Monthly Archives: October 2012

heart of stone

Heart of Stone

At church today , the pastor said a few things that really resonated with me. One of them was, I guarded my heart so well, to protect myself from those who would hurt, humiliate & embarrass me, that I could no longer let love in. I had to stop and think about this one for a moment.

When I was younger, I believed in fairy tales. I believed in love at first sight, unconditional love and the “forever” love. I dreamed of getting married to a beautiful man who would be absolutely perfect for me and I for him. I dreamed of coming home to a warm kisses and open arms. Because of these beliefs, my heart was very open. When I would meet someone new, I always wondered, “would this be THE ONE?” I was, what I call, a One Date Wonder most of the time because if there was no spark… no magic, I didn’t bother going on a second date. My friends would always tell me to stop being so picky but they didn’t understand… I was determined to find my fairy tale. When I would meet someone who made my heart race, I was all in. People would say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but me, I wasn’t like them. I theorized that if I was to find the love of my life, then I would have to jump in with both feet. I wanted to fall in love not walk carefully, cautiously into it. I was very determined not to let past heartaches, harden my heart, and prevent me from loving someone new.

One fall, I met the most beautiful man in the world. The day he came into my life, he gave me his whole heart and I give him mine. His love saved my life. Every time I heard his voice, it was like the most poetic music playing in my head. Each time he kissed me, he breathed life in to my heart. When he held me,  I felt protected in a away that I had never felt before. He always spoke to me with such love and respect that I couldn’t help but give of myself to him. I trusted him with all of my being.

When he passed away, I was more than devastated. I wasn’t really sure I could live another day without him. Thankfully, I had my kids – the other loves of my life.

Before I had my kids, I dreamed of them too. I knew in my heart that I needed to be a mother. Through thick and thin, I the love I have for my kids has pulled me out of depression and hopelessness. It has pushed me to become the best mother and person I could be. That undying, unconditional love has forced me to face my fears and accomplish the impossible. That love keeps me moving forward everyday.

Over time, my heart has been crushed and trampled on many times, be it by friends, family, or boyfriends.  Lies, betrayals, and hopelessness persistently knocked on the door to my heart. I became bitter, distrusting, and jaded. I did what I promised myself I would never do. I built a wall around my heart. I know that there are times in our lives that we need to separate ourselves from the rest of the world in order to achieve clarity. The problem lies in distancing ourselves permanently.

I realized a while back that I had in fact allowed myself to be disillusioned, distant, and hard. When I realized what I had permitted to happen, I began stepping out of my comfort zone again and reestablished friend and family relationships. Thankfully, those relationships are now better than ever. The one I still have trouble with is opening my heart to another man. I am certain it is because that is where I’ve been hurt the most. When the pastor spoke about guarding his heart so well that he couldn’t let love in, I knew that I would have to work harder than ever to wear away those walls. The pastor also said something to the effect of, if your identity is defined by your ability to love then it can not be defined by anyone who tried to hurt you. I had lost my identity. I had always prided myself on the fact that I was still able to love in spite of all the pain I had been through. I could no longer say that. So here I am… on a new journey to find best the of who I used to be… to find that hopefully, vulnerable, loving person that is in my core and bring her back out again. I promise to love openly and unconditionally because it is who I am.

hurt or heal

Mouth of Ignorance

Last night I was texting with a guy that I had gone on a date with about a year ago. We didn’t go on a second date because I was going through some things at the time and the date didn’t end well. I had deleted his phone number and forgotten about him. I have a rule when dating, if things don’t go well, I cut my losses and move on. It makes no sense to me to try and make a relationship out of something that starts off poorly. However, this guy texted me out of the blue last week, saying that he was thinking about me and that he wanted to take me out again. Reluctantly, I agreed to consider it. Before we had a chance to go out, he was shipped out to Florida for training and was going to be deployed for six months.

When we were texting, the conversation went sour. I told him that I was very guarded because I have been hurt by guys who have been very cruel and abusive. He then started pointing out all the things he felt were flaws in me and essentially attacked my very being because, according to him I hadn’t dealt with my issues. He said that he was better than me and that a “good guy” like him wouldn’t want to date someone so screwed up like me. The things he said were very hurtful and pointed. He said that he just spoke the “truth” and that I needed to hear these things for my own good. Frankly, I don’t see how any of the things he said could benefit anyone. If he actually wanted to “help” me, then he should have put thought and love into his words. Instead, he chose to be harsh, ignorant, and evil.

He treated me exactly as one “those” guys of my past would have. He was cruel and abusive in his words. How funny that he thinks he is so much better than I. Clearly, I am flawed, but I deserve to have someone in my life that will speak to me with love and compassion. I deserve to have someone that will listen to me; someone that cares about me.

You do not help anyone with cruelty. You help by being kind, loving, and empathetic. You do not know what one person has gone through in their life or why they made the choices they made when they made them. You do not know what they were thinking or what other struggles influenced their decisions. You may not even really know what they are feeling and thinking in the present. You only know a tiny spec of their life. So who are you to judge someone else?

Relationships are hard. Life is hard. The last thing we need is people who put us down and make us feel worse for the life we have had. If you really want to help someone, then you should speak with love. I could sit here and let my whole day be spoiled, as I would have in the past, and feel sorry for myself because of his cruel words. I choose instead to pray for him to get better.

I leave you with an excerpt from Psychology TodayEmpathy: The Ability that Makes us Truly Human

Just as the lack of empathy makes cruelty and oppression possible, the presence of empathy heals conflict. The ability to empathise makes us truly human, and the wider it stretches – from victims to offenders, from one ethnic group to another, from nation to nation and religion to religion – the less brutal and more harmonious a place the world will become.