If she had said goodbye once, she had said it a hundred times. She had done it so many times that she fancied herself an expert at leaving, bidding adieu. It had been hard work. There had been wobbles. But she stuck at it, practicing faithfully. Important to note, too, was that she was neither commitment phobic nor a martyr for her own cause although both definitions could be manipulated to fit on occasion. No. The real reason Ella left was because she was too fast for the average human and couldn’t chameleon, shift her perspective, remain true to herself, when worried about another’s feelings or attached to another’s agenda. Alone, she could be selfish, hear the voice of instinct and follow its call. And, of course, there was a covert need in her to get a jump on the inevitable.
There were plenty of slings and arrows tossed at her, needless to say. Lots of judging and berating. Some called her anti-social proclaiming her behaviour petulant, reckless; declaring her rants caustic, illogical. Others alleged she was just running. In her early days, those accusations encouraged Ella to allow interventions and, thinking others correct, she bravely attempted conventionality. These others are the majority, after all.
In support of her reluctant compliance, she told herself there’d been plenty of times she wanted to stay still, fit in, keep herself attached to someone or something. She could learn how to the play their game, couldn’t she?
But the Muses guiding her had other plans and roughly pushed and rankled, sweet-talked and strong-armed her until, abiding their contrary will, she acquiesced and said her goodbyes.
Leaving creates a void. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a simple “good night, Charlie”, or the much bigger altering of a behaviour. Letting go of one thing is the only way to make room for something else. Until we make space, there can be no real change. And, although Ella knew this, she still harboured a secret, one that was taking its toll, taxing her unreasonably.
Denial is counter-productive to all processes and Ella’s convincing façade was crumbling because of it, devouring every scintilla of enthusiasm like a famished scavenger. It might be time to confess, but she couldn’t be sure coming clean would help her reanimate. All she knew for certain was that controversial thoughts stumbled and faltered along a tangled path within her.
One cannot truly perfect the art of goodbye without confronting, head on, the ultimate one. Lately, consideration of her own final farewell pressed heavily on Ella. All this slowing down, lack of interest, and waning desire might be heralding her last adios, she thought. If so, perhaps the time had come for her to bring her secret, long ago relegated to the shadows, veiled for the better part of her life, forward. Merely thinking about her mortality made a hole.
Exposing her frailty, surreptitious fragments of doubt she could not quell, would open a Pandora’s Box, she told herself, releasing regrets, sorrow at roads not taken, self-recrimination for choices made and chances side-stepped. Exposing her true feelings would come at a price. Still, she needed to unburden herself before it was too late!
Ella could not ever have imagined what happened next. Embracing the long-kept secret freed her. Instead of shrivelling in defeat, she felt unburdened. The thoughts that had held her hostage, had, in an instant, lost their power over her. She floated above the writhing energy formed by her abject loathing for the skill she’d perfected. You see, she actually despised goodbyes.
Secrets often become lies, even if they didn’t start out that way. Buried deep, they germinate in the dark, taking on a life of their own. Craving the light, they never stop gnawing at the fabric we cover them with. They want to be seen. Keepers of the secret must shift their stories over time, make new coverings to replace the old, as it were. Each time they do this they add to the deception, fearing an eventuality they themselves are creating.
Ella was afraid to look at the hate she bore for the very thing she was good at. For most of her life she despised her strength, her uniqueness. She scoffed at her wisdom and down-played other talents, too. She didn’t know what to do with any of it… until today.
Looking her fear straight in the eye, she realised something quite profound which was that she didn’t have to choose. She could love and loathe. All she had to do was accept that she was simply human and honestly, she didn’t and couldn’t have, all the answers. If, however, she strove to problem solve, make way for new views and aspects, she would eventually align on the side of love – her primary compass. That’s what mattered most – moving toward, chasing with a desire to embrace – LOVE. It hadn’t always been her focus but it was now.
Ella sighed, relief caressing her, cleansing her like a gentle rain. She wondered if there were secrets that should be kept, those most heinous ones, perhaps?
An angelic voice answered her question.
“Humanities’ highest good is found in Truth, Love, and Compassion. Seek only those things and say goodbye to the rest, just as you’ve been doing.”
My wish for you all is that you can find a way to make peace with yourself. Expose those secrets. Like Ella, you might find it a freeing thing to do.