This past week has been a lesson in vulnerability and perseverance. It has also been the crappiest week of my recent life. When it rains, my friends, it pours. Or as a friend put it, it hails. I learned a lot about myself in the last seven days. I cried angry tears, I yelled expletives at the sky very frequently, I was constantly searching for something – or someone – I could throw against a wall, I literally felt my body falling apart because of the state of my heart.
I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am growing, thank the good Lord. I chose to have many conversations this week that were hard and painful when I could very well have hidden. I could have put on my “I don’t care what you think about me, please do me a favor and die” face and made it through the week barely alive. But I didn’t. I initiated conversations that required vulnerability. And in doing that I learned that while vulnerability isn’t always received well or reciprocated, it is never the wrong choice. It was so unspeakably liberating to not hide behind a mask this week, to be able to say, “Hey listen, you hurt me. Let’s talk about it.” That’s huge, people. That’s huge.
I learned that I have expectations of others that are, sometimes, very steep. I learned that when these expectations aren’t communicated properly, I get disappointed and hurt. So I discovered this week that I need to communicate my expectations better. And it helped me see things from a different perspective; it helped me see when I was being unreasonable. It helped me give grace where it was needed.
I also learned that I’m a quitter. Like Mark said to Arizona, “When things get hard, you bail.” Yes, I just referenced Grey’s Anatomy. This was the hardest lesson of all for me. No one knew the battle I fought internally this week. In various hard circumstances, I was tempted to give up and run the other way. And not temporarily either. Because of one hard situation, I contemplated letting go of a friendship. Because of another hard situation, I contemplated deleting all of my social networking sites including this blog. In another hard situation, I contemplated physically removing/distancing myself. In almost everything life threw at me this week, I was ready to throw in the towel and run. That’s a hard thing to learn about yourself. Dealing with people is hard. Loving people is messy and uncomfortable and risky. And I get scared and want to run.
Yes, I didn’t run this week. I stayed. I stayed and it was hell, but it got better. I stayed this time. But it worries me. I could be running away from other issues. I might have been running my whole life. I don’t want to run forever. But maybe it is true that courage isn’t the absence of fear, that it is taking a shaky step forward regardless of the trepidation. After all, you can’t be courageous unless there is something you are afraid of in the first place. But I learned that I love people, and people love me. And people are willing to fight for our friendships instead of giving up, and hell, so am I.
I was also reminded this week that He listens to my irrational rants alone in my room, and sometimes, He responds. I sat on my bedroom floor halfway through the week, having a typical conversation with myself, and God, out loud. “I just want to see the good. I need to see the good so I can believe it exists. Show me the good.” It was the incessant chant of my midday, midweek, self-therapy session. And He showed me. For the men and women who were so good to me this week, who were kind, who reached out – you know who you are – you were the answer to my unintelligible prayer. Thank you.
This week I learned that sometimes screaming expletives at the top of your lungs can be very therapeutic. But I hope I don’t need that form of therapy again for a long time.