The load we carry can get too heavy, and we can breakdown. But we can grow through it when we have others who will watch with us.
I needed help. I vividly remember the day I rang emergency services. I had come to a point where I knew I couldn’t carry the load by myself anymore. I had been beaten down emotionally and needed help.
Every one of us is different. We all have different tolerance levels and abilities to handle what life throws at us. For some, they seem to be, for want of a better word, hard and tough. Nothing seems to break them. They have built a toughness around themselves, and nothing seems to get to them.
It was the feelings of a guilt trip and the words of being a ‘Brothers Keeper’ that triggered me. But was it genuinely helping me and them to think this way? Something needed to change.
Some people seem to be able to push the manipulation guilt trip button every time. They tell you how life has been hard. They share their background and a wide range of struggles. You listen, and you empathize with their struggle, and indeed life is hard for some people.
Then you look at yourself and all that you have. You may begin to feel some guilt, then some sense of a need to help them. You want to help, but you have only so much life, energy, time, and money.
Stress can add up to be too much, and we can have a mental health breakdown, but when we break it down like in the story of David and Goliath, we can find a way through the chaos.
Stressful times can feel like a massive avalanche of overwhelming pressure. The keyword in that sentence is ‘feel.’ You have a feeling of living in the overwhelming shadow of something that could crush you.
There is a resistance we all face into, but with the presence of others, we can know hope. So let’s listen.
It felt to her that she was the only one having struggles. Every day, as her eyes peeled open, there was an instantaneous thought ‘Can I do this’?
As someone who works outside in the wind and rain, I notice that the ambient surroundings have an effect on me. It might be the heat of the summer or the cold of winter. The mud that clings heavily to my boots in the winter or the brightness of the sun in the heat of summer. There is always a resistance I have to push into.
It’s an isolated world, well, sort of, but it’s one that needs courage and compassion if we are going to create connection.
Today as I write this, is it our first day of mandatory nationwide lockdown in New Zealand due to the spread of the Corona Virus. People have been told to stay at home. There is an eerie quietness to where we live. The motorway a few kilometers provides no hum.
We need to share the pain of life with someone, but what happens when the confessor, the one we are exposing our heart to, goes rogue. We need to be careful with who we share our heart with.
What they thought was being said in private was now being passed around like appetizers at a dinner party. Everyone had a munch and nibble, then passed the plate on for another’s perusal.
They were locked down now. Having exposed their heart, they had got hurt and had made a vow never to be open again.
To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.
Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
But something had died within them. It was a willingness to trust and, therefore, to know love and give love. They allowed others to come only as close as they felt safe. Functionality, not intimacy. Continue reading “When the Confessor Goes Rogue”