From a different time and place…

I found this journal entry that I wrote in 2012 and wanted to share it with you. There is so much truth in this. That period of time was the most painful, challenging time I have been through, but I feel that it made me stronger and wiser than I ever could have imagined. Reading this, I can feel how deep my pain ran, although if you had asked me at the time, I would have told you I felt nothing but numb. It wasn’t long after this that my world changed forever.

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through love and friendship can we create the illusion for a moment that we’re not alone. I have become so enthralled with that illusion that I wrapped my entire self in it and lost my individuality in the process. I am on a journey to discover who I am and unwrap myself from the illusion. I can’t have my identity wrapped up in another being or I will never discover happiness.

Jim Morrison said: “A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.”

I want a love like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning it is a flame, hot and fierce, slowly fading to something light and flickering and fun… When it is fed with oxygen (freedom and trust) and wood (affection and affirmation), it dances and lights up the night. As the fire matures, as two hearts meld together, love becomes like coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.

I know that all love shifts and changes, becomes something different almost daily. I don’t know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time. Love does not begin and end the way I always thought it would. It isn’t a fairy tale with a “Happily Ever After.” Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up. And a painful one at that. But I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

It is sad not to love, but it is much sadder not to be able to love. To fear love is to fear life, and in fearing life, I am already three parts dead. Love is so vulnerable though. It takes off masks that I fear I cannot live without and know I cannot live within. It reveals more of me than I ever thought one person would know and that makes me tremble in anticipation of being left for who or what I really am. I have heard so many times that you never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back. I just have to figure out HOW…

I have a picture of love in my head. Love, wholehearted, unabashed, more than I deserve kind of love. Love that sees the flaws and works to be a covering. Love that tells AND shows in everything. Love with trust and respect and affection and the knowledge that one is valuable and needed. Love- a gift bestowed freely and willingly, without any expectations. Love is a commitment with no guarantee of whom or what the other person will be… when they are given an endless supply of forgiveness and grace. Love is a persistent pursuit of passion for one another. Someone to stand by you. Respect you. Give you two arms to cling to and something warm to come to.

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About Shannon Joy

I am a single mother of two incredible munchkins. I pray a lot, work a lot, learn a lot, volunteer a lot and tend to do a lot... I love my life. The past few years have been an incredible journey, full of ups and downs. Thankfully, I have made the choice to see challenges as opportunities and it makes me so much stronger than I ever thought possible. I love to write and paint and feel that being creative is my God-given talent. I am so excited to share my life and experiences with you. Although I am a diamond in the rough, I known that I am being chiseled and hewn by God's grace and my own perseverance. I love comments and feedback, so please send a little love when you can. I will always try to respond personally and in a timely fashion.
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