Today, I bring you another installment of Conversations with Ourselves, a series of posts in which every Thursday the author addresses the Past Self through the Present or vice versa (or sometimes totally not this, but something equally cool) concerning matters of Faith, specifically.
I am delighted to share Margaret Felice's words today. No stranger to this blog space, Margaret's wit and charm permeates her writing. Here, in particular.
That was a great date the other night, huh? Nice dinner, smart movie after, good conversation…and all this with a guy who picked you up when you were his waitress at that greasy chain restaurant you are using to fund your collegiate adventures. (A word of advice: lay off on the French fries).
That sort of stuff never happens to you, right? But it did this time, and it was nice. I know that you’re planning to not return his calls. I know that you think that if someone wants to spend time with you he must be deranged. I know that you know how crazy that sounds. But sadness has become your mantle and you don’t feel fit for the world, never mind for the nice guy you met at the Ground Round. I’m not going to try to change your mind; it’s not a big loss. But trust me, this one is gonna haunt you.
You are sad now. You know you have no reason to be. Life is good, and you are loved and healthy. You’re naturally outgoing and confident, but depression has made you doubt yourself. You feel like a turtle turned on its back. You feel like God made you wrong.
A time will come when you have real things to be sad about. Life will disappoint you, people will die, love will be difficult. These hurts will be more real than your old, abstract sadness, because they will involve people and relationships that you can’t even imagine now. You are hanging on so tightly to your independence, and resisting the call to invest yourself completely in communion with others.
It seems like that would keep you safe, and with all the tears and anguish in your life you would do anything to stay safe. But the truth is, even when the lives intertwined with yours compound your tears, the tears will be sweeter because they bear the fragrance of love. It is love to which you are called with your whole heart and life, and only by submitting to the vulnerability of love will you find the strength to overcome doubt and fear.
I wish I could explain this to you better. Perhaps ten years from now another future self will tell this present self exactly what I mean to say. I hope you hear some of this, though I’ve crept into your room after another night of tearful prayers, to whisper all this in your sleeping ear. I know you: if I’d tried to tell you this when you were awake, I wouldn’t have gotten a word in edgewise. In you, I may have met my match.
Don’t be afraid, dear one. Be loved. Be Love.