Being vulnerable to God in front of other people is hard for me.
I can't predict when something will touch my heart and the tears rise up.
That's probably a good thing.
Today at Mass, the tears rose up unexpectedly and I struggled through the rest of the Mass to keep from crying one of those ugly faced snot nosed cries. Hearing about the disciples being in a room with the door locked because they were afraid of the Jews and Jesus appearing in the midst of them saying, "Peace be with you" I got a very clear thought that when the door of my heart is locked because I'm afraid, Jesus comes to me and wishes me peace.
There's no greater thing that I desire right now than peace.
Yesterday at the AA meeting I couldn't pray the Lord's prayer for the tears and today I could hardly get through the Mass without sobbing. For the first time ever I left Mass before the closing song was finished because I knew I'd be a sobbing mess the first time someone asked me how I was. And because I didn't want to become a sobbing mess I bolted instead.
I didn't feel bad about not wanting to become a sobbing mess in front of other people.
One thing I learned this past winter that was of great help to me was this. Picture a bull's eye. There are those who are in our outermost circle and they are acquaintances, then there are those who are in the next circle closest to the middle and they are friends and in the innermost circle is where we are intimate - that place where we let others see who we are without our masks on.
We get to choose who we let in to each circle
and people have to earn the right to be there.
I was given the very good advice not to let someone into the innermost circle who will use what I tell them against me. And I learned that when a person is abused those different concentric circles of the bull's eye are violated and the perpetrator gains entry right past acquaintance and friend into the intimate circle momentarily, against your will, and afterwards it becomes difficult to have any boundaries at all.
It's as if the lines get all blurry.
When I learned all this I instantly stopped feeling guilty for not wanting to let those people in who wanted in just because they wanted in.
I'm not obligated to them. They have to earn the right to be there.
Most of the people at church are acquaintances. It's perfectly okay for me to tell them I am okay when I am not. I always felt guilty that I was lying if I didn't spill my guts to whoever asked me how I was. I don't anymore. That's growth.
I pray daily that I remain open to the God of my understanding and seek His presence in my innermost circle.
Peace be with you.