Challenges undertaken for the greater good bind us to people, whereas the pursuit of comfort leads to isolation. And for certain, isolation is terminal. But, how do we recognize our weakness? And work on our strength? If we are not expressive!
There’s no precise formula for it. And like every other area of growth in our life, our mountain won’t look exactly like anyone else’s. But we will surely recognize it, because it lies at the intersection of our greatest strengths and our greatest passions after a storm. We may endeavor to hide, or disguise, the emotional pain that comes in the wake of negative beliefs about ourselves evoked by a particular person or situation. But we can’t always avoid it!
I once knew a close pal in my college days (fondly called him my baby brother) the perfect-picture of a total gentleman. He must have been sprinkled with extra good-mouth-watering spices, prepared specially by the angels when God created him! Always cheerful and smiling. Humble and articulate! He has this certain soothing-aura that draws people close to him, to confide in him. And did I mention he was oh-so-cute with chocolate-skin-deep-dimples! Aha! He wasn’t a smoker or alcohol lover, but knows how to maintain his friendship with the crazy campus-crowd! He was such a good listener to people’s personal issues, but no one ever bothered to worry about him needing a shoulder to rest on. Literally! He was the “always okay guy! And every girl’s dream, the type you take home to your parents and they are like.. ’Aha! Awesome Sauce! Let’s pick a date quick! (Lol!)
But recently, I’d listened to one of his new songs released on you tube and was amazed at his emotional lamentation of how he’d battled with life’s issues, while still putting up an act for the world to see. My heart bled! Why? Probably I felt guilty for the forgotten years of not taking time to say ’Talk to me, let it out! As opposed to “You will be fine, hang in there”
As it is today in history, “Hang in there” is partially the reason why a lot of emotionally challenged people are “Hanging up on life, simply because there are no outlets for them. Think about it today, whose outlet are you?
So, when we ask someone hurt whether anything was wrong, for it is blatantly obvious from their expression or tone of voice that they’re upset, only to have them say: “No, I’m fine.” And it is so obvious that they’re not fine but retreating into themselves to avoid a dialogue they fear might end up making them feel worse. What do we do?
Sometimes we go through some stuff in life that just requires us to sit-back, weather the storm alone, observe the wound or just let it heal! But not for long in becoming unusually quiet or shut down. Such silence speaks volumes, and generally the message is: “I’m not going to risk you hurting me more than you already have, so I’m putting a wall between us.”
Our tendencies to conceal our emotional frailty from others is the fear that exposing it would make us look weak to them and indeed, make us feel weak and powerless to ourselves. So instead of “Crying out loud” (Am hurting! Am lonely! Help me!) we “Smile through our teeth” (say it is well!!) we assume that frankly disclosing our hurt feelings would betray our susceptibility and will define us as exploit, or take advantage of us. It’s as though in “displaying” our hurt we’re selling-off our personal power, relinquishing it to others to use over us in any way they deem fit.
Today, for someone reading this, believe me it is absolutely okay to CRY OUT LOUD! to truly make others more attuned to your vulnerable feelings, we need to manifest them physically and also express them verbally.
Men for example will likely avoid divulging wounded feelings for fear that doing so will compromise their felt sense of masculinity. While Women, on the other hand, are much more likely to worry that disclosing their emotional distress may lead them to be called thin-skinned or too sensitive. Hmmm!
But, we can’t always blame others for their insensitivity toward us. Do they know any better? We need to be more expressive by becoming more aware of and responsive to our feelings, especially unless we’re willing to go out on an emotional limb and reveal our vulnerability, they may never be able to understand and give us the support we crave from them.
Somebody once said that when everything’s coming your way—you’re on the wrong side of the road. Living the adventure God planned for you isn’t just another pursuit; it’s the reason you were born! Encourage someone today!
Yours in HOPE as I introduce Sodi’s “Contradictions of Life” (all grown, but still my baby brother!!) see music video below.