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March 28, 2012

And Now, I Shall Pour Out My Heart

I never know if I want to write what I am about to write.  I have written it many times in many ways and often let it sit in my drafts long enough that I end up hitting "delete" instead of "publish."  I'm not sure why I haven't been able cross that bridge to get it out there...but surely it has much to do with my pride.

How many times have I read a blogpost where another woman, mother, sister-in-Christ poured her heart out, expressed her frustration with her own inadequacies or wondered "aloud" whether she was alone?  I have often marveled at the bravery she exhibited in showing her vulnerability and believed it was beyond that which I was capable of.  Even now, as I decide to write these thoughts yet again...I wonder, do I have the strength or the temerity to actually publish?  But there it is, behind that thought where I think, "I would be naive and stupid to post these words, to show how unsure of myself I really am, to show my vulnerability so plainly."

But...here goes nothing, as they say.

It is a daunting prospect for me to make new friends.  There.  I said it.  I am scared out of my wits to approach someone with whom I am newly acquainted.  I don't make time for a lunch or a dinner or a time/event of any sort to learn more about them and, in turn, reveal more about myself to them.  I am afraid of rejection like nothing else.  It hurts to discover that someone I think I might really enjoy being friends with, most likely does not feel the same about me.  And therefore, knowing how that stings, I remain withdrawn.

It never occurred to me how much it would sting ME to realize there are kids who don't prefer to spend time with my kids.  Or how it would feel when my child might not be chosen to an event or a gathering and be one left out of a group where s/he is normally included. 

One thing I have strived to teach my children as they have gotten older is that it is okay to be alone.  They always have Jesus by their side and I've told them Mom and Dad have their backs and will be there to support them and love them unconditionally.  It's a regular occurrence in our house to express that every person is valuable and dignified based on their very existence, that no one needs to change who they are to earn love or respect. 

So far, it seems as though my oldest has learned this quite well.  If only I could learn my own lessons!  I find myself attaching my worth to whether I or my family are asked, consulted, cohorted with, or whether I am alone in my struggles.  I find myself questioning what I have said or done at certain points of time that might have pushed others away.  I find myself seeking to be someone I am not in order to obtain the friends I desire.

Even at this age of 38, when it is impossible to be someone other than who I am, I berate myself for speaking my mind, making the choices I do, living my faith life so openly.  Only sporadically am I able to step outside of my box, so to speak, and evaluate my words and actions objectively and even then, I slant towards the negative with regard to myself, my words, my actions.

I suppose I shall always struggle to accept the person God created me to be.  I suppose it will always sting when I see that I (or my child) is not chosen by those whom we would choose were the situations reversed. 

I pray that my own inadequacies in self-acceptance are not visible to my children who appear to understand that they are loved and accepted where it matters most.  I am almost in awe of my children in their own self-assurance and self-acceptance.  I'm almost sure they get it from their father.  :)

And here is where I trail off...wondering whether I ought to hit "Publish Post" or "Save Now." 

Here is where I wonder if I sound like a pathetic mess or if there really is something to these thoughts and feelings. 

I mean, the part of my brain that tells me to never let my guard down is screaming out, "Who are you kidding?!  Why are you sharing this?!" and another voice questions, "What is it you hope to accomplish here?"

I'm not sure who I'm kidding.  and I think I'm afraid to openly state why I have posted this here.  But, it's my space where I've started to feel more comfortable.  And it's what is on my mind and heart at this very moment and has been for a few days. 

So, here it is.




10 comments:

Katie said...

Thank you for your bravity in sharing your heart. I have shared the same sentiment lately. What a tremendous hope we have in children - they teach us as much as we teach them.

I'm sending you an email later today!! :)

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

I am glad you hit publish!! Hugs!! :)

aka the Mom said...

I'm glad you hit publish and put it out there. I'm so sorry that you struggle with this, it sounds like a big burden to bear.

I have no brilliant words of advice, just a quick prayer and a hope that you step out of your comfort zone a bit more often. The folks are friendly and will like you the way you are.

S said...

I'm kind of the same way. Generally I have only become friends with people who have been pretty aggressive pursuing my friendship. That was all well and good in college, etc. But now I live in a different state from my old friends, am a stay at home mom, and I get lonely! I may have to change tactics and become the aggressor, which is totally out of my comfort zone as a natural introvert. I feel your pain.

Maggie said...

I am also glad you hit publish! I completely understand about the whole making friends thing. I haven't had any friends close by in years. I have the same fears and concerns you have. I'm kind of nervous about getting involved with St. Andrews because I'm afraid people will not like me or my family. I was worried about texting you the gender of my baby because I was afraid you'd think I was a weirdo, but you're my friend and I was texting friends and family- so I hope you didn't mind! :-) Anytime you need to vent, you know my number and I'm close by now!

Catholic Mutt said...

So glad you hit "publish"! I can still think of a whole lot of people from college that were acquaintances, but never became the friends they could have been because I thought they were to cool to want to hang out with the likes of me. Now I realize that was a loss for both of us. I don't know what to tell you, other than to say that you are not alone in this.

Rae said...

Bravo for publishing! I can't think of a short-enough-for-a-comment response, but you are certainly not alone in this.

Carrie said...

Thank you for hitting publish - I am the same way, and it feels so good to know that I'm not the only one. Thank you!

Beth said...

You are not alone, girl. I sometimes stop to consider with whom I have spent the most time recently and realize I have played a very passive role in making that happen. I haven't always been courageous enough to admit the reasons why. I applaud your willingness to share so much.

katiebug6311 said...

I share this same struggle! Thanks for hitting publish! I had one friend who died during childhood, after she died, it was very hard for me to make new friends. I doesn't help that I went to a school that valued monetary worth and not your own personal worth. I have always kept a distance in my relationships because I am scared of losing another person in my life, which a lose-lose situation for me, as it is "better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all". I get very nervous about raising my own child, because I know the struggles I battle every day internally and externally, and I always pray that she is stornger than I, or at least less introverted. I always try to make sure to tell my daughter as often as I can during the day just how much we love her and how much she means to us. Thank you again for sharing :)