I have faced battles around and against me, but I daresay they feel puny compared to the global war raging inside of me. The battlefield of the mind, of my mind. Not fought on some far off foreign land, but a civil war, on home turf.
This me vs me confrontation conjures up a silly image of a woman slapping, punching, and kicking herself. On second thought, hands and feet are weapons used in a school yard. This is war. A lethal knife drawing blood or a toxic poison lifted to my lips; now that more accurately describes my emotional self harm.
I see me cowering inside a deep trench formed by years upon years of digging. The cacophony I hear isn’t gunfire and explosions but a crossfire of doubts and questions of my worth. It is a pelting, pummeling, gut punching, paralyzing attack.
The weather, my circumstances, just add to the mess, rain mixing with dirt, creating a miry mud that sucks me down until I am sinking, drowning.
I am learning the rigorous discipline of mental muscle strength training because I just can’t lose this war.
Life and death are at stake.
I must be gaining strength because at times I am able to lift up my head enough to gasp, “Jesus!” His reply speaks into my stormy mind and everything goes still. I can hear the stark contrast of a quiet kind voice against the screaming shame.
It’s unbelievable, but it almost sounds like a dear friend who is talking me down from the ledge. It often seems to start with “But, Jaime,” then reasons with me, sharing a too generous perspective that I just can’t see from where I am.
“I feel as if I am too much, too deep, too sensitive. I feel like people look at me and don’t know what to do with me, nor I with them. I cannot seem to connect to what I long to have. What is wrong with me?”
What about the great expanse of the sky, the levels of the atmosphere, the immense universe, the deepest trench in the ocean, the great blue whale, the powerful sun, the complexity of the human brain? I like those big and deep and wide things that I have made. I call them awesome, majestic, inspiring, wonderful. There is enough room in the world for you to be as much, as deep, as big, as complex, as sensitive as you are. Peace is found in acceptance.
“Why do I become so desperate, so panicky, and fall apart in the face of loneliness? There must be something very wrong with me. I am insecure and loathe my insecurity.
Jesus, you were a man of many sorrows. You were despised and rejected by men. You were okay with that. You let it be what it was, let people take you or leave you. I am not strong like you and I despair.”
I was okay because I had the Father and the Holy Spirit. In the Trinity, I am not alone.
You need support too. It is not good for man to be alone.
When I hung on the cross, the curse of the world’s sins upon me, and my Father turned away, I despaired. I fell apart. I cried out my God, my God why have you forsaken me?
I have known desperate emotions.
In the garden, I anguished to the depths of my soul and the extremity of my body just anticipating the separation that would come. I wept over the people who would not gather close to me.
I felt intense emotions.
I endured it all for the joy set before me, for the ones who would love me back.
I want to be loved too.
You are like me.
You are like me.
The surprising validation soothes, a reprieve for now. So grateful, and I take a breath, until the next attack. In a sudden gift of revelation, I glimpse a plan for moving on the offensive.
Speaking validation over myself is how I can negotiate my own peace treaty. I have only ever hoped for more of the same soldiering on, but finally, I sense victory may be near.
Jaime Roop is a freshly turned 40-year-old navigating a mid-life journey towards coming out of her shell. She is a hearing 4’11’’ Highly Sensitive Person happily mismatched to her deaf 6’2” computer genius husband. They are raising three blonde blue eyed school age girls in small town Alabama. She earned her MA in counseling and still loves to delve into all matters of heart and heartache, however currently she loves doing her dream job as an American Sign Language interpreter.