Friday, September 18, 2015

Hearing the Words Unsaid

It's been a long time since I've written. Nine months here. Less than that in my journal but even there is further between visits than I prefer. It has been so long that I almost fear I have forgotten how to write. Earlier this year I made the mistake of sharing a very personal piece of writing with someone who wasn't safe. I've been hiding my heart and healing since. I longed to find my muse again but my heart hurt so much that I felt actually felt trapped rather than freed by my writing. And now it has been so long that I don't even know what to write about anymore.

I decided that even if I wrote a Seinfeld post (a post that was about nothing at all) that it was still a step in the right direction. I don't even know if this will end up as an update on the insanity that has been my life these past months or if I'll write about the battle in my heart or the opinions in my head. I'm just showing up. I'm putting my fingers to the keyboard and seeing where this post takes me. I've mentally started a post a hundred times in these months and never opened the computer.

I had the joy of visiting long lost friends a few months ago. One a friend I had not seen since her wedding over 25 years ago and one a friend I had not seen since my own wedding more than 10 and less than 20 years ago.  One friend told me upon arrival of some difficulties in her marriage. I paused and wondered how I had not known. Well, we hadn't talked face to face in so many years that I suppose it could be easy to miss by Facebook standards.

The following night I saw the other friend and boldly expressed that Facebook is a liar and I wanted to know how she really was. I specifically asked how her marriage was. She too told me that marriage was in an incredibly difficult season for her. As we talked I realized that Facebook had not lied at all. It had been a long time since I had seen a post about her husband. She had still been there, she had still been posting, but what she posted about had shifted. The things that brought her joy were still there. Unfortunately it took her saying it for me to realize I had seen it happen before my eyes, I was just paying attention to the wrong things.

This happened again recently. I realized too late that I had seen a friend getting more and more unhappy in a situation they were in. Unfortunately I didn't pay attention to what I was noticing until that friend was past the point of being able to continue in the situation and still maintain her personal peace. As we discussed her situation, I knew instantly that I was watching the same exact thing happen in another dear friend's life. I was watching her pull away, I was watching her become unhappy. I had a front row seat to a life changing moment for her and thankfully, I noticed this time. In the end someone I love was still hurt, but I had the chance to walk beside her through the hurt. It was just as simple as noticing what wasn't said.

Sounds simple right? Yet somehow I seemed to miss the first one and only catch the second one in both of these instances. When I looked back over it, they had all told me in one way or another, just not with spoken words. I want to be a noticer. I want to love my people through the ups and downs. I want to love them well. Often loving well means hearing the things left unsaid. It isn't even close to something I've perfected but it is what I strive toward, to love well.

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