Well I just had to turn off the radio
But not before I heard thirteen songs about love in a row
Well I don’t know what the next song’s gonna be
But I know how the words are gonna go
They’ll be singing ‘oh baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby I love you so’
So won’t everybody sing along cause her comes just another love song
I need you like I need a hole in my head
I need someone to steal my money and wish I were dead
I need someone to always put me down
And everywhere I go she wants to hang around
Suicidal Tendencies, Just Another Love Song
I get the feeling that my first blog in this series freaked people out a little. It was a little harsh. I’m in a much better mood, now so this one will be easier on the senses… but don’t think that means that I am retracting anything I put out there before.
I don’t know how others are, but I tend to be a brooder. I analyze everything. I try to second guess and draw conclusions and read between the lines. The people I am closest too are the same way, but I have learned enough over the years to recognize that the people I am closest too may not be a terribly random cross section of people in general. So, some of what I have to say here may be irrelevant to anyone out there that is not a brooder. Only you can answer that for yourself.
I discovered last year that there is a very simple way for me to feel empowerment over my life: to honestly tell the people I care about exactly how I feel. I found that I had avoided doing that because of my own fear of rejection. That, and it was a bit like displaying a weakness that might be exploited. But when we do that, what happens? We spend all of our time analyzing things people say to us, trying to figure out what to make of it, what it means about how they feel. Trying to pick out the possible hints of love, and the subtle pains of not love and we wrap ourselves up into knots trying to determine what we can trust.
Instead, last year, I decided to set my fears aside and just put myself out there. I never would have believed it, never thought it could be possible, but instead of leaving myself weak, defenseless, and scared, I ended up discovering a freedom I had never known. Once I had laid my feelings bare, there was nothing left to be hurt. I could get a positive response and life would be beautiful, or I could get a negative response and move on, stop analyzing, stop worrying, stop questioning myself. It was amazing.
With each occasion, each experiment I embarked upon, I found it easier to just be, easier to be honest, easier to be open, and eventually, easier to express anything I felt without worrying that it would come back to haunt me. Because I came to understand that the people in my life that I do love – and that love me – will accept who I am without reservation. Yet if I hide who I am, how could they ever tell me so?
Our culture tends to work us over pretty well in this regard. We are taught to avoid letting ourselves be vulnerable. We are taught that honest emotional expression makes us vulnerable, and we are taught that letting others see that vulnerability removes our own control over our lives. I would suggest that the opposite is the case: once we allow ourselves to give up our illusion over control over our relationships, the true potential of those relationships increases exponentially.