For the better part of my childhood and early adulthood, I would feel vulnerable every time I show any soft emotion. I tend to remain mellow and emotionless unless I felt completely comfortable and trust my company.
Because of the environment, I was brought up in, I felt safest when I am not exposing my emotions. As such when my siblings or my mom put me in a vulnerable situation, I do not respond well. I would be angry. I would yell at them and say things that hurt. It was because I was scared and didn’t know what to do. Regardless, that was not the correct way to respond to people I love. I hurt afterward because I saw that I hurt them.
When I saw the sadness and pain in their eyes, it broke my heart. In the remoteness of my bedroom, and with a painful heart, my whole body would tremble out painful with this request:
List not to the words I am saying, child,
the angry words cast at you.
But child, listen to the words behind them.
Listen to what I am not saying
and know that those are the words,
the gentle and loving words of my eyes
and deeper yet in my heart
that I most truly want for you.
Child, my words are not meant to hurt,
but because I was hurt
my words cut deep and fast
that I cannot hold onto them.
Just close your eyes
reach out your heart to feel,
feel the thin line of emotion
that is directed at you.
Child, know this, the truth is often too hard to say
but is as powerful as they say love is.
Later, I came to understand that my softer emotions do not have to mean I am weak. It does not mean I can be taken advantage of. It just means I am strong enough to love, to care, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of that.
It took a long time before I became comfortable saying “I love you” and “I care for you.” As much as I don’t want to admit it, it took me a while to also say “goodnight” and “God bless you.”
When I overcame my fear of expressing how I care for others, it became a liberation. I was free and I thank God for giving me the peace to accept my loving heart and the strength to overcome any rejection that may come with it. (Click here to discover what love is and how you are love).
Have you felt the burden of tender feelings on your shoulders? Were you afraid to be vulnerable? How did you overcome it? Are you still trying to overcome them? Please share your story with me.