If life has taught me anything, it is that feeling close to another human being is the greatest feeling there is. To feel connected, understood, accepted for who you are is what we are all looking for, what we all yearn for. What gets in the way are the experiences we have had where others have treated us wrongly, hurt us or rejected us or shamed us.
How to recover that sense of trust? How does one embrace the vulnerability required to allow another person to really know you- your fears, your insecurities, your dreams and desires? It’s all very risky and requires two things: discernment and courage.
We can’t go throwing our love at just anyone and expect them to be able to handle it. That is what kids do (and they should) with their parents. When parents are screwed up, they leave the kids with all kinds of unfulfilled needs for connection. Trust me, I know all about this. Later, as a struggling adult, discernment helps you choose who you will trust with your fragility, your tenderness, your needs. It took me a long, long time to gain this and I have had to make a lot of mistakes, trust a lot of the wrong people to learn just how important it is. What I am suggesting is that you can CHOOSE who you will love. In fact, I think it is one of the most important and powerful things you can ever do in your life.
Then comes courage. To allow this person that you have carefully vetted to be close to you, to know you, is a courageous act. It is so much easier to hide, to present a false idea of who you are or how you feel to another. Most people when asked, “How are you,” will simply state, “Fine! How are you?” It’s pretty normal to not want to go there with your true feelings. The thing is, if you don’t, you will skip that moment when a real connection can be made. It feels so good to get a hug when you are down from someone who you know really cares about you, doesn’t it?
This is my wish for 2012, for myself and for you: that we let in the people we choose to trust. That we allow the goodness of life outweigh the sorrow. That we forgive those who have hurt us, but we don’t forget. That we move towards those who will cradle our hearts with tenderness and gracefully and allow those who cannot or will not understand our needs- to carry on elsewhere without worry or concern. Everyone is on the path that they need to be on. Finally, to feel, really feel the love that others have for us. It’s the best feeling there is.