Do we let everyone in?
The past few days I have been pondering over this question...A LOT. Mostly because I feel like in the past year I have spent a lot of time allowing myself to be authentic, and let people in. Especially the last 6 months I have really made an effort to not build up walls, to plant myself, and to allow myself to enter into friendships that are new and exciting. Sometimes though it is scary, and sometimes I feel like maybe some of the friendships aren't exactly as authentic as I would hope.
What's the balance?
Do we let everyone in, break down the walls if people aren't willing to do the same with us? Do we continue to be vulnerable even when others aren't?
I am not sure. I find myself lost in this place of wanting to be authentic with everyone, but not wanting to give more then what has been revealed to me. I mean why do I want to put my heart and soul out there if the other person just shows a fraction of who they are to me?
Then I have to take a moment and ask myself what's the higher road to take? Is it to only give of myself because someone else is willing to do it too? Or should I just keep giving because the only way to break down those walls, and show someone that you are really there is to just keep loving them authentically...even if they don't return that authentic love. Even if they can't at the moment.
Does this apply to everyone? Should it apply to everyone?
I sometimes think that there are some things that not everyone will understand. I sometimes think that to be vulnerable with everyone, well it might cause more harm then good. There are some parts of us that we can't share with everyone. There are some parts of us that can only be understood by a few. I have come to believe that there truly are those that connect with us on this level, this level that is just too deep to understand. It isn't necessarily because you have all the same interests, ideas, or beliefs. No, it is more because you choose to just be yourself. I think most of the time these people you have an instant connection with. You can choose to foster that connection, or you can choose to just let it drift away.
In this lifetime we come in contact with so many people. Everyday we meet new people, everyday we see the same faces over and over again. How do we cultivate relationships/friendships that make a difference in each other's lives?
I think we have to come to the point where we can be honest, authentic, and vulnerable with those that we connect with. I think we have to choose to cultivate those relationships. We have to choose to not give up on people. We have to choose to let everyone in.
Authentically loving people where they are means that not everyone is going to be ready to share their whole story. Authentically loving people means that you understand that life is messy, and you let them know you are there for them, whenever they need you and in whatever way they need you. Authentically loving people means that you sometimes have to just let them come to you, because you've tried your hardest to let them in, and they don't want to accept it.
I don't think that every single person we connect with is going to truly meet us on the level of authentic living that we crave. I think that sometimes one person is ready, but the other person isn't. I think that has to be okay.
What I don't think is okay, is to stop letting people in just because they are not willing to be as vulnerable, or share as much as we wish they would. I think to stop being there for others goes against valuing people. I think that sometimes we have to sacrifice our own desires for authentic friendships in order to help someone else break down walls, and learn to lean. Because at some point in time we all have to learn to lean.
Do we let everyone in?
I think we do. I think we have to if we are actually loving people the way Jesus did. I think we have to if we are opening up our lives to live out grace and mercy the way Jesus did. We have to let others in, no matter what kind of walls they have built around themselves. We have to try to take the bricks down one by one. I think that is what it takes to be in community, I think that is what it takes to authentically love.