Gossip, venom, comparison, judgement. Envy and hatred. All poured of of lips into the ears of others.
Negativity. Sarcasm. Poisonous ideas about others.
What are we all shielding ourselves from with these things? What are we falsely protecting ourselves from?
I say we, because I was embroiled in it as well. I gave in to it. It felt good. It was never right, and it never set well with my soul. But I did it.
And then circumstances and God swept in and cleanly incised away all need for me to ever do it again.
It hurt. It was painful and it was wrenching. But it was also necessary and good.
That is not who I am. It's not what I was born to be. It's not what resonates with my soul or makes me whole.
But it was a helluva lot easier than being vulnerable. And being open. Loving. Holding my heart out.
That's who I am though. Born to be open and giving. Created to love and to serve. It's what makes my soul sing. It's where I feel the most myself- when I am building up others.
I'm tired of trying to be what I'm not. Of pretending to be tough. I'm not tough. I'm strong, but I'm also soft. And I'm ready to be soft for others- a soft place to fall, a safe place to be.
I want to be a radical encourager. I want to help and lift and give until I'm empty of the relentless need to do so.
I want to stop biting my tongue and pretending to not feel.
We all feel. We all need each other. We all need somebody to say "You are doing a good job. You are a great mother. You are wonderful. You are trying so hard."
So many are scared to be the person to say it to others. It's hard to be that open. But if we don't do it, who will? People are crying to be loved. People are wounded and chipped at, day by day, by other peoples words.
Why not be the one who heals those wounds? Why not be a light in the dark?
I'm tired of holding back for fear of the sideways looks or the suspicion that I am not sincere. I'm tired of not saying "I love you." I'm weary of holding back my heart because I'm afraid of it being broken again.
Maybe the best thing I can learn is not that my heart can be broken, but that it can mend and be stronger? That it can keep beating despite the wounds? That the One who created me also created my heart and soul to be just as it is... Sentimental, soft, and open.
I'm afraid, but I'm doing it anyway. I'm chasing joy. And for me, joy comes when I serve others. When I encourage and love and build them up. When something I say lights them up from the inside- that is where I want to be. Right there, in that moment.
To the other radically joyful encouragers out there: I know it's scary. It's hard to put it all out there and risk being rejected.
The world needs what you have to give. It needs love and words and light.
It needs you, and through you, Him.