I am pretty much an open book, and as a result when people are around me, it brings out this quality in them as well. They show up with a mask and full apparel, whereas I come to the table, as one of my friends would exclaim, "emotionally nude”. Some would question how is it possible to be so open when I don’t know a person? I respond by asking, “How is it not possible?” If I don’t know you, I would rather have a full understanding and clarity about who you are so we can better assess what the nature of this connection might be. It takes away my angst, and in my most favorite declaration of all: it keeps me from wasting time.
Emotionally Nude Fact: I was married almost a decade ago and was divorced very shortly after. To protect myself and my former spouse, I won’t divulge the details, but I will speak very candidly about the after effects of divorce. Often people don’t understand that divorce has rippling effects on the human psyche, emotions, and quite frankly it messes you up internally. Initially, I believed things about love that were so incredibly beautiful pre-divorce. I believed in the transformative possibilities of love. But when I went through my divorce, I not only divorced the person, but I actually divorced my belief in love. I divorced the idea that love could be fulfilling or something that I even wanted anymore.
I think we all have, at a certain point, experienced a serious breakup that became the death of a love, that felt as though it hindered our ability to ever love again, in an uninhibited and brave manner. So what normally happens at this point is, you sit love in the backroom and you tell it never to reappear. Or you tell it, if it appears, it has to look like this or that, and it has to cater to all of your insecurities, and the labels and lies that you have told yourself, otherwise known as pain, about it! To further explain: pain ushers itself into our lives, and it becomes our interior decorator, literally and figuratively. Pain begins to design the drapes, wallpaper, countertops, cutlery, and eventually, the architecture of our souls leading the way to build the house of what? more pain. I always have to be careful when I let pain attempt to dress up my future. I try to remind myself of the ramifications of what that outfit will look like to me and the world.
In my life,I have often mislabeled pain, conveniently. I’ll humor you with the many labels I have created for it:
Wisdom- Basically I would avoid anything that would require trust again, calling it wisdom. But if I were honest this “wisdom” should have been appropriately labeled as fear. Having been hurt before and fearing to be hurt again, I turned that fear into being cautious of all feelings, calling it Wisdom.
Smart- I would declare myself smart because of how I made decisions. But I soon realized that brilliance doesn’t have avoidance attached to it. Brilliance is the ability to face problems head on until the true solution becomes present.
Being Proactively Numb- I administered pain onto others to prevent it from being administered to me first, thus making and keeping me numb from both pain and pleasure.
These admissions of my love avoidance tactics after heartbreak help me to be AWAKE, AWARE and HONEST about one truism: I was in pain, friends. You know what else is true? It’s okay to be in pain, as it is one of the by-products of living.
I had an amazing breakthrough a few months ago because I began having some very honest conversations with myself and I literally had an “aha moment”. I realized that I was angry with God because I didn’t understand how he could rule my life, have all of these amazing plans for me that were apparently pre-destined, while allowing me to go through so much pain. I had literally gone through years of blaming myself, and relationships, chemistry, compatibility, timing, seasons, etc., until I actually realized “dude you are in deep pain and the barrier is you”. This helped me figure out where to apply the pressure and clarity in my life, and what had been leading me, fear.
After much prayer, writing, and therapy, I finally was rid of the effects of the pain, and therefore the wound of that pain began to dissolve, dry up, scab and now it’s a scar that I wear with pride. What’s more important, is that the pain no longer leads my life. I no longer see through pain colored lenses. I lead now with trust and faith in a bright future full of love and the commitment to an amazing life that has truly been pre-destined for me. I have divorced fear, to love beautifully, openly and purposefully, knowing that my past mistakes do not have the power to shape and influence my untainted future