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FAITH

It's hard for me to venture some belief in something that exists outside of a reality which holds only so little of my trust. Faith is indefinite and thus has always been a problem for me. Faith in people, faith in God, faith that things will get better.. it sometimes seems like too much to chance. But it's not the actually believing which scares me, it's that feeling I get that I know I'm right. Receiving faith is like looking at yourself naked in a mirror...it's there always, but you hide it so well and you try to deny it. When that feeling of submission comes, though, it's like violent sweetness. I want to receive it, but I don't think I can handle what it will bring.

LOVE

Everytime I run. I tell myself I won't this time, I'll take the step in your direction, but it never works out like I planned it to. The pitiful thing is that your trying to give some of your love away...something which I understand is such a sacrifice on your part. Remember that it's not the giver who's at fault--it's the one trying so hard not to receive. I run or I blind myself to your affection for whatever silly justification I can come up with at the moment. And doesn't it make it all better? We should look at each other more.. I want to push all the love away because sometimes I think I'm not worthy. In my mind, I know I really am, but it's just this problem I have, you see. It's not about self-image or self-worth but just the whole self. When I let love in it always wants out. How can I accept yours on the belief that it won't be the same this time?

TOUCH

I crave touch more than anything. How long have I denied my physical existence in search of something more "tangible?" But I've come back to this--wanting some human to validate my existence. I flinch and I remain afar from humanity so they might not reach out to me. I'm afraid it will make this reality all too real...just a simple touch. It's comforting sometimes...I've come to accept that kind of touch. But the kind where it means something much more, that touch which conveys every unspoken emotion and shares it whether you want it or not--I don't know how to deal with that.

PEACE

Does it come before or after all other actions? Does it guide or does it follow? I want to feel so warm and satiated with life. When it's presented it contains everything I struggle with receiving...faith, love, touch...as if I could just trade in all three for this one. But this is the hardest. It would take away that confusion in my life which I believe gives me direction. Do I need it? I need the other three, no doubt, but this one might be expendable. Maybe..I'd like to think so. It's easier that way.



To give...I can do that. To care, to empathize, to emote, to live...that's done. I need much more time to learn how to receive, though. It's not something I was born with, or it's something I had beaten out of me throughout my life.

Someday I'll live on my knees.

Standing there with nothing but ourselves, the exercise was to give the other a gift.

Some gave a shoulder massage, a hug, or a compliment. The person I had been paired with got down on his hands and knees and kissed the top of my shoe.

He did it with humor... yet meant it. He knew that I had trouble taking compliments, any compliments, and speaking to him later, I realized that he knew that I might have a reaction, a learning.

Here was a man I admired. A man I was trying to emulate. A man who would give you the shirt of his back, if you needed it. Being like him, acting like him was my goal. In my mind, he was on a pedestal I knew I could reach if I only put in a consistent 120 percent.

I smiled. I thanked him for the gift... then my mind started to work.

I woke up the next day, irritable, confused. I struggled through the day. I felt emotional about stupid things. I didn't understand what was happening to me. I spoke with a friend that had been there. She skillfully asked me all the right questions to lead me to the truth...

I DID NOT FEEL WORTHY OF SUCH AN EXTREME COMPLIMENT! How could I receive a compliment that humbled my hero? Why would he do that for/to me? I simply could not accept the compliment and yet given, it could not be returned. I struggled with the magnitude and sincerity of the gift. To this day, I don't fully accept it. I just can't.

Ultimately, his gift to me was this: His compliment was so huge, so overwhelming, that when someone gives me a small compliment, it no longer looks so big, and I can graciously accept it and go on my way.

I've been pushed over the cliff, and survived. Walking down the stairs doesn't scare me anymore.

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