Despite Simon and Garfunkel‘s lyrics’ getting stuck in my head on a regular basis, and despite my best efforts not to need anyone, I am neither a rock nor an island. That is the unfortunately tardy realization I’ve had over the course of the past year. For all of my life, I have held everything inside: emotions, disappointments, failures, anxieties, insecurities. I have suppressed feelings and avoided finding my true self. I have given almost no thought to who I am, what I want, what I like, what I can’t stand, and most importantly, what I need. As a result, a lot of imploding has happened since last January. It was a long time coming, and it continues to be painful every day.
But a glorious thing happened when I admitted, first to myself, that I am not a rock. I am penetrable, I am vulnerable, and I am broken. I began, finally, to get what I need. Denying my needs for companionship, reassurance, affirmation, and support has made me weak. It took a long time and a perfect storm of circumstances to bring me to my knees, to finally break me down completely enough to force me to open myself up to change. Many like me, including some in my family, will go an entire lifetime without ever recognizing that they are missing the connections they need. We all need to be connected to God, to others, and to our true selves. It may sound crazy, but I am so thankful to have been so deeply broken at the relatively young age of 34. Barring some unexpected death knell, I have time, to get it right, to find what I want, to build sustaining relationships, to live the way God wants me to live from this point on.
Now, having reached the nadir of my struggle, I have begun to climb up slowly. And from the moment I began to accept my vulnerability and share it with someone I trust, I have seen that God is providing what I need to keep climbing. He is helping me widen the circle of people who take my hand and pull me forward. He helps me understand and accept my vulnerability so that I can move beyond the things that have made me weak. And He provides assurances that I will continue to have what I need to complete my journey. I am finally getting what I need, and it feels warm and comforting and I am thankful.