Wednesday, June 3


I've known a few people in my life who can truly listen.  Just a few, though. These are people who are incredibly open about who they are and what they struggle with and are also able to make other people feel that when they are talking to you, you are truly the only person they are thinking about. It's a gift and if you've ever met one of these people you will know what I'm talking about.

Photo by Audrey Dodgen
I've always wanted to be one of those people. I tend to be very perceptive to the moods of others so I can usually tell when someone is having a hard time, whether they say anything about it or not. I want to connect to them and let them know that whatever they are dealing with, I would be willing to support them. They don't have to be alone. I just can't seem to communicate that very well.

I know that I get in my own way.  It's the part about being completely open about who you care and what you're struggling with. Is anyone ever really comfortable with the truth about themselves? Probably not, but there are people who are still able to be open about it, and I envy them.

Fifteen years ago I was planning a wedding that never happened. It took me at least six years to be emotionally settled with the way everything crumbled, and it's taken another nine for me to be able to write about it in an objective and peaceful way. We all have things like that in our lives and even though they color everything that comes after them, we don't always have the ability to talk about them and share them with the people around us. Those things don't just shape who we are. In some ways they are who we are. And they are not at all who we are, because the idea that part of me is my rejection is an uncomfortable thought. I'd rather be thought of as a mother or as a wife or as a storyteller than as a woman who was rejected or manipulated or broken.

But no one loves someone who can't understand their wounds. No one feel supported and cared for when you offer them glassy perfection in response to sharp brokenness. Open up. Expose the raw and the broken side of yourself and offer it up to the next person and see if they don't also open themselves up to say, "Look!  I got broken, too!"

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