I watched the I Can Only Imagine movie last night and this really struck me:
“Write about it. Stop running from it. Let that pain become your inspiration. And then you’ll have something that people can believe in. But to do that, you’ve got to face your fears...”
One thing I haven't done well is letting my pain become my inspiration. Instead, I have wishy-washy'd my pain, covered my hurt, and buried my emotions. The quote above tells me to use my pain to write honestly and give people hope through the truth, honesty, and pain of my past.
Can I be honest? Allowing my pain to be an inspiration scares the crap out of me. I am very good at writing the facts about a situation, but I am just now beginning to realize that the facts of a situation are much different than the emotions of a situation. I've always said that I will answer any question I am asked about my life, but the truth is that I only answer the questions on a factual and surface level, and rarely on an emotional level.
This became really clear to me, literally in black and white, when I got the results of an Emotional Intelligence Quiz I needed to take before being accepted in the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program. The assessment was clear:
"Paula, your result indicates you have difficulty bringing emotions to the surface and sharing your true feelings... You may appear emotionally detached from your colleagues, probably showing as little variation in your demeanour as possible... People can easily misperceive you as being withdrawn and as a result it may be hard for you to inspire others or gain the support you need. While you may feel comfortable remaining in a predictable, pokerfaced state, it is actually stressful for others when they need to share information with you. If you do not reflect your emotions, you may miss crucial information because others feel uncomfortable being open and honest with you."
Ouch. I cried as I wrote that out because I really don't want to be that kind of person. In fact it is the opposite of who and how I want to be. So, this is what I am working on in my life right now. The assessment gave me some strategies to make changes and I am going to be intentional to start working on it because I really don't want to be like that anymore.
That's as far as I can go today - simply acknowledging it. I'll just be here crying for a while.