I have been told on more than one occasion by people who have come to know me, I turned out to be nothing at all like they thought I would be based on their first impression. From what I am told I evidentially I come across to strangers as being self confident, assured, intelligent, holding a somewhat high opinion of myself. People look at me and think my life has been one of privilege and pampering lived without a speck of heartbreak, sorry or cares. Now to some extent I am surprised by this generally held opinion, but honestly if the truth were to be told I would admit I would nott be shocked by this revelation as I have worked a lifetime constructing a wall between myself and the world. However despite the sturdy construction and efficacy of my wall, the few who cared to look closely would see cracks in the foundation which reveal the soft and delicate surface on which it had been built.
Why would someone work so hard at building a wall around their heart? Simple, I learned at a very early age to equate people of all ages with hurt. Mental, physical emotional. It all hurt but the physical hurt the least of all. Bruises heal, the marks fade away but a broken heart never truly heals. The only way I was able to cope with the challenges of daily living was to seal the hurt in and not let people see the veil of sadness in which I walked thru the days of my life. School was a place of particular torment and I talked about that in a blog I wrote earlier. If I were to give credit to anyone for laying the initial idea for the wall in my young mind, it would be my dad who told me more often than I can recall, "just ignore them and don't let them see that it bothers you then they will get bored and stop". It didn't work but I became an expert at hiding the real me behind the wall.
The only thing that hiding behind the wall I had so cleverly constructed did was mask how I was really feeling from those that hurt me. It did nothing to buffer the sting of their harsh words and actions towards me nor to prevent the impact they would have on my life in which I carry with me to this day. Today when people look at me, they see only the bits and pieces of me I allow them to see. They don't see all the scars, bumps and bruises I acquired along the road which I traveled to where I am today.
All of us are really just compilations of our lifetime of experiences. Each of us have some bad, some good. All of us have experienced moments of joy, happiness, sorry and heartbreak. We have had some people walk the moments which make up our life hand in hand with us while others have listened to us as we recounted our walk to them through words. But whether they walked with us or merely listened to us, no one can truly comprehend the impact certain events have on our lives. Each of us have thoughts stored in the deep recesses of our memories which are private to all but ourselves and cannot be truly shared nor understood by anyone else.
My mother always exposed us to God when we were children and we went to Sunday school regularly, but things were a bit different back then. Children were not as sophisticated as they are today, so the lessons we had about God were not as rich in meaning as they have today. But despite that, I remember always having a profound awareness of God and His presence with me. I always knew He loved me and I had an encouraging drive deep within me that just would not let me consider defeat as an option. I knew God had plans for me. Knew I was meant to do something no one else could do. And while we may all have had different life experiences, are we not all meant to do something special no one else can do? The question isn't if we will have experiences that make us who we are, but rather what will we do with them? How can we use the life God gave us to make the world a better place for others?
One of my favorite songs is When I Get Where I'm Going by Brad Paisley. The lines from the song sum things up better than anything I could write; I will keep my heart wide open, I will love and have no fears. When I get where I'm going, don't cry for me down here.
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.