I don’t know how many times I have told myself this, and how many times I’ve tried to shake being this way.
I am incredibly relieved that I don’t have the attitude of indifference about the life surrounding me, but I am in total fear of the extent to which I hang on to things that are meant to be let go.
Why do we hold onto pain?
Are we afraid that if we let go, we won’t feel anything at all?
Or do we place it there as a check, something to remind us that when joy starts bubbling back up and people started finding permanent places in our hearts again, that we need to fix up some facade to protect our hearts from intertwining again in something messy- something that might hurt if it ends.
Something I’ve realized lately is that I don’t regret the people I’ve lost in my life.
I never thought I’d say that, because in the moments when the most relevant feelings associated with my mental, spiritual, and emotional state was that of loss and hurt, all I wanted and wished for was God giving me the ability to rewind and cut the tape where those people came in.
Glancing back now, I value everyone of those heartaches, for they were pivotal in revealing the absolute genuineness of the people in my life that have forever taken up residence and are not going anywhere with secrets spilling out behind them.
The scariest part about life is that the only thing constant is change.
And as we all know, change is kryptonite to the Sentimental.
The lack of control over something that is constantly happening is overwhelming. One moment it is completely debilitating and defeating, the next an intrepid determination to kick sadness in the can takes over and, surprisingly, you realize everything and everyone you are blessed with.
Change tries to back you into a corner with taunts of fear, loneliness, hurt, brokenness, loss, etc. It pops up in all directions and areas of life..relationships, school, your job, family, friends…any area that can scare the living daylights out of you change is sure to sneak up from behind and whisper anxiety in its most concentrated form.
I think sentimentality is good, but when it’s such a potent part of how you relate to things, it tends to just heap up this immense feeling of constant loss on you. Suddenly you push aside the idea of relating to the moment and being thankful for what you have right now, and are swarmed with continuous thoughts of what you might be about to lose.
Sitting down and flipping through the pages of a photo album from my childhood makes me laugh and cry. Suddenly I feel like I don’t even have my brothers anymore, when I still literally see them every single week. Suddenly I feel jipped, like I lost out on something that was fully mine, like something was taken from me against my will.
Where did my innocence go? Who stole my childhood when I wasn’t looking?
I remember my dad telling me, with a sad glint in his eye, all the time, “Don’t grow up, okay?” As if the very thought of the inevitability of it broke his heart. As if his own longing to reach back and take hold of the childhood his memories display was pressing him to warn me, and invoke me to cling to the childhood I was still at present with. As if his heart was aching for the young, innocent daughter that he could not keep and wanted to spare from the pains and scars this world inflicts. Knowing all too well, that he could not fully keep me from life’s hurts, and that my heart would only be unmarred for just a short while longer.
When I think of my childhood, the imagery which defines it is simple, and yet swarming with complete freedom and a blessed naivety..I immediately picture myself running through my back yard, on a warm summer day, my arms as far out from my sides as they can go, running and swaying them back and forth….flying.
Flying to lands unknown, to places which held my dreams, to places with no hurts or darkness.
I see myself picking a dandelion, making a wish, and blowing its dust into the breeze…watching my wish go dancing off to be cultivated.
I see myself picking a daisy, twirling it in my fingers, and gently removing each tiny petal until I know if he “loves me” or not.
I was told my whole life to not grow up too fast, to not wish to be an adult when I wasn’t, to hold on to and embrace being a kid…..I really thought I did. I wasn’t in a rush to be older, I enjoyed being a child, I thought I was beating the odds and one-upping all those adults acting like I was rushing into something…and then all of a sudden I’m getting my first job, my permit, my license, graduating, getting my second job, working two jobs and going to school, getting up at 5:30 am to work and not getting home til 9:30 at night some days, that job ends, finding another job, buying my second car, voting, watching all my siblings get married, watching friends move far away..wondering if I should move far away…wondering where I should be at all.
All the while watching so many people I swore would never leave go drifting by, leaving ruts on my heart in the places they used to occupy.
Experiencing heart-break and loneliness.
Doubting my faith at times, something that defines my life.
Doubting the God I believe in.
These burdens of life fog up and blur and make unclear what purpose you feel your life has.
It makes us feel so invaluable.
What is our purpose?
Is it to go to the perfect school, to find the perfect job, to find the perfect soul-mate, to make the perfect family, to live the ideal life?
These things are amazing, and good, and awesome to do and have, but what is the purpose etched into our hearts?
Not to love when it feels good, or when we get something in return.
But to love…to pour out with, to blanket with, to overwhelm with, to cascade with, to emanate with, to attack with, to spread at an uncontrollable rate, to intoxicate with…our mission is LOVE.
Be sentimental, for it makes you appreciate every moment you have with those around you, but don’t allow the past to infringe upon the present…Love now…seek God…and love.
“Let your love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil, but hold fast to that which is good. Love one another with brotherly affection (as members of one family), giving precedence and showing honor to one another..”
“And so faith, hope, love abide, these three: but the greatest of these is LOVE.”
“But His WORD was in my HEART like a burning fire, Shut up in my bones ;I was weary of holding it back, AND I COULD NOT.”JEREMIAH 20:9 NKJV