Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Callous Heart

Words crashing through the flames smoke spreading far
And I thought we'd remain free from it's harm
You let the fire out, and it's right in front of me
-"The Fire" by Kina Grannis

Who do I want to be? For all of its downs, moving across the country is a great opportunity to reinvent yourself. I'm not nearly fluid or flexible enough to fake my own personality, but I do feel like I have some leeway in deciding what facets of my personality I allow to come to the forefront. When I moved here, it was all about being free and not judgmental – the opposite of my Pennsylvania self. At my core, I am pretty progressive but there are many of conflicting influences in my head. I've got the religious and familial guilt and a whole pile of cultural indoctrination that rolls around that I've gotten really good at ignoring, but I'm trying, for the first time in a long time (maybe ever), to be informed by the faith I can't ignore and allow my callous heart to be shaped and changed, to allow myself to be vulnerable where I've before only protected, reacted, and practiced stubbornness. I'm not so good at this changing thing.

And then, when I'm most honest with myself, I remember that I'm also inexorably affected by my affections. How many times have I molded myself toward similarity to whomever my heart desired only to find myself with neither the object of my affection nor lasting change? I don't want to be that girl, now or ever again.

So then, when the desired is perhaps closer to transformed than I, how am I to respond when his heart is hurting from our actions but mine is not? Am I not close enough to the mind of God? Am I hardened still to contrition? Is he just more in tune with the heart of God than I am? Are our personal experiences creating the differences in response? Does his own regret and conviction apply to me in the same way in his head? Does he think I should feel remorse?

I feel only glad for the connection and camaraderie, but now another dimension of guilt has been applied and introduced nerves for the future. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why, even in that statement, do I apply a “we” rather than own my own feelings and lack of feelings?

How do I balance this fine line between support and indoctrination without falling off either cliff?

I'm not one for regret, but tonight, I'm trying to find grace for callousness.

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