By, Chava Floryn
When Did you Lose Yours?
Was it the first time you heard the whisper of death creep into your wake?
Did you lose yours upon seeing illness?
Or was it upon feeling betrayal?
Did you lose yours the first time you lost love or the moment shame existed?
Mine was lost when I turned 22.
I’m sure you can remember the exact day you lost your innocence.
The exact moment you no longer saw the world with the same black and white colors. Like a baby adjusting to the light, as the tinge of grey began creeping into your vision, when you suddenly saw that veil lift as a crystal clear unblemished truth began to change you. Not at first. But soon. And the truth invaded your body with realism and cynicism and confusion. Not right away. But eventually.
Some lose their innocence when they are children. But when innocence is lost as a young adult, versus as a child, it can interrupt adulthood with more conviction. For it has been preserved for so long that it has mummified inside, making the ability to see truth that much more burdensome. It can feel like squinting at first, like the light is so large and so colossal our brains are unable to interpret the full scope of the information pounding down the pavement.
For years we can to pretend this information is false. We can build strategies that allow truth to lie under the bed just a little while longer. We can even become brilliant at alternate reality storytelling, because the hurt, the betrayal, the realness of it all is just too much to bear. It is just too much.
As we get older new stories, new revelations, new shocks can seep into our system. And one day we finally look into the mirror, like deeply look, and really stare and suddenly our own truth looks foreign to us as well. We do not know our own truth anymore, so we begin wearing other people’s eternal verities. We adopt new garments of truth that become our own and fixate our bodies into these threads of perceivable truths until we forget who we are completely. We can’t even feel our bodies anymore, because these truths are so hard to swallow we stop feeling everything and go on autopilot. Suddenly illness takes over, because the blocks in our bodies become huge gaping holes for the feelings of dis-ease.
But imagine if we stopped that train from heading down the reckless path before the illness set in. How do we stop it?
By asking questions of ourselves. By noticing the patterns of how losing that innocence has affected our daily living routines. By feeling ourselves suppress our convictions and emotions hiding behind the decay. By noticing our bodies and how our bodies are reacting to the loss.
Before we become too despondent maybe we can reawaken that glimmer of hope that still simmers on a low flame. Before it leaves us slowly extinguishing into a prolonged termination.
Before we layer. Layer with outside labels and immerse ourselves with exterior stereotypes. Before we create ideas that become more external ideas so as not to have to face the person who lives under the truth. The person who hides behind the realism that relies on falsehood as a mechanism to find truth. It is quite startling, really, that we have the audacity to search for truth using pretend. As if the pretend wills the truth away.
Truly, we don’t want her to leave, the hope. If we are honest with ourselves, we want her to stay, to re-infuse our souls and re-install our vibrancy. We want her to bathe our cynicism and doubt into submission. But in order to do that, we must have enough trust in ourselves, in our voice, in our power, to will her into being.
If we are honest with ourselves, do we not want to get to that place where truth lives and thrives? Where the veil is no longer casting that shadow only to find us awake? Not the awake where we tease ourselves into a living that looks pretend, but the sort of living that is rooted in the deepest layers of soul. Because our soul, the instrument that keeps us awake and that opens our heart, that refuses to live in falsehood, has been catching us from the beginning. It has been activated and operates on unwavering authenticity- and paradoxically on loss of innocence.
And while there are still moments we catch ourselves still aching and longing for that time of falsehood when innocence still lay intact, we are better for all of our innocence finally leaving on the whisper she flew in on. Yes, truth is more complicated, yet it is also more defining and the birthplace of creation. The creation of new self we have finally allowed ourselves to meet.