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I hear, I see

I should never write when I am emotional or maybe I should only write when I am emotional. Stop thinking, focus on how I feel and write. That is a type of analysis of my feelings, which is still thinking. My purest moment is when the feelings just flow. My most raw moments are when my feelings avalanche over me. I had the true blessing last summer of experiencing the avalanche of POSITIVE emotions: bliss, joy, amazement at finally having the house. So often my avalanche of emotion is a negative space: fear, anger, confusion, doubt. And like any proper avalanche, once the flow of emotions start, the system purges.

I learned something about myself tonight. A dear and loving friend said to me, “You only hear the negative voice, the criticism when there are people all around you that love you, like you. Why can’t you hear them?” I discovered a truth about myself. I am most likely to be praised or affirmed as a response or reaction to being harmed or hurt. It’s when I am upset and weeping that my dearest friends say, “I think you are great. You were right. I support you.” It is rare for anyone to say unsolicited when I am NOT emotional, “You’re cool. I like this about you. That was kind of you.” I am offered these bits of affirmation when I am broken and undone and that is when I am immune and impenetrable to everything except criticism. The criticism and rebukes I hear as if  megaphones were strapped in Dolby to my head. It’s all I hear. And I cannot hear anything else.

But when my sails are full of wind and my keel and rudder are sure, I am assured and confident and the people around me are unlikely to say anything. In that circumstance, I am not in NEED of affirmations or validation or even affection….except that is the ONLY time I am approachable; it’s the only time in which I can hear it. When I am broken and undone, I hear nothing. I am deaf and dumb and blind…..to the kindness and especially to grace.

It is both sad but also a blessing to have learned this about myself….finally.

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