Is it worse to not be loved, or to not love? I don't know. There have been many times in my life where I didn't feel loved, but rarely have I ever felt like I didn't love someone. God has blessed me with an awesome, Godly family, and I've always had many good friends. Even after moving to new cities, I've always held on to someone, somewhere, somehow, whether to my old friends or my family. But today in church, as I sat tired through service, I realize something that scared me very deeply: I am scared of love.
I was sitting alone with a girl my age, a girl to whom the words "beautiful" and gorgeous" don't quite do justice. It happened very innocently: I sat by myself near the front by the worship band and, being in the worship band, she sat by me once worship ended. I've known her for a few years, and though aware of her untapped beauty and absolutely lovely singing voice, she's always been simply a friend. I thought nothing of her sitting by me. At least, until I caught my grandma staring at me. I don't actually even know if she was looking at me, but she was looking in my direction, and I tried to figure out why. My mind raced to connect the dots, and I somehow thought she was looking at me because I was sitting by a pretty girl (alone) and that we looked like a couple. Stupid, I know. Talk about dramatic. But when I realized how scared I was that somebody who didn't know me might think I was in a relationship, that's when I figured out something was wrong. Just the thought of me in a relationship gave me the willies. I asked more questions, like, Why am I scared? Why do I want to move and not sit by her anymore? What's so wrong with me that I sit by a beautiful girl and feel self-conscious and guilty about it? Why do I feel guilty when I simply sit by or close to a girl, even out of accident or circumstance?
As my mind tried harder to answer these questions, I stepped out to the kitchen for some water. I was still shaken, but needed to stay in the service to avoid any questions, so I went back in. I set the issue aside and focused on the sermon and on worship. But when I got home, I locked myself in my room and began asking those questions again.
The answers shook me up.
Maybe I've built a bubble wrap security wall to protect myself from pain and loss. Maybe that bubble wrap has created a barrier between me and other people. Maybe I'm so scared to relive the two nightmarish dating relationships of my past that I hide behind a facade that preaches a resolution to not date out of purity and wisdom when really I'm just afraid and protecting myself. Maybe I'm not quite so noble or honorable. Maybe I refrain from dating because I've been hurt, burned, tortured, and pained so deep that I'm scared to love. Maybe I've associated the same horror of my past relationships with all relationships, even my future and current relationships, and other peoples' relationships.
I've been hurt; I've experienced loss; I was burned. And I realized today that maybe I'm not over that yet, even though it's been over fifteen months and two years since those two relationships ended, respectively. I've been bitter towards those two girls for a long time; way too long. And I know that in order to love again (and not romantic love, but love for my friends, love for my family, love for my enemies, and love for those I don't like), I'm going to have to forgive and move on. It hurts to write these words; it doesn't seem fair that I should forgive them, after all they put me through. But I'm not faultless, and life's too short for me to waste time in the past. I'm not writing this as a release, because releasing my bitterness will be the end of this journey. No, I'm writing this as an acknowledgement, a start. I don't know what it means to forgive, really forgive. And I know I'm petty for letting bitterness and anger control me for so long. I'm also sicked at how blind I was at it. But bitterness has held me back, and I don't want it to any more. It's time I put an end to this. I just wish I knew how.
Maybe my answer will come from the Rebelution. After all, this most certainly will be a hard thing. I'm going to need help popping my bubble wrap barrier.