I was listening to Regina Sparks’ “Begin to Hope”. It’s one of my favorite songs. It’s about a woman who finally opens her heart, allows herself to become vulnerable, and finds love.
I have struggled with this issue my entire life. In the song, she is talking about romantic love. I’ve never had a problem opening myself to romantic love, but when it comes to friendships, I don’t let anyone in. I have a sturdy wall built of steel and brick around my heart. There’s a tiny window and a tiny door that are well guarded, and only my husband, my family and a very few friends that I’ve had since childhood are allowed through the door.
I have made no friends my entire adult life. And I’m 45 years old. I keep everyone at arm’s length. And even my childhood friends are watched closely as they walk around inside me.
It’s exhausting. And I don’t know how to dismantle the wall. I understand how the wall was built: a childhood that had intimate knowledge of pain at the hands of others. But that was an age ago. I’m a competent, intelligent, strong adult. The wall is now a hindrance to me, and yet I cannot break it down.
So I decided I would write a letter to these friends who have passed through my life and I watch longingly through the window in the wall. I just hope they are still there when I finally manage to tear it down.
Dear sweet friend,
Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for seeing me with your eyes filled with love and acceptance. Thank you for being in this world. You are a light shining your uniquely beautiful color into the darkness, lighting the way for others with disco sparkles and laughs.
I’m sorry that I can’t get near you yet. The fear is still in control. I hope one day to understand it and overcome it, but that day is not today. But my wish is to someday meet you where the air is fresh and I can breathe again, and the sun is warm and I can feel again, and you are there, as beautiful as you are now.
Until then, know that I see you, admire you and am grateful for you. You are what I aspire to be. You give me hope.
Love from Angel