Because of emotion.
We stop to feel. Perhaps we find ourselves lost in a moment, like when the butterfly happens magically across our path. Its dance sparking calm within us. It speaks to our soul and we bask in its serenity. Sometimes we listen to understand. We have thrown question after question into the void and now we wait for it to answer. There are times we pause in the hopes of shutting out the world and all its deafening noise. Because we see them, the beautifully broken, surrounding us and it shreds our ever feeling hearts to pulp. We ache to close our eyes and hearts so we can stumble through our world with some semblance of sanity left in tact.
We stop because our emotions command us. They give us no choice. We are lost to their tumultuous waves and fall timidly into their powerful force. They steal our breath and focus our minds on our absence of control. Capturing us against our will. We fall prey to their hunger to consume our breath. And no matter how we flail against their waves, we find ourselves floating willingly as they drown every ounce of who we are.
We stop because we have lost ourselves without the ability to feel. Perhaps we ignored what living should be in the hopes of finding what it might be in a future that never came true. We held our breath for so long that we forgot the necessity of air to our lungs. We’ve lost hope to what life would never be. For too long, we’ve overlooked the small glimmers. We forgot to steal back our simple joys. We failed to create gratitude in an all too ungrateful universe.
Some of us failed to recognize our own worth. We expected too little of ourselves to allow us the chance to grow and flourish. Time slunk up around us and ticked away the life we deserved to savor while we starved ourselves on wishes we failed to reach for.
We stop because we keep going until we cannot go any longer. We have pushed ourselves beyond our breaking and foolishly felt we were beyond a reasonable point to be fixed. We stop because we do not lean on others for fear. We fear their judgment, we fear their gaze. We fear being vulnerable and broken open to criticism and callousness. Our pain and pride give us this sense of necessary isolation that slowly eats at our will and destroys the image of who we should be. The image of who we think others feel we should be. We stop in spite of life all around us because we no longer see the world in vivid color. Our lack of hope has greyed our ability to dream or even recall the taste of possibility.
We stop to be built or unbuilt. You see it’s in the lulls, the quiet moments we settle into, when our hearts are broken open to fully feel. That’s when we happen. That is when we are built and strengthened and fortified. That is when we break apart. We find ourselves on pause so when we begin again, hopefully, we are vigorously renewed.
Life is chaos. It is simple, complicated, dark, and delightful. Each moment around us builds upon the moments we’ve intertwined with before. And that is when we become ourselves.
We stop to be.
We stop to become.