It seems though, that God will not allow me to be that way and he wants me to be my empathetic, vulnerable self. Everytime I have come across these people and I shut down, I notice I begin to judge them and I begin to find all of their flaws and characterize them as a bad person. And everytime, I am always put in my place, humbled to the point of embarrassment and tears. One such example. I have an aquaintance that has been doing horrible horrible things. It seemed as if they didn't even try to hide what they were doing, but they always lied about it and tried to cover it up in ways that made me furious!! So I judged them and classified them as a bad person and I was cruel to them when they tried to say hi to me. All because I didn't agree with what they were doing.
One night this past week I was sitting far far away from this person when they came walking toward where I was sitting and took a seat across from me. I immediately put my wall up and we had some awkward and sparse conversation. That was until they came right out and told me their secret. As they were talking to me, I was watching this person's face and I saw them in a different light. I saw pain instead of the monster that I had built them up to be in my head. And as I was listening and observing, I was reminded of all the times I had made mistakes in my life, all of the times that I was rebellious , all of the times that I let people down because I was selfish.
I saw so much of myself in this person sitting across from me pouring their heart out, wanting support and advice. I was humbled and embarrassed at myself for being so judgemental. How dare I! So me, wearing my heart on my sleeve, told them that I already knew everything but I am not here to judge and I shared with them one of my stories from my past when I too messed up. I didn't want them to have to go down that road alone like I did. I realized that in my judgement, I failed to see this person's pain behind their actions.I confessed to this person that I had judged them and I apologized and asked for forgiveness.
It's funny how things work if we are only willing to be honest with ourselves. It's amazing the things we learn about ourselves as well by putting our pride aside and being vulnerable. That night, I learned that the entire time I had been building this person up in my head as a monster, the real monster was me.
THIS is why I am learning to embrace the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am learning that it is ok to be vulnerable, it's ok to admit when I'm wrong, it's ok to say I'm sorry. By keeping my walls down, I learn to accept the fact that I am not perfect and I shouldn't expect other people to be perfect either
In my case it's being honest with myself. Even if that means admitting I was wrong. Again, lesson learned. It's not always about what we see with our eyes. If we just open up our hearts, we will see that everyone out there is hurting and when they do bad things, they are just reaching out for help. And all it takes is that one person to just love them to change their entire life around.
Like the Beatles once said. "All You Need Is Love, Love Is All You Need"