I've been silent for a long time. I've been holding in many of my thoughts and feelings, knowing that by sharing any of them I open myself to feeling ALL of them, something I've been trying to avoid. A few times over the past couple of months the weight and pain have washed over me and I feel like I'm being pulled by a strong rip current to drown in these thoughts and feelings. A bit dramatic? Maybe (ok, totally), but I'm learning to respect and own my feelings. They are there for a reason.
I shared a particular story tied to these emotions with two different people in a scary but vulnerable moment. I NEEDED someone to know what I was feeling, to share that side of me. The first person reacted with questions as to the validity of my concerns, doubts that I should feel anything that I said I was feeling, and showed a surprising lack of understanding that I desperately needed. The second person listened openly and without judgement, she felt the weight of what I shared and did so without judging. I told her that I felt ridiculous to have these feelings regarding this incident (basically internalizing the responses from person number one), but she acknowledged the sense of pain/loss I was expressing and validated me.
It was interaction number two that helped me see that closing myself off to the feelings isn't the right answer, and it isn't healthy. Even now as I've accepted and am trying to own them, they wash over me with such force that I can't hardly control the tears that inevitably come. Because of person number two I don't feel broken or ashamed. I don't have the answers or reasons person number one suggested I needed, thoughts I had myself prior to sharing with her. The first conversation validated my personal fears; the second validated me.
That's what I needed, that's what we all need. To feel validated in spite of our fears. Nelson Mandela said to make our choices based on hope, not fear. I've been acting in a hopeful manner lately, trying to act in faith despite the pain. Because of person number two, I've started sharing again and I've started finding my voice.
While I have no intention of sharing the exact experience and cause of the pain I've been dealing with on this blog, I do hope to continue to use my voice as one of motivation, of encouragement, of hope. I want to once again read my own posts and feel joy as I once did. I want my testimony and the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives me hope, strength, and courage, to shine through my writing. There will be troubled waters ahead, but it is Him who will calm the sea and allow my voice to be heard, if only by me.