A good friend of mine once told me:
“I don’t like to deposits pieces of myself everywhere.”
We were having a conversation about vulnerability and I told him “you’re fake vulnerable, like me. You’re vulnerable about the things you’ve carefully decided to be vulnerable and open about.” Which essentially meant, you aren’t vulnerable at all. But that’s another post, for another day. He went on to explain that he was very careful with whom he shared his personal life with because he didn’t want to leave pieces of himself everywhere, especially pieces that he didn’t believe he could ever get back. When he spoke these words, it resonated with my soul. Maybe this was the reason why it was so hard for me to be vulnerable with people…maybe I too feared leaving pieces of me scattered in the wind that can never be recovered. But, the more I began to dwell on it, the more I realized, while his words were beautiful, and I could understand his intentions, this way of living didn’t sit quite right with me.
One day as I was standing in worship at church, the worship leader stopped the music and called out to me. “Woman, in the hat..” Even though I had a big ole hat on my head covering the atrocity of my kitchen, I thought to myself surely it couldn’t be me. I carefully looked around me and noticed there was no one in her line of sight with a hat on except me. Even as my heart starting beating fast as though it was going to burst out of my chest at any moment and run out of the room in praise dance fashion, she began to speak a word over my life that continues to influence how I see myself today. “Beauty abounds in you. Wherever you place your feet, beauty will be released in that place.” Wherever you place your feet, beauty will be released in that place. Wherever you place… for days her words played over in my head like a broken record. Every time I spoke her words again a mental picture became clearer and clearer. I saw myself in a room with water and each time I stepped, the puddle would ripple and I’d see glimmers of gold in the water. I’ve always been fascinated by gold and even more so recently. I don’t know if this is because I like for my highlight to beam like melodies from heaven, but there’s something about gold that leaves an imprint on me, forcing me to desire more and more.
We live in an age in which everyone prides themselves on keeping “a small circle.” There are endless memes, life coach quotes, and cautionary tales that say, “don’t open yourself up too much otherwise you’ll never get yourself back.” And for awhile, I believed this. I tried to force myself into this “small circle” ideal. “Only a few people know who I REALLY am.” “Real Gs move in silence like lasagna, so only tell those you close to your moves.” (Or something like that..y’all know how it goes.) “Every circle got a Brutus or Judas so be careful who you trust” (Okay that one might not be a real one, but you get what I mean.) Everything in society and life has told me it’s not good to pour yourself out to more than a select few people because of what may happen if you do. Aka, you should let fear dictate your relationships just in case one proves your negative disposition right. And even though I ain’t never encountered a fake friend in my 27 years of life (shoutout to my spirit of discernment), I subscribed to this ideal. For so long I was afraid of losing me by giving to too many others. I was afraid of losing pieces of myself in so many places that I would never be able to make myself whole again. I became so wrapped up in the fear of losing pieces of me, that I forgot that I can decide to see engaging in several relationships as leaving traces of me instead of pieces. I could choose to see the more I poured out as a gain and not a loss.
I like to think of myself as that favorite bronzer. You know the one you’ve kept buying over and over again for years. One day, the same day you buy it, you drop it and it breaks spilling all over your carpet. No matter how many times you sweep or vacuum, every time you walk by, you see a glittering of that bronzer on your floor. I want to give myself over and over again so much that even when I leave or our relationship changes, there’s a trace of me left upon you. I want to make the decision, requiring all the vulnerability, to place so many of traces of me that’ll I’ll never be gone. To love endlessly and openly to the point that everyone I come in contact with realizes that they are worthy to be loved, wholly and beautifully. It took me several years to realize that it’s not in my nature to love partially, conditionally, or selectively.
God made me to love fiercely and abundantly.
Not afraid of the consequences, but instead embracing the fullness of loving many.
Truth be told, I’ve never kept a small circle, and it’s served me just fine.