I like to think of myself as a person who values open communication. I want to be someone that other people can talk to, and they can show me the real 'them' without fear of rejection. I am not afraid of 'messy' emotions or hard words.
I like to cultivate friendships where people can be truly candid with me, and I always try to provide a safe place for 'realness'. It is because I, myself, like to speak plainly. I like to open myself up in safe circles and show people the real me.
It was not always that way though.
First off, my emotions are a big part of the real me. I'm a woman. Enough said.
However, I remember a time when I use to be embarrassed by my emotions. I was afraid to show people the real me. I was certain that they couldn't and wouldn't be able to handle the real me. It was a very troubling place. I was constantly second guessing myself.
In one sense, I had this deep longing to know people, and in turn, to be known by them. I wanted that deep heart connection.
In the next moment though, I was terrified that if I did allow myself to go deep, to really open myself up, that they would dislike me. Reject me. Because emotions are messy. Could they really handle all of me?
These lies were spawned in my early pre-teen years (unintentionally, I'm sure). They were further enforced by a series of unfortunate friendships in High School.
By the time I was an adult, I was a crazy mix of wanting to be known, but then, terrified to be truly known.
Somehow in that state I got married, and the Lord blessed me with a wonderful husband. Then came the real test. The real me became evident to my husband. I let me emotions out. A lot.
My poor husband was shocked to some extent, I am sure. I was probably nothing like the woman he thought he had married. What happen to that cool, laid back, exciting woman he had dated?
She was a shell; that which I was willing to show him and others, to hide the real, messy me.
To be fair, those first few years of marriage were.......interesting, in more than one way, as any newly wed could probably verify.
Then came the move. Across country. To a new place.
It was in that new place that the Lord began to reach out to me, and I, in turn, reached out to Him at a new level. I began to trust the Lord at a new level. Then it happened. I began to let the real me out of the box..... in more public places.
The first time this happened (that I can recall) was at a new small group we had started to attend. All began well. Everyone was giving their friendly and interesting stories about how they had come to be a part of our church community.
Then it was my turn to share......
Stay tunes for part 2 of Emotions