After some tragic events of my teenage years, I spent quite some time (maybe, 5 years) escaping from reality in any way I could.
I shut off my heart as much as I could so as to avoid feeling pain. I became whoever anyone wanted or needed me to be. I had no idea who I was or who I hoped to be.
I don’t even remember having any hopes for anything. Maybe there was one constant hope: that someday, I would know unconditional love.
I couldn’t know unconditional love because no one could love me if they didn’t know me. And as uncertain as I was about who I was, I made sure no one was going to get to know me.
Well… I eventually realized that I had been unconditionally loved all along by the only one who really knew me. Knew how selfish and deceptive, unloving and foolish I really am. As I began to accept that love, everything started changing. I started to come to life and feel everything in ways I never thought possible. I felt pain that had been hiding beneath the surface for so long. I felt love and warmth that calmed my soul. I could feel.
I remember that for a season, my favorite song was Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls because of this one line in the song: “And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming, or the moment of truth in your lies. When everything feels like the movies, yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive.”
You bleed just to know you’re alive. I remember that, vividly.
So I started to come back to life, and where does that have me now? It has my heart so close to the surface and pretty easily accessible that emotions are easily reached. That means: tears at seemingly unimportant and simple moments, and certainly tears at the devastating ones. It means that I’m a crier. I began to feel, and that grew, and now, I feel most things more deeply than I’ve seen most people feel anything.
The reality of our culture is: we’re not comfortable with intense emotion. We’re not comfortable with people crying. Our immediate response is: don’t cry. What’s best for our souls, though? Is it not best to truly feel and experience rather than avoid and evade, pushing down and away any pain or unpleasantness just so as to move on? I believe that creates within us a numbness that allows us to grow in apathy and indifference.
As I wrestle with questions of truth, it brings up emotion because my heart feels the need for balance, and hurts from the imbalance.
I’m hesitant to discuss with the new people in my life, because I know how uncomfortable people are with tears.
My husband, he loves it. He loves seeing me be ‘real,’ in showing my emotions. And so, I just poured it all out in tears last night… all these thought processes I’ve been having, all these truth questions I’ve been wrestling….
And, I felt so alive and more at peace just having allowed myself to be vulnerable and real, and in doing so, allowing him to love me.
Wipe away me tears, understand why I’m crying, or give me a tissue. But please, don’t tell me not to feel.
And realize that I’m okay with being “super sensitive” because it means (at least for me) that I’m really alive.