You are not alone…

One of the darkest demons that I consistently fight is loneliness/abandonment. The weird part about it is that I am constantly surrounded by a host of people. I have my immediate, or household, family; then my parents and siblings; and those that I work, or associate, with. As a job, I help people to better their lives. So, again I deal directly with people. By no means, am I in a deficit when it comes to people. But, quite honestly the question that arises is how many people know and feel my heart?

I started writing because of depression. I wasn’t mentally dealing well with life. I had experienced a resurgence of loss and grief and I needed another outlet. I would talk to my wife, my counselor, and my friends. But time is always an obstacle and how much can you truly share with them? I needed a platform where I didn’t see the faces of those that I shared with. I didn’t, and still don’t, need to see or feel the condemnation or judgment that people have because of what I think. I was raised in church. So, I know what the Bible has to say about a great many things. I know that God loves me. But, I also know that when you are hurting, that pain is real and people throwing a bunch of scriptures at you doesn’t always cut it. There’s more to it…

One thing that I’ve realized about myself is that even though there is a multitude AROUND you, you only allow a select few INTO you. It’s like having a barbecue at your house and renting a port-a-potty. I love you enough to invite you over and feed you but you can’t use my bathroom. We treat people like that every day. People make up our sphere of influence but our guards are up and they never make it into our inner circle. Our guards are up because of life. Our history has created our outlook. Our past experiences drive how we entreat and receive everything. BUT, not every person is the same as those from our past AND many of those from our past have changed.

Here’s a quick story…. I dated my first real girlfriend for almost a year. It may have been longer but whatever. I was in love and thought she was too. I had a death in the family and went away for the funeral. Upon returning she was nowhere to be found. She didn’t answer my calls and she wasn’t home when I went by there. After a week, I get a call from some guy saying stop calling my fiancé. Huh?!? Apparently, while I was away, her ex came home from the military, proposed to her and she accepted. This was the ultimate betrayal, breakdown of trust, relationships, and whatever else you can think of. I write this to say… a seed of distrust was planted in my heart and there was an expectation that was unfairly set in my life. That expectation was that no matter how much I love… they are going to leave me and that is real. That is why I truly appreciate my wife. She has stuck with me thru thick and thin for almost 17 years!!!

The sad reality is that when it comes to those ‘inner circle’ people… I still fight with that seed and expectation. It takes a lot for us to drop our guards and allow people in. If we’ve been mishandled it makes it worse. The thing that I’ve come to realize is that some people are worth fighting for. I’m writing today because I love YOU!!! And YOU are important to ME!!! How can I say that when we don’t talk? How can I say that when we don’t see each other? How can I say that when you don’t reply to these letters? I used to ask myself the same questions but revelation is a mother!!! It is easy to love when you feel that love reciprocated. It is easy to hold something already in your hand. It takes effort to love when you don’t always feel that love returned and you know what? YOU ARE WORTH THE EFFORT!!!

You don’t have to be alone. I am here for you. I will always be your friend…

I know this may one may be hard but, if you’re feeling me… reach out. Trust me, a hand will be there for you.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,
Jackie

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Hurting people…

Each and every day we are faced are with challenges. Some of these challenges are chosen, whereas others aren’t; some are external while others are internal; some greater than others but all challenges nonetheless. What makes the difference is our attitude and mindset.

It’s like the old adage, “hurting people hurt people”. Not always are we victorious over life’s situations. We want to be but, the reality of  that is quite different. We always experience victories and defeats. Many times when someone has been overcome by life they lash out. It has nothing to do with those around them but because of the pain, disappointment and loss that they’ve experienced it seems there is no other recourse.

One thing that I’ve learned is that when people have experienced hurt they react the same way as a person that has lost a loved one. They are experiencing grief. If you care enough about them… take the time and pay close attention to them. You will know, without a doubt, how to be there for them. Here are the 5 Stages of Grief…

1) Denial – the “everything’s fine” stage: At this stage, you will hear, “everything’s fine” and “I’m good”. But in reality the person is taking inventory of things and people that are left behind after loss. They are refusing to accept reality and the facts. People can be stuck in denial…

2) Anger – the blame stage: The realization that denial cannot continue sets in. Many times it is replaced with misplaced rage and anger at themselves (“Why me?”) and at others (“Whose fault is this”). Someone at this stage will be difficult to deal with but don’t drop them. They need you. Just understand that you have to remain neutral and you can’t judge them…

3) Bargaining – the negotiation stage: The cry of hope… Regarding death, this is where people tend to start talking to God. “If you do this Lord, I’ll do that…” Regarding relationships, this is where compromise sets in. “I know you want to breakup but can we still be friends?” Very rarely does the negotiation lead to a sustained agreement.

4) Depression – the sad stage: It is important that this stage happens as this is where the person begins to face reality. There will be times where they will want to be alone and will have times of tears and times of silence. They need to work it out. Here’s something interesting… It isn’t necessary, or recommended, for you to try and cheer them up. They need to process their emotions and the situation(s).

5) Acceptance – the moving forward stage: Here the person is truly dealing with the reality of the situation, is ‘more’ at peace with it AND begins to move forward in their life.

The weird part about these stages is that MOST of the time Denial is first and Acceptance is last stage but the order in the middle can be all over the place. Plus, once a person has dealt with a stage that doesn’t mean they won’t experience that stage again and again.

When you truly love someone, you are willing to do whatever it takes. Be patient. There is more going on than what you see, hear and feel. Be that shoulder to cry on, that hand to hold, that ear that listens… Don’t shut them down but allow them to release. It may be extremely difficult. They may target you. They may say, or do hurtful things, but trust me when I tell you… Be patient. The ride may be rough but, if you truly love them, the ride will be worth it.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie

Check out my blog at https://chosen2k7.wordpress.com/