How do we grow to love people? I mean, really love them? We all have friends, family, people we know. Most of us would do anything for some people. I would do anything for pretty much anybody, regardless of how I felt about them. I think I would, anyway. I haven't had to cross that bridge before. Just hang with me, here...
When you tell someone a secret, you create this bond with that person. It may be in passing, someone completely out of the blue; it may be someone that you have known your whole life but have never really spent a lot of time with or talked to. Either way, you look at them differently afterwards. Why? You could have related a struggle that you've been having or something you've done that not a lot of people know about. Whatever it was, it was something that you wouldn't normally share with just anybody, but for some reason...you did. With that person. Maybe you felt driven to share it because they may be struggling with something similar, and you want to help. Or you may get this feeling that, out of all your close friends, that person will understand...more than any of the people you normally share your secrets with. And that...changes everything. Once again, why?
You shared yourself.
You handed them a part of yourself that is not out in the open. You let down your guard - just for that moment - and forever changed your perspective of him/her. Your perspective is now one of seeing him/her as someone who holds a part of you. And you know what's scary about that? Now he/she has power over you. Of course, that's the more pessimistic way to look at it. The more optimistic view would be that of seeing that person as another connection, another person to share your life with - just a part of your life.
Back to the original question: How do we grow to love people? Simple. We share pieces of ourselves with them. You share an experience or struggle, and a connection is created. There will always be people that you just casually talk to and hang out with; however, there are those that you choose to become closer to and share yourself with. When that happens, they hold a part of you; I guess you could say that their holding you is endearing, in a way. I can't think of a better word to describe it. There are certain people that you just want to pour your life into and lay it all on the line. You may not know what draws you to them, but there is something. Maybe it's because you want them to share themselves with you, if only to help them. But...what if they don't reciprocate? What if they walk away? When they walk away, they walk away with a part of you that you can't take back. You may have shared it with someone else, but there is still that person - who chose to walk away - out there with that piece. Sometimes, it's not a big deal. Other times...it's devastating. However, there are people that do reciprocate, that do share their secrets with you. And that's amazing. It can be.
But what happens when that falls apart as well?
I guess that would depend upon you. And how you react to such things. Furthermore, that depends upon what has happened to you before and how you handled other - possibly very similar - situations.
So, to quote myself - "What's my issue?!" - you may be wondering how I got started on all of this. Not that any of y'all wonder about where I get this stuff anymore, because it is seemingly very random. ;) Anyway... I thought up a quote last night that I am quite proud of but am not sure about its originality: "Why do I try to give my heart away when it's not mine to give? It is God's." To counter myself, this is truth: I want someone to share my life with. And I don't mean just all my secrets; I mean EVERYTHING. I want someone to know my past, what I do in the present, and what I hope and plan to do in the future. I want someone to know what I'm thinking. I want someone to know my every expression. I want someone to know why I'm crying, even if I don't (if that's possible). Furthermore, I want to hold someone else's life like that.
Believe me, I know that it is beyond idealistic - to the point of delusion - to think that that is possible. I also know that God knows all of that. Forgive me for possibly being non-Christian and heretic, but that is not what I want in this case. In this case, I want my husband to be that person with whom I share lives with...A life with. Yes, I know the things that I want take time...LOTS of time...and I can't say I'm willing to wait. I've never been patient in waiting for something like this. I am getting better, but I have so much more to learn and so many things to become content about.
I love talking to people. And for the most part, I believe I do actually enjoy sharing secrets/struggles/thoughts with certain people. Where I really mess up is sharing everything with the wrong people. Don't think that I am saying some people are just wrong; I am saying that they are wrong for me. I get caught up in my love for someone and don't hold back. Some people put up a wall, huge defenses that no one can get through, because they won't let anyone through. They don't want anyone to see everything. Maybe therein lies my problem: I want someone to get through. I throw my heart on my sleeve and wait for someone to ask me about it. What if I didn't do that? What if I kept things hidden away or acted like certain things didn't happen?
I wouldn't be me.
But is being me a problem? I am flawed; of this I am acutely and painfully aware. How much of myself can I put in the open until it is a certifiable problem? Is it ever? Of course, there are some things that people will never know; those things are always present. However, is a wall necessary? I know many people that would say, "Yes, my wall is absolutely necessary. What else keeps me from being hurt by others?" To those I say: "But are you happy with your wall? If you are happy with it, are you truly untouched by others? Do you really avoid the pain of being betrayed or loved?" Because I believe there is a certain amount of pain in being loved. I won't go into that for now... Anyway, how can we truly be safe from the pain others can bring? To quote John Donne, "No man is an island unto himself." We are all connected; we are all affected. Is a true defense system even possible? No. I don't believe so.
To conclude this rambling of mine, I leave you with this:
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?" - Ecclesiastes 4:9-11