Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Opening Your Heart To Others

"The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers." Deepak Chopra

For years I lived with the fear of being seen. Having been beaten and bullied as a child by both my parents and later held in a cult for six months and raped, I lived in fear, trusting nobody. In my mind, people were to be avoided. I saw everyone as an enemy that wanted to hurt me. I hated them and I hated me. The people in my world taught me, - I was bad, wrong, good only to be used, abused, hurt. I became angry, very angry, a fighter. Having nowhere to put that rage, I turned it on myself.

My body became the battleground for my self-loathing. I tried to make myself disappear by becoming so thin I could hardly stand without feeling dizzy. I was freezing all the time. I dressed in black, covering my entire body even in the warmest summer weather. I cut my arms and legs until I couldn't stand the pain. It was a way to numb out and not feel, except then, I cut myself again to feel, to know I was still alive. I felt nothing. Only anger. Only fear.

Then something happened. One day, God broke the chains that held me so tight in their grip. I don't know why He chose me. Some of my friends died by their own hand or by accident. I lived on the edge like them. Their fate should have been mine. But He touched me. Freed me. Poured out His grace, His favor in such a gentle way - I was no more deserving than they. Sometimes I wonder, why me? Mostly now, I'm just grateful.

God showed me I need people. Safe people. I need them to heal. They mirror who I really am. They help me grow in self-confidence and freedom. They reflect the healing power of His love to me. All the abuse took place in relation to others. In the same way, I have learned healing comes in relation to others.

From the moment He touched me, I felt safe in His love, His presence. I opened up to God. I trusted Him. Then He asked me to open my heart to another, and then another and then another.......

Opening my heart to others wasn't easy. I resisted. I struggled. I felt His patience, His gentleness, the warmth of His love prompting me, reminding me I wasn't alone.

Sometimes I still experience the fear of being seen and the need to hide. I get ansy being with people too long, especially when I'm tired.

I will keep opening my heart to others. Something magical happens everytime I do. The fear of being seen diminshes a bit more. The need to hide isn't as great.


Epiphany said...

Just a quick note to say I'm reading this and to encourage you to keep writing. xx

Jan said...

This is excellent writing. You have opened up your heart for others to see you - how God has healed you and how you continue to grow in Him.
Thanks for being my friend.

Being and Quirkiness said...

Yes, beyond your personal story, excellent writing. Nice. :)

Patricia Singleton said...

I remember so desperately wanted attention and at the same time being so afraid that others would see the tainted me inside.

The reality of today is that I know I deserve to be loved and cared for. I deserve to exist and so do you. We didn't deserve to be treated the way that we were. We deserve to love ourselves as God loves us.