Monday, January 10, 2011
living with my heart
I guess I had forgotten the wild abandon with which I used to throw myself at life and even into love. I didn't notice how slowly my heart was closing up to life's experiences and that I had stopped long ago looking at life through my heart or that I was slowly forgetting happiness and how it feels.
After years of basically living and not risking, I gradually let myself shut down. Granted there are what seem like good excuses for doing this. I fell in love, said yes to joining my life with his, then entered into disillusionment when everything I thought we could be together turned out not be his priority. I lost a brother in an accident. In one instant my heart was broken so badly I thought it would never be repaired and even when faith replaced anger, my heart still hurt. I deployed to Afghanistan to fight a war and learned how to go to a place in my head where I could pull that trigger while aiming the weapon at another human being, and this completely broke my heart. These are the big moments, the ones that put me on alert and my heart said, "No, this life, right here, it's not for me. I'm not doing this anymore."
But it's the little moments too. The times when I decided I was too tired to let someone new in, was discouraged by how I didn't forgive myself for something that happened over fifteen years ago, and when once again I put my hopes out there only to be disappointed. I was too afraid to risk and live.
All this stuff added up and I got to a place where I didn't recognize myself or how I had gotten there. I'm pretty sure on some level I knew it was happening, otherwise I wouldn't have felt the general discontent with life and myself. Shutting myself, my heart, down was the logical answer. If I don't feel, then I don't hurt. But this was detrimental to my joy, my happiness, my light.
As I look back, it hasn't been easy, but the fight to re-open heart has made all the differences. And it's taken some time to get to where I am now, which really is a pretty good place with lots of possibility. Starting to take risks to find the dream or at the very least say that I've tried, is scary. And the old cliche: It's better to have tried and failed, then to never have tried at all. Well, it's true.
So many times I've taken everything in my heart and put it all on the altar, the pretty and the ugly, and said to God, "Alright, here's the deal. I don't like me very much right now. I don't like this sadness I feel. I don't like this inward dimness and that I'm just not living life. Please, help me out here. I'm tired of being unfeeling. Help me discover my voice and choose to hear your voice, and reconcile the two. Please help me, I won't make it without You."
It's been a long process, but I think I'm finally learning how to do this. My voice in recent months has become a little louder, clearer. I can hear His voice now penetrating through all the stuff that's not important and focusing me on what is. I don't have all the answers, but I know I'm starting to live with my heart again and that feels... Well, it simply feels.