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Please Hear what I’m not saying, My Guarded Heart

20 Feb

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What does it say about the human condition, where one minute can make us feel like soaring, our heart receiving and giving the Love we are born with to those we care about.  The next, we’ve been dealt the most painful blow we’ve ever experienced, taking with it our breath, our sanity, our love.  Why do we profess to love one another, then when we know we’re dealing with completely vulnerable hearts, become monsters and do everything we can to destroy that which is most precious to another life?

The human heart is such a wondrous thing.  In its’ physical form, it sustains life by performing its’ task of pumping life-supporting blood throughout our bodies.  However, it also possesses a much deeper, more sacred purpose:  It is the very center of our being.  It is where we give and receive the God-breathed love we’re born with. It’s where our best and most pure feelings originate, it’s where we connect most deeply with those in our lives that mean the most.

It is also the most vulnerable.

When we take the risk of reaching out with our hearts, and the love is rejected, abused, destroyed, it is part of our natural defense to protect that which we know to be most vital.  Depending on the level or duration of hurt, the defenses we build can be built so strong that while we heal ourselves, we at the same time completely shut others out.  While we know that there are others out there who are true Angels, sent for no other reason than to help us heal, we become so driven to survive our pain that we become content to stay in our safe walls.

I have been there too.

No one can truly understand what another has been through.  Pain and hurt are deeply personal and the echo of the effects vary from person to person.  But there is always hope.  Please read the following poem and think about it’s meaning:

Please Hear What I’m Not Saying

Don’t be fooled by me.

Don’t be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I’m afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me,
but don’t be fooled,
for God’s sake don’t be fooled.
I give you the impression that I’m secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water’s calm and I’m in command
and that I need no one,
but don’t believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don’t want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
and I know it.
That is, if it’s followed by acceptance,
if it’s followed by love.
It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It’s the only thing that will assure me
of what I can’t assure myself,
that I’m really worth something.
But I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare to, I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I’m afraid you’ll think less of me,
that you’ll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I’m afraid that deep-down I’m nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that’s really nothing,
and nothing of what’s everything,
of what’s crying within me.
So when I’m going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I’m saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying,
what I’d like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can’t say.

I don’t like hiding.
I don’t like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you’ve got to help me.
You’ve got to hold out your hand
even when that’s the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you’re kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings–
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator–an honest-to-God creator–
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me the blinder I may strike back.
It’s irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

Charles C. Finn
September 1966

 

If this fits you, then know you are Loved.  That there are people in the world that care.  That you are NOT alone.  Those who understand are here…..open arms, open hearts.  Ready to help you fly again.

 

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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Inspiration, Life and Memory

 

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