Heard and Invited

Not much has been the same since my Unit 2 evaluation last week.  I have been exhausted since then.  It is like a whole world came crashing down around then.  And I think in some ways, that world did crash.  The world that crashed was a world of pretending of sorts.  Pretending to make it, pretending that I did care in some instances and pretending that I didn’t care in others, pretending that I didn’t really have wounds, pretending that I didn’t have desires and hopes that I really have.  It was just strange.

I tend to withdraw when I feel really vulnerable- which means that I might get really silent, really curt, really ambiguous, and really withdraw from the presence of others whether I am with them or not.  And it happens when I feel vulnerable, which is when I feel cut off, lonely, or more often when I feel disappointed or disappointing- when I am really hurting myself by constant critique and self loathing (yes, I dislike me more than any others).  And I get into cycles of this low self esteem or self concept and bear down on myself and try to act out my frustration by withdrawing away from others, instead of more fully initiating conversations or fellowship opportunities.  So naturally, because I was afraid to admit some of these struggles, or didn’t really know how to talk about them, I just pretended that the issue was something else external or pretended that I was still doing well, or pretended that I really didn’t have these deep wounds, or pretended that I confidently had it mostly together (no one ever has it all together!).  And that sort of crashed.

Not crashed in the sense that life fell quickly, like a roof collapsing on a fiery, decimated house.  But like a roof that has been broken, ripped up, cut up, blown through a couple times and barely holding together that slowly finds itself crumbling down.  And at one point, it just falls.  Thats what happened when my supervisors and peers invited me to stop disengaging and withdrawing, and invited me into the genuine relationship I was hoping for.  It fell when they heard, not assessed or said, but heard my woundedness and my deep fears and resistances.  But they heard.  Which meant so much.  They heard, and then they invited me in.

I am drawn to this opportunity, because it is really hard trying to navigate life feeling alone (whoever reads this, please do not try to persuade otherwise!) and feeling helpless.  And by engaging, by taking the risk to not be so bitter and not let myself get stuck and by being honest and open in my relationships, maybe I can actually find satisfaction, roots, and a home- a home not in my peers but a home in a career, a location, a mix of stuff.  It is amazing what can happen when one is heard and invited.  This reflection, going through that process, was exhausting though.  The invitation leaves me constantly wondering, constantly trying to imagine the promise in this opportunity of invitation and imagine how it will emerge over the coming months and years.  That’s exhausting.  Tired, dragging, empty.  And I have a 24 hour shift tomorrow?  It just keeps coming.  But I will make it, in spite of being tired and empty.

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