Yesterday, while having a long, deep conversation with my friend, I decided it was time to share something about myself that I had never shared with anyone else before. The less we talk of this experience, the better, but suffice it to say, it was terrifying for me. And my friend's reaction?
I don't even think she blinked.
(non) reaction was a shock. Quite simply, the conversation that
followed almost too easily defeated walls of defense I've spent years
building. Perceptions of God and self crumbled before my eyes. All
that work to protect myself from something that apparently didn't need
protecting. When I went to sleep, hours later, I was still shaking my
This morning, I found myself still
mulling over that conversation and its aftermath. It brought me back
to my favorite book, The Blue Castle.
My entire life,
I've found myself relating to, and feeling like Valancy - a girl
constantly afraid of what other people thought of her and said about
her, and in reality, trapped by her own misgivings. I cheer on this
kindred sister as she takes charge of her life and throws off the
shackles of propriety and lives true to herself and her convictions,
transforming her life of drudgery into a life of real value and good.
morning, though, I realized I am also like Barney. This must be why
his character has always attracted and intrigued me. Here is a man who
is well-read, well-traveled, and well-written (is that a thing? he's an
author). He started traveling the world to run from a painful past and
a broken heart. In his travels, he discovers a rich, full life of good
experiences that change him and strengthen him. Now he's back, but
rather than face the world, bravely and generously offer his talents and
gifts and wealth of experiences, he hides himself away on an island,
content to be seen as a supposed disrepute who hangs out with the town
drunk. Time and distance, while they have sweetened his existence, have
still left the bitter conviction that no one could ever truly love
To be honest, his character arc is one of the most
thrilling parts of the book for me - for a man to go from being
convinced that no one could ever love him to being absolutely convinced
that he could love and be loved in return. It's a moment of healing for
him to realize that, once and for all, he is not defined by his past
and that he should not let that past hold him back from a happy future.
friend helped me realize that, as I watched those walls I had built up
fall away. I feel a little like Barney, asking, "Is it possible to be
loved, despite being me?" The naysayers in my head scream loudly,
"Never." But a new voice is starting to whisper and growing in volume,