This seems to be a season for great introspection for me. I think it is part of living to learn and grow, as every day comes to an end I reflect upon my journey. Did I leave it better then it started, or at least no worse? Was every interaction done with the intent of being kind? Was I true to myself through my journey? When I did interact, was my mark one of kindness and love? I also think of where I could have improved. I think of where I need to change and have arrived at two traits I struggle with the most. When life gets difficult, I tend to quickly move to how to fix the issue as opposed to learning the lesson first, steeping in the silence and reflecting on the reason it is actually occurring. I understand why and have written of it often; I was never afforded the luxury of reflection when things fell apart. That is at times a greater disservice then an advantage.
My other great struggle is with my difficulty with vulnerability and trust. I have written about this in a few of my prior posts but it all boils down to my past when I was my most vulnerable, I was at my weakest easy to attack and often emotionally destroyed. As I have worked to improve this, diligently through this the past few years, I have seen those closest to me struggling with this too. As I reflected on my own struggles I reflected upon how I managed this fear, knowing that with every open moment I had allowed my defenses to be lowered and leave myself open for attack. I remember the courage it took for me to share my feelings and the relief I felt when it was received without condemnation but acceptance and support in return. As time progressed, the pattern of trust and support encouraged me to become more vulnerable with each interaction. There were times when I was struggling filled with internal strife and the fear would return but I would need to face it and again make the decision to remain isolated with my fear and pain or to stand bare and be vulnerable as I was learning to trust my journey.
I have seen a few of my friends struggle with this as of late, one with their marriage and the other with a relationship. In a close friendship I see them not trusting in the consistency of kindness for it is based in their past; they living with fear and pain in isolation. They have shared some of the difficulty they experienced in childhood adding to that the struggles of adult relationships, I clearly understand their struggle to trust, their fear of intimacy. I know the depth of that pain and fear, it can be crippling. I realized that no matter how safe of an environment one creates, how much one offers unconditional acceptance, never judging, they must learn to trust in the situation. One can say they would never judge, would never attack them in their vulnerability, it is something they would need to trust, to make a leap of faith and give it a shot. I pray they can find the courage to overcome their fear and trust in the strength of friendship.
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton