Do you ever feel like you’re walking around with your rib cage cracked open and your heart on display for all the world? Or like you need to wrap your arms around yourself to hold it all in so you don’t leave bits of your soul all over the place? Does it ever seem like there’s so much of you trying to be seen and heard that it almost aches because you don’t have an outlet for it?
That’s how I’ve been feeling lately and it’s hard for me to share because I’m well aware it sounds so over the top dramatic. I don’t have anything profound or life changing to share, but my heart is bursting and I’m vulnerable – sharing these parts of me is scary.
I’ve been on a journey the last year trying to take care of my self – my heart and my soul. I’ve been intentional about journalling, about feeding my spirit, about sharing myself with people I trust. At the same time, I’ve been praying to be open hearted – open to people in my life, open to God, open to new challenges and experiences, open to offering and seeking help.
It’s honestly terrifying. Admitting when I am hurt, when I am insecure, when I think someone is wrong, when I think I am wrong. It leaves me vulnerable and raw and at risk. It means I’ve had to confront my self and my past and open closets and uncover wounds. I’m not always very good at it – sometimes I shut down and escape into the internet and try to ignore the fact that my chest is wide open.
It’s also been so very worth it. My past can’t come back to haunt me – no more mental ambushes in the middle of the night, because I’m not all alone. No more carrying hurts because I trust the people in my life to understand me and support me when I’m not my best. No more one sided conversations running through my head because talk things out. I’ve had the chance to open up to people, and to see the beauty of their souls when they open up to me. I’ve admitted my humanity and brokenness and found comfort with others who are also human and broken. We laugh and cry and bandage each other up and the journey is much less taxing.
Being open hearted is risk, is sometimes dramatic and emotional, but it’s beautiful. It’s breathtaking and honest and hilarious and joyful. I’ve learned to feel my joy as deeply as I feel sadness, to be open with how much I love the the people in my life. I’ve learned it can feel natural – and so good – to be told you’re important in someone’s life. I’ve realized how silly it is that we don’t tell people the simple truths – “I like spending time with you”, “I’m glad we understand each other.”, “I need some time with you” – and how good it feels to hear those things.