Envision this. . .a toddler trying to get to an adult they love and want to be with, but the adult is holding out their hand and has their hand on their forehead and the toddler is spinning their wheels. They are pushing as hard as they can against the hand, the toddler’s feet are moving forward, but they are just not getting anywhere. Then people around are laughing, the adult is laughing, the toddler thinks it’s a joke, but it’s not. Between an adult and a toddler it’s usually the adult that gets tired first. For the adults around they’re no longer laughing, they are thinking can’t you see how much love this toddler has for you, let them come to you. Embrace the toddler. This adult doesn’t love toddlers or maybe at this time in their lives they’re worn out and done with this toddler. The toddler doesn’t understand.
Then behind this adult is a group of adults - family that love this toddler so much. They are telling this toddler give up, change your direction and come to us. We will pick you up, hug you, kiss you and love you. You don’t need to focus your attention on this adult that causes you to spin your wheels, that isn’t going to give you what you’re hoping for.
What does this toddler do?
Over the last couple of years I’ve been learning the power of love. I’ve been learning how to open my heart and how to have sincere, real, healthy relationships. I’ve had many relationships, friendships and worked with many people over the years and they have been a blessing, but I’ve always kept a large piece of me locked up. I’ve kept myself in a safe space so that I couldn’t get hurt. Deeper, real relationships and letting people know the real me, my fears, insecurities, things I’ve been through in my life were too hard to share. I knew that my value was in my happiness, perfectionism, pulling off large events and not messing up. Over the years I’ve learned that letting down my guard and letting people into my life caused a lot of pain.
I’ve been super blessed over the last couple of years letting my guard down, letting people in and being the real me and having the right people come into my life. I’ve been blessed with relationships that are eternal friendships and relationships now. I have no doubt. Since this has been more of a new journey for me there have definitely been bumps and bruises along the way. I’ve not been the easiest person to grow with. There have been growing pains for sure.
Then I’ve had a couple of situations that haven’t gone so well. I’ve trusted, loved, opened my heart to a friendship, been vulnerable, supported them, welcomed them into our home and it’s not turned out. Well, it did for a long time, but then things got hard. For one of the situations I spiraled with the loss of my dad. This spiral was significant. It was more than I could take and honestly more than some of my friendships could take.
To top things off I could tell things were falling apart with this friendship and I got more clingy, more scared and was grabbing at straws praying that somehow I could salvage the friendship. I couldn’t handle another loss. This loss would be significant. We had conversations and I thought I could trust what was said, but the reality is none of those words were real. They were lies. There was never intent to stay in my life. I thought there was a mutual love and care that had been built over time for one another. I thought the friendship was strong enough, but I got scared. I spiraled. I couldn’t imagine losing this friendship. I made mistakes. I’ve apologized over and over and hoped that somehow I could mend things. Nothing worked. The friendship was very conditional and I failed. I wasn’t enough to work through things. My mistakes were too much. This has always been one of my greatest fears and that’s why I’ve stayed guarded for most of my life.
It’s been a few months. I’ve held onto hope. I tell myself move on. Let go. They’ve made it clear - they don’t want to be my friend. They’ve made it clear to stay out of their lives and maybe someday they will let me know if they want to be my friend again. My whole life I’ve been able to harden my heart, guard it and walk away. Why not now? What am I holding onto? Really, what am I holding onto? Why would I wait around and just be a doormat for whenever they decide they would be my friend? Is this all I believe myself to be - a doormat? Is this all I deserve?
Last night I reached out in hopes of maybe healing things. Within one chat I knew, I knew exactly where I stood. I was grateful for a priesthood blessing and Rick being there to support and love me through the heartache. I was also grateful that as 2:00 a.m. rolled around and I was still awake for a dear friend that was there for me to chat with. As she and I chatted she gave me the toddler scenario. She said look past this one person and recognize all of those that love you and will embrace you. Recognize those that sincerely love you. She reminded me that I have great value. That I’m a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father.
I’ve pondered all of these things today. I’ve pondered what are the roots to this struggle for me. I’ve found over and over that many of the things that I struggle with, that hold me back from moving on are tied to deep roots I planted as a child through the rougher, abusive times in my life. These are the roots I’m digging up - that I’ve been working on getting rid of so that I can have much more beautiful trees, plants and life.
I don’t have the answers. I don’t understand myself. It gets discouraging at times. BUT I’ve come so far. I’ve made so much progress and I know I’m loved. I know I have value. I have very valued and cherished friendships and relationships in my life. I’ll take the good and the bad through this journey, because the wins, the good, the growth and the love have been worth it. I look forward to healing my heart again. . .and I’m grateful for the relationship I had with this friend. Guess that’s what makes this so hard.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity