Friday, September 21, 2012

Reach Out Your Hands

When I was young, I let my feelings run me.  When I was happy I laughed, when I was sad I cried, when I was angry I cursed.

Somewhere around 17, when some people I trusted saw my love for a boy, my dedication to it even though he didn’t return it, and made fun of me and told secrets behind my back, I started teaching myself to cover my feelings.  I can’t act like having composure is bad.  Grown-ups have to learn not to take their problems with them everywhere, crying at work and such.  But I over-corrected.  I put my feelings so far down that I hid them from everyone but God.  And honestly, even when they came out before God, I was angry at my vulnerability.  As far as I was concerned, a strong person simply never cried.  A smart person never allowed anything to hurt.  Unlike many who close off their pain, I let my laughter run free.  For years, the only emotion I had was laughter.  I learned to laugh at things that weren’t funny, because laughing kept me from hurting.

Over the last months, I have learned how to be vulnerable again.  I have learned how to say when I’m sad and be sad without falling apart.  I have learned to say when I’m irritated, and be irritated without cursing.  And amazingly, I have even learned to love in moderation.  That sounds so false.  Love in moderation.  But I’ve learned to do it, not because it’s good for me - I prefer to go all in - but because moderation is all some people can stand.  And I can’t be mad at them for that.

At the beginning of the year, I learned (more or less against my will) that I still want to love and be loved.  I had convinced myself that I was fine without it.  And I am fine.  But I want better than fine.  Interestingly, even the man who reminded me that I wanted that was unable to meet me in love.

Now, I can pretty well say that my emotions are all back in the right place. I still laugh way more than I cry, and I relegate my tears to safe places.  I keep my love and affection at levels people can handle.  And I want a love to call my own.  It’s hard to want and not have.  But I am untrue to myself if I behave like I’m not a feeler.

As a told a dear friend just the other day, “God can’t give you what you’re not ready for, but He won’t hold back what you are ready for.”  And sometimes, He’s not holding back what we’re ready for, we just need to reach out our hands.

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