Getting Out Of My Own Way

Letting someone love you can be really wonderful. But I’m finding that sometimes letting someone really love you can be really scary.

Let me explain.

I’ve locked myself up for so long because of fear. Keeping myself withdrawn, because it’s safer that way.

I’ve struggled so much with other people’s words echoing in my head, when I’ve been told that who I am is deficient, wrong, too much this, not enough that. Told that I’m weak, unstable, hypersensitive and overemotional. Sometimes I can look past those words and know I’m being true to myself, who God created me to be, and be happy with who I am. But more often, I feel like who I am, really, isn’t worth the effort of being loved well. I was made to believe for so long, and by so many, that I have to take what’s offered and just be grateful I am loved at all. I couldn’t risk asking for what I need, could never show vulnerability when I was anxious, or sad, or in pain. I would rather withdraw into myself than take the chance I might be hurt or rejected while I was in pain.

But love isn’t all about me.

It’s not about “what I need”, or about “will I get hurt?”.

Love is not self seeking, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love always protects,always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor. 13.

Will he hurt me? Sure he will. He’s human. And it tears him up when I tell him he has. Does he want to meet my needs and love me well? Yes, he’s told me he does, and he shows me every day. Does he appreciate the things I do in attempt to love him well? Absolutely, he doesn’t overlook a single thing. Nothing gets past him.

And yet, I hold back my heart from him. I asked him recently if he even wanted my heart because I needed to hear him say that he did.

I’ve let a lot of selfishness and unfounded anxiety take away my willingness to love The Viking as much as I could. I’ve restrained my emotions and locked a lot of my heart away. And I’m sorry. I was protecting myself. And now I’m not sure how to take that wall down.

Slowly, very slowly and not very often, I’m starting to trust him enough to tell him when he’s hurt my feelings. And even then, internally I just cower in fear that I’m going to be told that feeling hurt is stupid and that I’m being too sensitive. It’s really scary. But I’m trying.

I know I’m being asked to dig deep and to love with everything I have. I can tell I am being told to push back the fear and to love openly and vulnerably. I know I am, because that’s what God does. He made me with this open heart that loves so deeply it could drown a person. And what am I doing with my heart and all that love? I’m hoarding it because I’m scared.

I haven’t trusted anyone with as much of me as I’m being asked to give this time. God is pushing me to trust him more and to really grow. And I’m really scared that I’m going to be hurt worse than I’ve ever been hurt before. But I can’t not give what I have because I’m scared I might not get it back. That’s not the way real love works.

I need to be brave, I know that the transparency and vulnerability I’ve given with those who love me gives me that deep connection that I crave. Emotional intimacy that I feel soul-deep. But those are my friends. My girl friends.

I’ve never been asked me to let a man in this way. I hoped I could find a best friend, a companion, a soulmate, who wanted this kind of love and depth, too. And he does.

It took time and patience and a lot of trust, but The Viking’s courage to be vulnerable with me is awe-inspiring. He went first. He risked rejection and abandonment by showing me his darkness without holding back anything. In the hope and promise of full acceptance, without fear and without shame. He loves me more and deeper than any man ever has. And I’m so grateful. It gives me courage.

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