A slow realization. A peeling away of layers. Slowly and methodically, one at a time.
Amazing how smoothly and efficiently a person can built up walls. Invisible walls, clear brick stacked upon clear brick.
Suddenly the sun shifts and reflection gives way to the rays. The walls become visible.
To break them is to expose yourself, to be open for new hurts, salts in open wounds.
But to not break them, is to keep the light at bay.
Dancing just beyond reach.
* * *
A few weeks ago, in a desperate state of frustration I had a moment where everything spilled out. All of feelings came oozing out in one lump of jealous, heaping disappointment. Like the step sisters of Cinderella, I was trying to fit into a glass slipper that was not designed for me. It never fit me and it didn’t need to.
It didn’t need to.
I said those words out loud recently as we traveled to visit with friends. A group who invited us over, when they didn’t need to but they wanted to.
* * *
We are designed to want community. Fellowship. To share life with each other, to know each other, and to support each other. Often I make the mistake of setting aside who I am in pursuit of joining a community. In a moment of panic when I feel an unquenchable longing to belong, like junior high student all over again, I set aside who I know I am. It turns me into an overcommitted mom. I see the world though completely unrealistic glasses. I expect a person who is wide, outgoing, and carefree to see my heart. Deep, introverted, careful, awkward, me. I struggle to understand their perspective.
That’s the rub really. Neither one of those personality traits are wrong. They are both beautiful especially when they are woven together in communities that are meant to be together. But when I try to force them to mingle, when I try to force those least like me to see me, it feels like I stepped in front of a freight train fully expecting to be able to stop the train.
Or I retreat. Like a yo-yo swing hard and fast I withdraw. Cocoon up. I lick my wounds and wonder about my insecurities. But when I do that, something else also happens. I allow time to soften my heart.
And slowly, intentionally, I emerge again. More aware of the choice I want to make.
* * *
I choose authenticity.