I never understood the phrase "ignorance is bliss" until the day came that I wasn't ignorant anymore. Blissful ignorance…an unadulterated, utopian state of being and thinking and living and loving that you don't realize you've been privy to, until it's no longer your reality. It’s the state where you don't know that you have it good, because you've never had it bad. Where hope is a reflex. Love’s your first language. And compassion is all you've ever known, so it's the only thing you’re prepared to receive. But one day, that state becomes a distant memory. And you learn that the bliss you knew was because of what you didn't know. But once you know, you can’t un-know. And once the lens through which we view life is no longer the same, it’s hard for us to be. We think we’ve gotten over the harsh realities that stole our bliss. But a lot of us have a distorted idea of what healing really is. We say, "I forgive but I can’t forget." But the truth is, we hold onto the memories of what happened to us because we like to feel justified in our bitterness. We think we earned the right to be distant, apathetic, and inaccessible. And if you’re like me, you sugarcoat it and say things like, “I’m not cold, I’m cautious,” or “I’m just guarding my heart,” and use the scripture to excuse living with unresolved emotions that simultaneously set the tone for every interaction you have. Then we dress up moving on to the next thing and call it healing. We flaunt the new boo, new job, and new chapter. We don't always pack up and move to a new city, but the truth is, repressing our emotions is the equivalent of running away from what happened to us. We box up rejection, fear, loss, and unreciprocated love. And we bury it in our subconscious and never look back. And we're foolish enough to believe that if we walk away from what caused it, we're free, and if we can move on, we're healed. No. That's not it, sis. We go through the motions of moving on but not the emotions of moving on. And as long as what happened in our past affects how we approach the future, we are still the victim. The reality is, there are things we claim we don’t need to talk about, but we really just don’t want to. Talking about it makes it real all over again, and each memory that surfaces triggers emotions we don't want to be reacquainted with. Emotions that awaken a place we don't wish on our worst enemy; the place where we aren't sure of ourselves or what we have to offer, because who we were, at our best, wasn't good enough for them. Who you were at your best wasn't good enough for him. It wasn't enough to make him stay. It wasn't enough to make him choose you. Who you were at your best wasn’t good enough for the position. You weren’t good enough to get the job. You weren’t good enough for them to choose you. And talking about it awakens the place where we’re unsure of others and who they’re capable of being, because we've experienced the best of people and the worst of people. Forming relationships and making friends is like drawing from a deck of cards. As much as you want to believe that the universe will deal you a good hand—you just don't know what you're gonna get. So you stop playing cards. You deal with people from 10 feet away. You don't allow yourself to get close enough for rejection to touch you. You don't seek new friendships and are arguably indifferent toward the ones you do have. And you no longer present who you are, at your best, because you don’t believe people deserve her. People really did a number on you, and you've mistaken being guarded for being strong. But you're not guarded when you're strong, you're guarded when you're weak. Because if anything like last time gets past that wall and goes south, you fear you won't be able to recover. And now you're "hard" because hard is "tough", and being tough is being numb. And you actually believe you made it out of your dark place alive, but you can’t be numb and alive at the same time. “Numb”, as a noun, is defined as deprivation of sensation, but “numb”, as a verb, means, “to deaden”. So the pain didn’t kill you physically. But it killed your spirit, your dreams, your self-confidence, and your hope for the future. And you’re walking around half-healed.
Just because you've moved on, doesn't mean you've let it go. If you don't do the work, those emotions don't dissolve, they’re displaced, underlying all of your thoughts and behaviors. You can pack them up, put them in storage, and throw away the key. But until you sort through the boxes, that space is occupied. And you won't have room for what God wants to do until there’s a vacancy.
You’ve gone through the motions of moving on, but you haven’t gone through the emotions. And you can’t resolve what you don’t confront. I know it stings. I know that it grieves you to go back to that place, but you have to go there one last time and sort through those boxes. And if you take God with you, you will tap into a depth of wholeness you didn’t know existed. His love is perfect, and perfect love drives out all fear. It drives out fear of being rejected, fear of being unwanted, and fear of being inadequate. Allow the love of Jesus to soften those hard places. He will restore the years you’ve sown in tears, and bring you to a full healing. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18
Look up and,