I just started reading Glennon Melton’s book “Love Warrior” this weekend and I am inhaling it. I feel like some of the deepest parts of my heart have been given words all of a sudden, and that is both freeing and terrifying. Because if she can be that honest and real with how she really feels and what is really going on inside her, that must mean that I can be that, too. That I can press through the discomfort and awkwardness of people’s responses and know that me speaking my truth is the only way I will truly feel known and loved and free. Because that’s what we all want. To be known and loved.
As I’ve read, the tears have started flowing and have. not. stopped. It has been so jarring to have a book settle that deeply in me in such an emotional way. And as I’ve read and started identifying feelings in my heart, I started to realize how completely lonely I was in my life. I’m so terrified of people’s responses to who I really am, that I am always looking for ways to downplay what is really going on in my heart. But that has only resulted in people not knowing the real me, and me not feeling loved as a result. But its also kept people who really love me from knowing that I REALLY NEED LOVE RIGHT NOW. Not in a high maintenance, rigid, won’t ever please way. But in a “I just need to know you’re here and you’re with me and I am not alone” kind of way.
I think I’ve had a long season where my needs have not been acknowledged or taken care of and I’ve been left to fend for myself in the things that I emotionally need. And its created something so unhealthy in me to where I don’t trust anyone with me anymore. Expressing needs and not having them affirmed or validated has pushed me further and further beneath the surface of my skin, away from where people can hurt me BUT ALSO FROM WHERE PEOPLE CAN HELP ME. I’ve forced this aloneness on myself out of fear. Fear that there isn’t space in my friendships to say what I really need. What I really feel. What I’m terrified of. BUT I HAVEN’T GIVEN ANYONE A CHANCE.
Until yesterday. I texted two friends a 911 message after my second hour of crying and was met with the most sincere warmth and love and gentleness I’ve ever experienced. I met one friend for coffee and for 2 hours she let me just cry and say everything I’m scared of. Everything I want from my life and my relationships and for my daughter. I’m so afraid of draining people that I keep myself from these intimate friendships because I’m scared of my feelings and how big they might feel to someone else. And she just reminded me “I’m here. Even if you’re in this place for years, I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.” And just to have someone say that, to know that I had someone beside me who’d drop everything and listen and care and love and pray, the edge of my fear was smoothed just enough. Enough to make me want to keep sharing. Even if its a little at a time. Because there are people that want to love and do care but sometimes don’t know what I need. Or that I’m even sad because I try so hard not to look sad. As Glennon would say, I send the “representative” of myself out into the world while I continue to hide. My representative is polished and put together and thoughtful and doesn’t have needs because she has it all together. All the while my truest, deepest self is crumbling and begging for anyone to notice. To give me a hug. To invite me to dinner.
So I stand in this season of loneliness, of not feeling here nor there, and am finding space for Glennon’s words and her telling her truth to softly break apart my walls. To take a chisel to the stone that I tend to with such great affection. The walls aren’t worth it. They’re too hard to keep up. So I’m going to quit.
And its just going to have to be okay.