Let Your Heart Bleed

In a sea of new faces and new places, I fumble my way through everything unknown and unfamiliar. And I have become aware of this ache, one that sits just below my chest, pulsing longing & desire & questions. It’s the ache of missing. It’s heavy and unexpected and it has caused my blue eyes to paint too many salt-soaked emotions down my cheeks.

Josh Groban, a man with the voice of the angel, recently came out with a new album. Listening to the songs on repeat, this one lyric always swims around in my head and I ponder it quietly. He sings:

“I don’t take it lightly, the trouble that I’ve gone through to get you to know who I am.”

He’s singing about the ending of a relationship, the unravelling of two hearts that have learned the crevices of one another. Because it takes time for two souls to learn one another. It’s not simply a I just stubbed my toe and move on with it kind of deal, but a I fell down the stairs and I’m leaving stains behind of the skin & blood of my heart. Because you have invested, exposed the damaged & sacred places of yourself. When you say goodbye to someone, you leave behind drops of your bleeding heart embedded in theirs.

Do I really have to do this again? let more people in, crack open my bruised heart, take the time to show them the things I hold dear & the dreams I have & the things that make me laugh until tears crawl down my cheeks.

I have poured out so much of me into the relationships I left back home. and I thought I could just leave them behind and plunge head first into a sea of thousands of new faces?

Every relationship has the fundamental component of learning the other person: their humour, their wide-eyed dreams, the things stored in their heart, the stories that shape the core of who they are, and all the things that make their face curl into a smile & make their spirit bubble with joy.

And like all the best things, relationships unfold slowly. Not always steady, sometimes rocky, but every interaction & conversation teaches us something new.

It takes time to know people, it is a gradual process in which you discover, have experiences and begin to do life alongside them. You don’t learn someone overnight, and we will never reach a point in which you can place someone in a box and boldly say, I know exactly who you are. Because there are things we may never know and things we will never understand unless we literately morph into the soul & body of that person for several years.

I miss the people that know me. I miss people who understand my humour & understand my heart without requiring explanation of my past.

This tear-soaked face that looks back at me in the mirror, yes that fragile & wondering face, it is the face of a girl who has whispered the same question every day for the last three weeks: What am I doing here?

A whispered answer: Mikayla, you are here for a reason. I have you here to invest and pour out and bleed yourself into this new place. To get to know many more beautiful souls because you just might find someone special or someone who needs you or someone who can teach you something valuable.

In this life, we are going to collide with many faces in the places we go & things that we do. Even though it can be painful & it’s rarely easy to let your heart bleed, investing in the people around you is always worth it.

Knowing someone, and them knowing you. And not just knowing, but understanding- that is a beautiful gift to be sought after. It should be pursued, and those who find those people, who connect with other souls- oh they are blessed. Because we were created for relationships & not to do this life alone, but together and intertwined with other beating, bleeding hearts.

love, mikayla

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Don’t Live In a Box

“Ah, I know exactly what kind of girl you are.”

Excuse me?
What an presumptuous thing to say.
How dare you.

I want to lean over the table and grab the collar of his shirt, and shout fierce and indignant: you do not know me. You have no right to say such things. You can’t “know” someone after an hour spent in a McDonald’s booth, talking over fries & baked apple pies.

You don’t know the stories that make me who I am, you don’t know how I’ve hurt & struggled. you don’t know where I’ve been, the people I hold dear to me or the memories that shape each crevice of my heart.

And if you think you can wrap me around your finger like that- think you know all about me- without caring enough to get to know who I am, well then, you certainly aren’t what I’m looking for.

People are not like math, and they certainly aren’t like chemistry.

They cannot be pegged to a formula, calculated with variable and numbers. They cannot be bonded by molecules or expected to react according to a fundamental theory. Combining brown hair + blue eyes + athletic + kind + firstborn + male, will not create the same reaction each time.

We, humans, just ain’t that simple & predictable.

And for anyone who thinks we are: did you know the human brain is known as the most sophisticated thing in the universe? Our hearts pumps 2,000 gallons of blood per day, we are made up of 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (7 octillion) atoms, and our skin has self-healing capabilities.

We must stop putting people into boxes.

It is not possible to compress hearts bursting out of chests, personalities too big for a single adjective, souls mysterious & unique, all into neatly shaped squares. We get labels slapped on us like paint thrown on a wall. You will be yellow, no changing that. You are an athlete. You are a writer. You are funny. You are a leader. But wait. What if I want to be an amalgamation of yellow, blue & green? The world says, no, just stay in your box where all is safe and simple.

And then there is the most tender label of them all, the one loaded with judgement & opinions & assumptions:
I’m a Christian.
Oh, your one of those. One of those narrow mind people, who’s only goal is to get me saved.
We have centuries of brokenness that add scars to our history. Of people who have been burned by the church. Of people who have been deeply scarred by those who claim faith. Of people who sleep around Friday night and sing praises to Jesus Sunday morning. We are imperfect people, trying to make sense of a messy world.

It is a hard label to wear.. We get judgements and opinions stapled to our sleeves before we have a chance to show them that this faith we have is real, and so rich in grace, and we are out here to live wildly for Him.

I say enough is enough. Can we make a unanimous decision to throw away labels and squares forever?

Enough of trying to be like some made up idea of cool or beautiful or interesting. Enough confining ourselves to boxes. Enough stuffing other people in boxes. Who are you? You are you. You are (insert name here) __________________. 100% you. a picture of a thousand dreams and stories to tell. No specific colour because we humans are a portrait of modern art. Canvases of every colour splashed and painted on, lines and circles and dots creating marvellous patterns of you. Living wildly and widely and loudly in our own skin.

If we are striving to be the most adorable or the most funny or the most intelligent or the most friendly, we are always going to fall short. We will always endlessly be pointing at people, thinking or saying, I’m not as funny as them. Or I’m not as beautiful as them. Or I’m not as smart as them. In trying to be enough, we will forever find that we are not enough.

I’ll echo Hilary’s words:
hearts are too beautiful to spend on a word like enough, on a measurement, on a tangled illusion.

Instead of being enough, go be you. Chase what you love without fear of what a single person on this earth thinks, because our frail, humanly judgements mean squat when we consider what life is really about. Live free of expectation & labels. Be bold in the wondrous soul God has given you.

love, mikayla