this is going to sound so dumb but...
"This is gonna sound so dumb....."
"You probably won't understand but..."
"I know I'm pathetic for wanting this but..."
Have you ever caught yourself saying one of these un-knowingly prideful phrases? Do any of these words sound familiar to you? Because they are to me. I've said them many times. In fact, I find that in my heartbreaking attempts to connect with others I voice these phrases quite often. As if that's supposed to make me more humble instead of overwhelmingly insecure. I like to comfort myself with the idea that I am this way due to past failed friendships and that's normal. That it is okay. And as it may be a completely normal reaction to inward pain (I mean no one can be mad at me for being hurt right?) it is alarming to hope inside of me. A nagging anxiety like me could really use more hope.... more optimism.
"But what if it doesn't all work out?"
That's the question that keeps us insecure and controlling creatives up at night. Despite your failed cycle of giving pieces of yourself to people hoping they would see it's value you cling to the notion that it's fine - you- will find someone one day. In the words of one of my favorite poets; Robert Frost, "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life- it goes on." I couldn't agree more. Actually, I'm bluffing behind a computer screen, there are definitely times I agree less. Usually those 'times' are late at night when no one has texted me back or asked me how I'm really doing. I know the late night stalking does me no good and in fact makes me miserable.
"I told the doctor I was overtired, anxiety-ridden, compulsively active, constantly depressed, with recurring fits of paranoia. Turns out I'm normal." - Jules Feiffer
Why do we say these things before anyone could connect with us? We long for deep and meaningful relations with others but we build walls no one wants to climb. I say 'wants to climb' because who really wants a depressed, self-loathing person in their life right? I can see how a conversation started with a phrase that decreases my value and opinion can seem self-loathing and depressed. I figure if someone can connect with me in one area then they deserve another part of me. The best feeling in the world is finding someone who can connect to all those parts and little by little you let your wall down. Little by little it gets better, you get more hopeful, and you get to see yourself as you really are.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." Helen Keller
So I say that that it's the start of something new. Life is hard. People tend to be flawed (just like myself.) I'm gonna get hurt. I'm gonna cry. I'm gonna drive myself to a Mcdonald's drive through at midnight and regret it in the morning. I'm gonna spend too much money on meaningless things. I'm gonna want to tell someone something about my life that doesn't care to know. I'm gonna find a stranger astonishingly attractive and probably trip over a chair. But that's life.... at least mine (maybe yours is more graceful and exciting.) I have to be okay with this, and more importantly I have to hope. I have to hope that the pain I choose to leave in the past will stay there and not haunt me. I have to hope that one day I'll have a best friend who sticks closer than a brother. I have to hope that God will heal all the broke, insecure parts of my heart so that when that person comes along, I start my conversations with,
"So I have this amazing idea..." or "I'm writing this blog right now about this dream I have." or "I thought of you so I wanted to share my heart..."
Starting new connections with people as if they have never hurt you will change your life. It sounds so easy and it's not. I understand it's not. But how unfair it is to the random quirky guy across the coffee bar that you think he will just rip your heart out and not care. How unfair it is to the girl you bump into on your way to class and you never share your thoughts or ideas and all the while she too was longing for a friend.... for a connection with someone as great as you. I don't value myself as I should, and that's where Jesus comes in.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden in light." Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
I love that Jesus knows how broken and insecure we are yet loves us anyway. Despite the fact that I am overwhelmed by the creeping sense of impending disaster and failed connections He still holds me in His hands. Right now He is holding those future friendships in His hand. He is working in the heart of my future husband, my future maid of honor, and that is reassuring. Very. In the end, it's gonna be okay. God wants me to be happy and He wants you to be happy. I pray this inspired you and opened your eyes. I'm speaking into my life just as much as yours. If you find this relevant to your situation I'd love to stand in the gap and believe for you. Send me a message or just trust that I'm praying for you, that at least you could connect to this truth.... God is for you, who could be against you?
As Told By,
Photo by: Christopher Pereira