The following quote is by Stephen King:
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it?…you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
Could this be a more perfect quote for what I am trying to accomplish with this blog!?!
I desperately want to create a place where, through my openness and honesty, people feel they are not alone in the struggles they face in life. This quote embodies everything that has moved/driven me to create this blog. We deal with so many struggles, in this life, that have the ability to isolate us from the very people who can help us survive them. However, in the midst of an incredibly difficult situation it takes all the strength you can muster to reach out to someone and ask for help, understanding or just an ear to listen as you work through your thoughts out loud.
Why is this so difficult? WHY do we allow our minds to convince us that no one will understand? Why when the Bible, in Galatians 6:2, tells us to 'Bear one another's burdens...' do we hold our burdens so tightly to our vest?
When we were struggling with what was the best way to help our son, my husband and I felt like we could not admit, even to our closest friends, how desperate our struggle had become. Would they understand how hard we were trying? Would they grasp how the situation was breaking us? OR Would they think we were bad parents? "What kind of parents have to seek help to 'help' their child?" This burden was so heavy it threaten to crush us as parents. But when we finally said, 'Please pray for us, we are at our wits end', the burden lighten and we were offered many places of 'rest'. Places were we found our struggles accepted with open hearts and attentive ears. The worst was over, the secret was exposed. Life was able to continue with hope for the future and an abundance of friends and family that support us daily.
Why do we allow this? Are we so unique that no one could have possibly been in this situation before? No, the reason reaching out can feel more like reaching in, pulling out your heart and offering it to the person before you is simple....We have all offered our hearts to the wrong person in the past only to have it treated with indifference. This offering of our hearts can refer to a romantic love but more commonly, and more in line with this quote, it is an offering of a burden that longs for a place of rest. Oh, How we long for rest! Rest from the rush of the day to day tasks, rest from the demands of work, family and life. Just a place of rest.
As a woman I can not tell you how many times I have poured out my weariness to another soul only to hear, "I completely understand." But if you understand, Why does it sound like you don't even hear me? Do you really understand? If you heard me say that the opportunity that I thought was my dream ended more like a nightmare, how were you able to switch to a light hearted topic before my breath had cooled? Did you really hear me or do you only think you heard me because you heard a bit or a piece of my story that sent you off into thoughts of your own world?
When this happens it hurts, it makes us wish that we could suck the words back into our mouth and never release them to the world again. But we can not allow this to happen, we have to be able to take the risk, demand the attention and in turn share our burdens. When we attempt to silence our heart's cry, we are the ones that will be silenced. The 'worst' happens when we harden our hearts and actually start to believe that no one hears us and no one cares. No matter how vulnerable you are when you have something important to say, YOU MUST SAY IT! When you say it...when you muster all of your soul and expose it to the world, you give someone else the strength to do the same.
"...And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson
The next time a friend reaches out to you, tune out the world, turn off the phone and look them in the eyes, as you listen to them pour out their soul to you.