Even if your hands are shaking, and your faith is broken, even as the eyes are closing, do it with a heart wide open… say what you need to say. –from “Say” by John Mayer
It’s been an interesting ride the last few years. People have come and people have gone. Some I call friends, some a bit more than friends… and through it all, I have an overwhelming sense that I’ve learned a lot about relating to another human being. What it means to maintain a relationship and what it means to let go. Or so I thought. This whole business of relationship, it’s much deeper and more profound than I ever thought. If anything, I guess at the very least I’ve learned to accept the reality of a given situation and move forward based on that reality. I wish reality was a little prettier in pink, sometimes.
But I don’t like pink. And sometimes I wonder if I wear black, brown and grey just to make some kind of statement that doesn’t even represent who I am.
Is it me or is the fear of knowing and being known loom over us like a thunder cloud in the night? I would believe you if you said it’s me. As I venture into this personally uncharted territory of relating to another human being, I feel my knees locking and my feet becoming dead weight. I cannot move. I resist the lure of stagnancy and force a dragged, little step at a time towards you – one whom I do not know. One whom I’d like to get to know.
In some ways, though uncharted with you, the land seems all too familiar. I’ve certainly gone down this path before. Yes. I’ve done the get-to-know-you’s, your music and movies, your friends, your history, your issues, your questions, your philosophies, your beliefs, your way of doing life. I’ve done my share of you-get-to-know-me’s, my likes and dislikes, my habits, my dysfunctions, my needs and desires, my vision, my faith, my way of doing life.
And in other ways, this seems totally brand new. Because it is you – and you and I, we’ve never done this before.
History tells me where this journey will end up: you and I parting ways after we’ve done our due diligence in building this relationship (whatever that looks like). Life is a mystery and it’s true. People come and go. You entered into my life and one day you will go. Or perhaps, as life would have it, I will be the one to leave.
So here I am pondering – do I even take the next step, the first step to the end of our not-yet-existing relationship, or do I step away in a different direction entirely and leave this one to the wind? Do I take a step towards you, even if it means that I have to wear my heart on my sleeve (there is no other way, really) or do I take a step back and leave things in limbo? Do I do the difficult work of getting to know you and the absolutely frightening act of letting you get to know me?
On the other hand, this is all very exciting… the possibility of friendship. But honestly, I’m so scared. I don’t want to care at all what you think of me, but I do. And I’m scared of what you’ll think once you get to know me. But I will not deny my heart. I will give it wings to fly. Towards you. And I guess if you feel any part of anything I’m saying, I would hope that you’d follow your heart, too. Towards me.
We don’t have to have the answers. And I might pretend that I know how all this works and that I’ve got this figured out. And maybe you might, too. But I hope we have the courage to see each other for the broken people that we are and give each other grace to love our selves and each other.
So even when your hands (and knees) are shaking,
Even when your faith (and heart) is broken,
Even as your eyes are closing,
Do it with a heart wide open,
Say what you need to say.
Say what you need to say.