I have to say, I am pretty excited for what is happening in my heart.
For the past few months, I have been challenged in my thinking and actions in ways that go beyond subtle awareness of faults.
Areas in my heart that need “work”…healing…and softening, have been highlighted relentlessly, yet delicately.
The real question is where to begin in the sharing process (bear with me as I am running on 2 hours of sleep again).
Like a great number of people, I was the product of a broken home.
I grew up in a family that was filled with laughter and celebration. The sweet smell of fresh-baked yeast breads clothing the house in warmth. Sounds of music fluttering through the air. Gatherings where games were played, movies watched and stories shared.
On the outside looking in, we were the perfect family.
Even under the scrutiny of an insider, we seemed like the perfect family. But something was just a little…off?
Expression of who I was seemed to contradict the culture I was growing up in…or maybe it just threatened authority figures sense of control.
If I was in a serious or sad, introspective mood… I was commanded to look happy.
If I wanted to spend some time alone in the bedroom, I was approached – asked what I was doing – and told to come join everyone else.
If I expressed myself truthfully but politely through letter, I was given “the keys to my life”… aka told that the security I had in having someone care for me, was being removed… and I, in return, would have freedom to do anything of my choosing without interference. A pretty detrimental thought to a child.
Considering verbal communication was already a challenge for me due to fear of rejection, the statement of giving me “the keys to my life”, along with other responses to my attempts at communicating, pushed me further into a lifestyle of people pleasing.
However, the hardest, yet most hidden issue within this, was the sense of not belonging.
There was an aching inside that was not pacified by the warmth of my family. And I had no idea how to process it.
Fast forwarding to about 17/18 years old, I discovered a lot was hidden behind lies for my protection.
Parents were grandparents… oldest brother was biological father…my dreams of witnessing physical abuse and experiencing intense fear must have been real…and the woman in those dreams, was my mother.
So naturally, the next question was…who and where was she?
Though grateful for the family I grew up in, for all the good things….ex. saw a beautiful marriage, had a loving father and strong mother (bio grandparents), etc…A part of me struggled to suppress the restless desire to know who I came from genetically… even though I did not understand why I was curious.
I also had a longing for intimacy…a true desire to connect.
Fast forwarding to the present day… I am now pretty disconnected from my family.
Between broken ties from my biological parents (who are divorced) at a young age…rejection of who I was over the years … coupled with moving every 3 years…AND then moving away from my family. I have become a detaching/distancing expert.
A queen at avoiding pain…fleeing while masking it with confidence…(unknowingly).
Initially, I saw my detachment as a coping mechanism that became a part of me…which meant I really had no control over it.
But as the issue began to surface in my close relationships… especially one in particular…I became more attentive to it.
Then another friend addressed me head on, telling me how he felt slighted when I kept my distance while his daughter visited etc…he proceeded to discourage my detachment from those I love…advising me to allow myself to feel the pain of missing people.. to put myself in the presence of them, even at the risk of rejection.
I WAS BAFFLED.
All I could say in response is “Why on earth would I do that?”
But the conversation was speaking to my heart despite the resistance I put up.
Every single day, from that point on…I can tell the dead, dark places of my heart are surfacing and being replaced…the dry places are being watered…while the calloused parts are being chiseled off…slowly, steadily, and gently.
Every day, my interactions with people are revealing my active commitment to moving toward them, or away from them. Aka, my actions are revealing my subconscious or conscious goal to connect or disconnect with people… as described in Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk (so far a great read).
All this coupled with what God has revealed to me through scriptures and reflection…. I am like wow, I have lived so much of my life as the “powerless” when I am fully equipped to live as the “powerful”.
Here are some key points of the “powerful”:
- They do not control other people; their job is to control themselves
- They can choose to love because He chose to love them
- They respond instead of reacting to fear and pain.
- “Powerful people are not slave to their instincts…they can respond with love in the face of pain and fear”
- In responding, they engage by training their mind to think, use their will to choose, and their body to obey
All this being said, I am on a journey and the question posed to me today, is the same I would like to share with you….
What is the goal in your close relationships? Whether it is marriage, friendship, parent to child, sibling to sibling, co-worker or even a stranger….
Are you trying to create a safe connection or a safe distance?
Will you choose today, to be “powerful” or “powerless”?