We Know How to F*ck Up The Good Stuff; Burn it Down And Rise Up

By Jeanette LeBlanc

And Still. Always. Again, You Rise.

We don’t, any of us, get to this point clean. We’re all dirty and ragged. Rough edges and sharp corners. Fault lines and demolition zones.

We’ve got tear gas riot squads aiming straight for the protest lines of our weary souls.

Landmines in our chests that we trip over every time we try to hide from the terrifying tremble of our own war torn hearts.

It gets messy in there.

We are dirty mirror reflection. Rusty razor blade heartbeat. We cut and we bleed. Smash down barbed wire barricades with bloody fists and hastily throw up brick walls when happiness gets too close for comfort. We stay stubbornly still in spaces that do not serve and run the hell away from the beauty that could finally save us.

God damn, we know how to fuck up the good stuff.

We are echoes of pain born from a lifetime of push back. We radiate it out, tender and exposed, hoping against hope that someone will finally not get caught on our rough and see all the way to our gentle. That someone will come along with outstretched hands in the darkest night and say, “Here, love. let go. I know your heart. I’ve got this.

We stumble and fall – our demons doing a fierce tango around the piles of broken baggage and empty hope chests we’ve been hauling around on weary shoulders and hunched spines.

We hurt. We ache. We cry. We go down to the ground, over and over, till our kneecaps are bruised and bloody from bearing the weight of our eternal fall. We break and rip and tear and bleed, until our patchwork of scars appear to be the only thing holding us together.

Here love, let go. I know your heart. I’ve got this.

Because still, you are full of radiance. Still you turn your face to the sky and say with shaking breath “I’ll take more, even where it hurts.

Still you return and say yes, I will try this love again. I will rip down this wall and sit in the vulnerability of this space where everything is at risk. Still, you coax out the shadowy remains of hope and nurture them into something beautiful and alive. Still you say “Okay, universe, what is it that you want? I am here. I am open. I will trust.”

Still. Always. Again, you burn.
Still. Always. Again, you rise.

These things, love, are the aesthetics of your grit.

This is the birthright of your holy flawed humanity. It’s in the beauty of your breakdown. The brilliance in the center of your shatter. The exquisite truth of your torn apart. The graceful moan of your damned. The tumbled brick and broken concrete of your dashed dreamscapes. The hard-earned gravel in your angel voicebox.

It’s the loss layered on loss. The clench in your gut that says “no, I am not done yet”. The fire in your flee. The desperate fight of being the one with nothing left to lose. It is the brutal courage it takes to say a holy howl of a yes and follow it right to the terrifying edge of all that there is.

Love, beauty can’t always look pretty.

Your perfect is so often inherently flawed. Grief can be a clumsy ghost. She runs headlong into all your tender parts and wails her regrets for everyone to hear. But it is your history that delivered you this roadmap of scars. Those healed wounds and their jagged edges are proof of your infinite ability to survive, to knit broken back to wholeness, to refuse that the end is every really the end.

The end, lover, is never really the end.

Own your stories, you back alley angel. Hold tight the truth inside of your ugly.

Bite your lip bloody and embrace the humble hard knee grovel of your mercy plea. Snake charmer yourself out of your own too tight skin and wear your heart on the outside, especially when it wants to cower in dark corners. Raise high the crucible of rejection that has built you into what you are.

It is, in the end, the alchemy that transforms.

Make friends with your teardown. Do not run from your bar brawl for forgiveness. Sit with the times you’ve fucked up and the times you lost all and the days your redemption was delivered by the hand of the last person you ever expected to give anything but darkness.

And through it all know that your walled up and torn down, graffiti-covered heart is still the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

So do not practice denial of self or past or grief. You don’t need the facade right now. Rip away the false face. Open wide the locked door to the museum exhibit of your holy history. Demolish your crumbled brick walls, your dumpster daydreams, your rusted chain link fence. Don’t deny your kaleidoscope heart.

Without the broken it could never be so beautiful.

Stand naked, in the middle of the vast empty space, arms wide, inviting in all that will come.

It’s true. We don’t, any of us, get to this point clean. We don’t get to this point whole. But your prayer flame of a heart burns steady and true. Through the darkest nights. Through the most terror filled lighting strike. In the grit and the broken, in the blood and in the fire you still arrive. And every time you are the personification of the most holy grace.

You still arrive, lover. Every time. Exactly as you are and exactly as you will be.

Again and again. Terrified. True of heart. Full of grace.

You still arrive.

And still. Always. Again, you burn.
And still. Always. Again, you rise.

Again, you rise.


For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.

Sip a little more from Jeanette’s magic:
Bless Your Holy Longing — A Love Letter To Women In Transition




Jeanette LeBlanc spent most of her life working very hard to be a good girl. One day she woke up and decided to write her way out of her own life, things haven't been the same since. Single mama to two ridiculously unruly daughters, Jeanette believes in the smooth honey burn of whiskey, the crashing of mama ocean, pencil skirts, vintage band tees and fringed boots, the kinship of the wild wolf, walking for miles in unfamiliar cities, the power of dark red lipstick and the necessity of putting out for the muse on the regular. Oh yea, and that sometimes our stories are the only things that can save us.

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