A riot in my soul.

Sometimes I am presented with a situation, something happens to me or even just around me or near me that stirs up such intense feelings that it’s like the wind has been knocked out of me. I’m not just talking about anger. I’m talking about a moment when your world is so rocked that the very core of your being trembles inside.

It can be very unnerving and usually doesn’t feel-good-to-feel. I feel my whole countenance change on the outside and my heart turn upside down on the inside. I feel unsure and unsteady. I start to question everything.

It feels like there’s a riot in my soul.

As hard as it is to sit with, to live through, I know there’s probably a reason it’s happening, and when the earthquake quiets, and I survey the rubble, I’m often surprised to feel that what surrounds me is something quite gentle yet powerful. It feels like I can breathe again, not merely picking up where I left off before the riot, but like I can breathe in more deeply than I could before the quake.

One time years ago in the midst of a particularly difficult time in my life, I remember feeling like after the riot there were just pieces of myself scattered all around, and I did not know how to put them back. Actually, I think I must have still been in the midst of that great riot. It was very scary, and I was deeply sad. I was in midst of grief and despair.

And then one day I realized I only needed to put back the pieces of myself that I wanted to. This riot had, after much core devastation, provided me the chance to create anew the person I wanted to be. And this was marvelous and wonderful to me – and such a relief. There were pieces of the rubble of myself that I could leave behind, and there were pieces of myself I could pick up lovingly and restore to their resting place in my heart. And then there was room for some new pieces I might yet encounter along the way.

I still experience riots. As hard as they are in the moment, I have come to know they are a really good thing, especially if I can find the courage to stay in the fray and be connected to the trembling core. When I come through it and the dust is settling, I breathe again. I breathe a new peace and a new strength. I try to hold onto it as I pick up a new piece of myself from the rubble and put it gently in my heart.