I’m a pretty honest person. Ok, that may a bit of an understatement. I am an EXTREMELY honest person. I am often the first person to share my failures, to offer up the not so pretty parts of myself, and tell the straight forward truth (even when it’s not always asked for). I tend to be slightly unrefined and sometimes tactless, which aren’t traits I consider attractive about myself and why I am often in need of loving reminders from those close to me that, “maybe there’s a nicer way to say that.”
All that being said, I’m not always forthcoming about the softer parts of who I am. Actually, frequently the harshness of my honesty becomes my shield that wards off those not brave enough to face it and see deeper than it. I wear my differentness like an armor, protecting me from those who can’t see past the surface. I think this makes people think that I am only calloused, with a hardened heart and no capacity for gentleness. It’s not their fault they see me this way, it’s the way I present myself – hard, rough, and unyielding.
So, for today’s blog I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m going to tell the world about my soft spots, because I think it’s time that one of us hard-shelled people was brave enough to do so.
I absolutely do have feelings. In fact, I have intensely fervent feelings. Why do you think my armor is so thick? You don’t protect something that’s not sensitive. My feelings run deep. I don’t do shallow when it comes to how I feel. I am an all or nothing kind of person. If I love you, it’s with ferocity. If I trust you, it’s with undying loyalty. If I care for you, it’s with sincere devotion. This means that the people I love the most, have to greatest ability to hurt me.
I have experienced heartbreak. Life altering, faith shattering, heartbreak. I love with all I have which makes hurt more excruciating in the face of betrayal by those I thought I could trust. Callouses form from a place a pain. If you’re reading this, and I love you, you know it because I’ve told you. Over and over again to the point where you’re probably tired of hearing it because I want you to know how much you mean to me, how deep you touch, but I never know how to say it.
People think that I’m fearless. They call me brave because I share my failures but they don’t know that I hide behind them. I’m not fearless. I am afraid. Afraid that people will see my softness and take advantage of it. Afraid that the people I love most will walk away. Afraid to trust… to really trust people to see me for all that I am, to see the scared little girl hiding behind that armor studded with strength. I crave fearlessness. That’s why I have it tattooed across my wrist, because I desperately want to live my life unshackled by fear. I want to free the soft skinned girl inside chaffed by its bonds.
So I write this, for all those like me, whose skin has been hardened by the harshness of this world and whose tender heart aches to be caressed. I write this to say that, though we are strong, there are delicate parts of us. We are gentle and kind. We love with a passion that few are lucky enough to experience. If you happen to be one of those lucky few, know that it is not fleeting, it not easily escaped from, and it is seldom extinguished.
I am not going to end this with a call to join me. I am not going to give you a verse that says you should live without fear. I’m not going to ask you to expose your softness.
I am just going to stand here, armor stripped, naked, and vulnerable. With fear and multiple second thoughts about posting this, and I am going to believe that the naked soft girl that I am, is enough. Is loved. Is accepted. Is treasured. Is beautiful. Is His.