Recently, on facebook I read a post entitled “A Letter to the Girl You Hate.” I was intrigued by the title, and as I delved deeper into the letter, I was slightly appalled by what I read. I won’t lie, I clicked on the link because I used to be in a place like that and I wondered if I would be able to relate to the words that were written. However, I’ve since forgiven this girl and moved on, yet I still struggle at times. I never want to be around her, and it’s hard to wish her success. Recently a friend now acquaintence I made through her contacted me, and those feelings flooded back. It’s simply impossible to fully get over someone who hurt you. The scar, although it fades with time, will forever mar my life – and that’s okay.

However, this relationship and another relationship that preceeded it did change me. While I am already wired in a private, closed-off manner, I struggle even more so with relationships now. I think that’s partly why this new relationship I’m in scares me so much. Some people’s biggest fears are spiders, or being kidnapped, or heights. For me, my biggest fear is being hurt. I’m scared that I’ll open up completely and the other person will decide I’m not enough – I’m not what they thought and they’ll leave me like yesterday’s trash. I’m not courageous enough to put myself out there again. It’s so much easier to be closed off, but the tighter I hold on to my heart, the hollower it will become. So, I’m pushing myself to be open. I’m pushing myself to be vulnerable and to take steps forward. Little by little, I’ll reveal parts of my heart.

This process isn’t easy. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in awhile. Just writing about it makes me sick to my stomach. Just writing about it makes me tense. It’s so easy to sit and talk with my friends and give them relationship advice, but it’s so hard for me to put my own advice into practice. Some days I’m excited and okay with the new direction my life is taking, and other days I wanna run as fast I can away. I’m learning what it is to be daring greatly.

Daring Gretly (v.)

The courage to be vulnerable, to stand up and be seen.

To ask for what you need, to talk about how you’re feeling.

To have the hard conversations.

Daring greatly is hard. Daring greatly is scary. Daring greatly is worth it. I’ve prayed for someone who is patient and open – for someone who can be vulnerable and good at communication so that I can follow their lead. So far, God has answered this prayer. He’s brought someone into my life who shares openly and vulnerability seems to come naturally to him. He’s brought someone who listens and cares and is a stand-up guy whom people respect. I’m excited about this possible future. I’m excited and scared. But anything worth doing is hard and scary, right? So each day, I get up and I choose to be vulnerable. I choose to have hard conversations and open myself up little by little. And, if in the end my heart is broken, at least I put it out there. At least I took the risk.

C.S. Lewis said, “Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

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