing or under caring parents, assholes that leave us, being lied to, betrayed, misunderstood, unheard and bullied; you know – life.
Just like geological fault lines, they can be triggered anytime (usually at the most inopportune) and may rupture without warning, causing an emotional earthquake.
Some fault lines we are aware of and will do everything in our power to keep them intact, and others catch us by surprise.
They catch us off guard with the fact that they even exist, triggered by something mundane, and also by the severity of the shaking that registers as fear, anxiety and dread on our emotional Richter Scales.
The after shocks can reverberate through every part of our lives, breaking mirrors (uh oh, add seven years bad luck) and making rubble of things that we have taken great pains to arrange perfectly.
So…here’s my query: are we better for them? Are our fault lines there to shake up the things that are stuck, so that rebuilding can occur? Or are they wounds that are so deep that if they were to crack, they could subsequently shake us apart? Are they our own personal Fukashima’s? Disasters waiting to happen?
It has felt to me personally at times, like one of those disaster movies, you know the ones, where the earth’s crust splinters open and swallows everything; cars, shopping malls, airplanes – swallows ‘um up whole – and then slams shut.
My friend calls those movies “Craptastic.”
I used to have massive anxiety attacks. They felt seismic.
If you’ve ever had one you understand without explanation.
If you haven’t, I can try to explain them to you, but it’s a bit like trying to explain childbirth to someone that hasn’t had children.
You get that it’s massively uncomfortable – but you really have NO idea!
It feels like a heart attack on steroids. Like your heart will pound out of your chest.
Well, it would except there’s the weight of an elephant sitting on it, making it extremely hard to breathe.
I sat in many doctor’s offices in the early days, hooked up to EKG’s while the they’d tell me my heart was fine – it was all in my head.
For me, the sky felt like someone had lowered it to about……..ceiling height.
I felt like I had to duck all the time, keep my head down. Oppressive.
And the shaking. It is internal, and it feeds on itself if you let it.
If you tense up, it can get bad. Like uncontrollable bad.
If you go all loosey-goosey, you’re able to ride it out. I’m a master at that, systematically relaxing every muscle, due to many hours of practice in the middle of the night.
When I look back now at those fault line ruptures, I know they occurred because I let feelings build up that I didn’t want to deal with.
A marriage I no longer wanted to be a part of,
A job that had run its course,
A calling I didn’t want to follow.
The friction built up until it would break the surface…and get my attention.
The great Leonard Cohen wrote:
There is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
So…..to answer my own question, I now believe that our fault lines are the cracks that let the light in. I have seen it in my own life. Once the fault breaks open and the pressure is released, it makes room for the light – if you let it, and rebuilding can occur through grace.
How have your fault lines let the light in to precipitate change?