“Hey, can we talk about something?”
“Of course, what happened?”
I LOVE LOVE LOVE that my life is filled with people that respond like this. For years, the response was “What’s wrong?” A response that puts me in a place of guilt and wanting to be invisible. “What is it now?” A response that is dismissive and unloving. “I’m busy, let’s talk later?” (and then weeks pass without a follow up). A response that reminds me that I’m not a priority. Whether intended or not, expressing myself can sometimes be difficult. When speaking up to a kindred soul, the relationship is strengthened. When speaking up to a familiar soul, I’m dismissed.
The tug of war within is not about using my voice but IF I’m ready to embrace the consequences of using my voice (confronting truth). I had a l o n g season of painful truths. A season of looking inward, expressing outward, then looking inward. Sometimes I was graceful with expressing myself and other times, admittedly, I was in an emotional state (I was hurt) and my words felt aggressive. Pain has a funny way of dressing up battle ready. *facepalm*
I needed to share something that was in my heart. I understood intentions were pure but the execution was a bit, sloppy. I didn’t seek to understand or condemn, I simply wanted to release a heaviness from my heart. I acknowledged that something was building from a small matter to a large one. Another soft point, historically, I wasn’t surrounded by people that cared if I was comfortable or not. So growing into this space is… new.
Nervously, I expressed myself and even offered a solution. I shared why I was nervous to use my voice because I feared disharmony or making others uncomfortable. I knew it was my issue but I felt compelled to share. After all, I wasn’t trying to be sensitive. I was embracing that I am sensitive. I love that I am sensitive. Being sensitive helps me connect with others, I’m just learning now that it’s not just me connecting with others but also others connecting with me. The best part, after sharing what was in my heart, the next comment was, “Jess, thank you for trusting me. I’m very happy you felt comfortable talking to me. Thank you for trusting me.”
And just like that, my family expands by another kindred soul. Conversations like this happen all the time between friends in Asia; between friends all over the world. It’s been a painful journey to find these people that hold space in the USA. Especially in Chicago. I take ownership that sometimes my sensitivity gets the best of me; sometimes I’m graceful with expressing myself and other times, I’m not as graceful. I am where I am. I feel blessed to have all these people reminding me that they are happy I’m sharing. Or I am where I am. Or reminding me that it’s part of growth. Or they are there if I need anything. About a year ago, I felt incredibly alone. (Rationally, I knew I was not alone but emotionally, I felt very alone). In the middle of a storm and each time that I shared something, I had to embrace my feelings and mourn a friendship. Present day, I’m still in a storm (kind of) and as I continue to embrace my feelings, I am grateful for truth. Each time that I share something, the kindred souls stick around and the familiar ones expose themselves. This exposure is necessary so I can remove them. For removing the familiar souls is essential so I can open up space for the people that hold space for me.
I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m surrounded by love. I am love. I’m attracting love. I am surrounded by love because I am love.
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