This I Believe–

Jonathan - Beach City, Texas
Entered on June 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the confessional heart.

Every time I would turn to sleep that night, my mind would force my pen back to the page for more. My pen had been especially tugging at what I am going to call my soul in this essay that night and it seemed as though the beginning of my confession earlier in the evening was now calling for an end as well. My soul’s discontent had become an unruly, relentless pest.

I know my body needed sleep but, at the same time, it needed a purging I felt could be achieved through writing. Penning letter after letter and word after word became particularly addictive that night as though my nerves were finally finding some kind of balance after reading back over the group of words forming on the page. The restlessness I felt in my body…the feeling of being overwhelmed had become all too familiar in this period of my life—and any other feeling was more than welcome.

The anguish I was feeling over my relationship gone wrong was proving to be a struggle every day of my life and I was having a difficult time coping with all of the changes that came along with my now estranged relationship. I had been losing a lot of sleep and did not have a clue on how to get my body’s equilibrium back to anything considered normal. I needed some kind of relief.

Writing down my thoughts was just something I had started doing to pass the endless hours of being awake in the night. The power of the confessional heart was making itself known to me the more I wrote and this night’s musings were having a noticeably different and more potent effect on me. When I first had the idea of writing I had no clue as to where I should start. I definitely knew what I wanted to write about…what I knew I needed to write about. Starting out, however, I felt that it was not having the therapeutic effect I was hoping for—the effect I needed. This night was different though, and I knew what I was writing down was particularly important for me. I felt I was finally participating in the therapeutic exercise that had been so elusive.

And it started with a cliché.

She was my world. I’ve heard a lot of people describe their significant others as ‘meaning the world’ but I never quite understood why that definition became to be flattering. When I say she was my world, I mean it. I had built everything I possibly could around her like an elaborate scaffolding that allowed our relationship to be an intimate commingling for the many years it had lasted. My existence leaned on her existence.

My parents taught me from an early age that a gentleman was someone who tried to make life as easy as possible for others—and that is exactly what I did in so many ways—even when it was difficult. Waking up early to drive her through the busy morning traffic…spending a little bit more money that I could really afford on the gifts that I knew she wanted so badly…just making sure that her life was that much easier because I was her other—even when it involved some kind of personal sacrifice. It was that way up until the great collapse and devastation of what I had built.

Our relationship ended as so many others do with one party being unfaithful to the other. I thought that I had been allowed to know everything about her and as a result had formed a great trust when it came to such issues as fidelity. My scaffolding had not been as thoroughly built as I thought it had been. The tremendous clutter of misery and depression that followed the implosion of our relationship was evidence of that. But the human soul finds a way through—even by stumbling, falling back, going sideways, and deviating every which way possible. I began to find out that the heart can see through, even in the darkest times—you just have to let it. It is a lot easier to discourage and block it out than it is to let it be free again.

In my own experience, even though I had revisited the ruins of my failed relationship many times in my writing, it was that one night where I wrote about my own behavior and my own good will in our relationship where I realized I had become the best version of myself in the service of another—in a relationship with another that I had specifically chosen.

It was in those moments where I took the words I had written that night and used them to crown myself as one who had done the right things in a relationship and had done those with humility and good heart. It is in this confession of the heart that I’ve come to believe the confessional heart.