There is something I have learned somewhat recently.
I did know this all along, I think everyone knows this, but now I feel like I really know it…
Maybe this is what makes life so frustrating and unfair, or maybe this is what makes life so fragile and delicate in the most beautiful way.
Progress and healing takes time. Cleaning up an emotional mess is like cleaning up a dirty home. You can’t do it all at once in less than an hour or so. You can it look much nicer in one day, but to really scrub deeply and get in all the cracks, it’s going to take at least several days, maybe weeks or months depending on how dirty it is.
Yet on the opposite end, making your home dirty can be done very quickly and easily. You just throw a few things around, break things, stop picking up after yourself for a few days.
Making a mess is effortless, while cleaning up that mess takes a lot of time and energy.
Another metaphor is building and destroying. You can set fire or blow up a place in the blink of an eye. Yet think of the amount of time and work it takes for construction to make that building.
Physically, the same thing goes for mentally, emotionally, spiritually. You can ruin absolutely everything in one night or one day. In the span of hours, or minutes, even seconds, you can destroy it all. And the amount of time and energy it takes to rebuild what you have destroyed takes years, maybe eternity, and for some people never. Oftentimes you have to accept that nothing will ever be the same.
I know this is pretty obvious, something I’ve always told myself, but I realize I only knew this truth on the surface. I have always rushed trying to “fix” things that cannot be fixed. I always held hope that one single night, or day, or act, or conversation, etc. could save everything.
All I need is this one night to make everything better, this one apology, this one confrontation, this one gesture, etc. and everything will be okay again.
But that is never how it goes. On the opposite side, all it takes is one night, one day, one conversation, one event, to destroy absolutely everything, enough to haunt you for the rest of your life. It takes so much to build trust with someone, and that trust can be shattered in the blink of an eye.
No, it’s not really fair that success is so difficult while failure is so easy. It’s not fair that our lives are uphill battles, where one little pebble you trip over knocks you all the way down, and you have to climb the mountain again. Also not fair that progress is not a straight line, but a wavy slope full of multiple failures.
That is one way to look at it. Another way to see it is to understand that fragility is beautiful. Vulnerability, openness, and honesty is what gives someone or something beauty. When you finally find success, you know that you earned it and seriously worked for it.
Sometimes there is hope for things to turn around. But that only comes with progress. Nothing is fixed overnight, yet everything can be ruined overnight. So you just focus on the progress.