as I walk

the journey to becoming me

What I’ve Been Missing

Intimacy… I cringe at the word.  If I were Superman(chick), intimacy would be my kryptonite.  If I were Homer Simpson, it would be my Ned Flanders.  If I were Lisa Simpson, it would be bacon (so glad I’m not Lisa).  I’m really good at letting people in just enough so it doesn’t look like I’m stand-offish or a loner, but not enough to have that vulnerability.  There have been a few exceptions to this rule.  My best friend Stephanie (or as I call her “B” -short for Bacon) is one of the very very very did I mention very few people who I’ve allowed myself to be truly vulnerable with.  I shared my past, my screw-ups, my feelings (ewww) with her.  It was painful at first- but I knew she would be a special friend and I forced myself to.  Oddly, the more I shared, the better it felt- the further away my sin seemed to be, the wounds that I have carried around seemed a little bit foggier.  Yet even with this positive experience, I still clench my jaw at the thought of having to do that with another person or worse- God.  

I must have been 18.  I don’t even remember how the situation came about- but I was speaking with a fortune teller.  I shared my dating issues with this woman.  Her response to me was that I have a fear of intimacy.  Looking back on this moment.  I remember feeling surprise which gave way to defeat and consent.  I consented to having a fear of intimacy- to a fortune teller of all people.  I decided to go ahead and live with this “fear”. 

Fast forward to this month.  I’ve been working through lots of issues this month- I’m not sure if that’s a result of actually being able to go to Greenhouse EVERY Sunday so far this year (that’s 5 in a row!) or if by going through these things God granted me favor in my boss’ eyes to give me these Sundays off.  No matter how it’s played out- here I am.  I was looking forward to tonight knowing that Kati would be speaking.  I’ve been very curious… but I had no idea it would be about intimacy and vulnerability.  Really?  Had I known, I definitely would not have looked forward to it- and possibly asked to work.  Sitting there tonight I had to constantly fight myself to stay engaged and not check out.  

I could blame it on all the junk that happened to me as a teenager- I could blame the people that turned those safe and innocent parts of me into shame.  I could blame those who made fun of me growing up.  I could say that these people are the reasons that I will not allow myself to be intimate with others.  The truth is that I was the one that chose to live that way.  I was the one who set up the barriers.  I was the one who decided that not being hurt- even if it meant missing out on life and meaningful connections- was going to be my best defense.  This comes in many different forms:
Weight gain and baggy clothing- textbook way to keep people at arms length.
Humor- Great way to change topics, avoid confrontation, and to tell the truth to someone without them realizing it.
Mindless chitchat- Another fantastic method.  People think that you’re really nice, but no one gets to know the real you, thus no connection.

Those are just a few of the ways that I’ve kept you at bay.  I want to apologize to you for doing these and various other methods that I’ve employed (not if, because I KNOW that I’ve used these ploys on all of you at some point or another).  

I don’t want to be the person that hears something that can be life changing (whether at church or not) and just thinks oh, that was a good message- but doesn’t do anything about it.  So… I’m going to put new meaning to vulnerability and intimacy today.  It’s the only way that I can actually try to live this out.  Vulnerability- I think of powerless.  Not just weak, but powerless.  I’m choosing to redefine that as allowing myself to be open to meaningful connections- good and the not so good.   Intimacy- I think pain, hurt, fear.  I’m choosing that definition as a step beyond connection- a bond, an epoxy, a fusion.  

I suppose that means that I’m choosing to be open to fusion.  I really don’t want this to wind up like Hiroshima.  What I am asking from you- is that you call me out on it.  When you see me putting up a front- tell me.  When you see that I’m not truly engaging- tell me.  Also, I ask that you are fine with giving me some space.  I don’t want to move to quickly and feel over my head and regress.  I want to have meaningful connections.  I want to have a close community.  I want to be fine with being intimate and vulnerable.  

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