I enjoy soap operas. I enjoy the over the top acting, the hyperbolic characterizations, and even the sudden 'resurrection of lost twin' plot twists. Now I don't watch soap operas religiously; in fact, I really only watch them for a few minutes while in the cafeteria or while running on the treadmill at the gym. But once I start to watch, it is difficult to turn away from them.
I have recently come to the realization that my life is a soap opera. Definitely not as remarkable as 'Passions' or even as engaging as 'The Young and the Restless', but a soap opera nonetheless. There are people who stab others in the back for seemingly no reason; factions who split and come to loathe one another. Heck, there is even the occasional sex scandal. Honestly, part of me thoroughly enjoys the dramatics of it all (mostly the fact that I can sit back and laugh at the improbability of it all), while another part of me cannot stand any part of it-it is a thin line I walk.
I am tired of the secrets, the lies, the duplicity, the back-stabbing, the mistrust, the exclusion, the deception and (perhaps most of all) the pretending that everything is ok, when it is not. Don't insult me and lie to my face when I know there is something going on. If you don't want to talk about it, that's one thing (a thing which I think is stupid-find somebody to talk to about it if it's not me), but don't try to convince you are ok when there is clearly pain and hurt in your life-I am not oblivious.
So often, we attempt to take care of our problems ourselves-I don't know why, maybe it is all ever see on TV or experience in life. Maybe it's a fear of the possible pain that could come from opening up to someone. But I think the most likely answer is the fear of rejection or judgement from that person. Most people don't care-it's the truth. So when you try to open up to them, they don't know how to handle it or what to do-they don't even know how to listen. Nobody likes to feel that they are not being listened to, so they just don't talk about what is going on.
For me, the most frustrating thing is the fact that I want to listen and I want to be there for people, but it is rare when a person will open up to me about a situation and allow me to sit with them. Sometimes, I just want to scream, "You don't have to go through this alone! Let me in, let me help! I may not be able to do much, but I can at least share some of the weight with you." Often, people will mention that something is going on, but they will not divulge any more information, saying they'll "be ok".
As I write this, I am reminded of a song by The Pretenders, redone by Carrie Underwood and featured on the show Glee called 'I'll Stand by you'. For a long time now, I have looked for someone to offer to stand by me and help through those dark times; in part God has filled this role in my life both with His presence and by sending select people who I know I can rely on. People I would never have thought to turn to for support. And I guess, I kind of want to feel needed or significant-to know that people can turn to me when they are hurting or need support. But as one of my good friends says, "You can't want more for a person, than they want for themselves."
I realize how hypocritical this will probably sound to most of you, noting how I do not readily open up about my own hurt-and I have been sitting here for a while trying to justify this, but I can't. I simply know that God has given me an ability and a desire to listen and I want to be able to make use of these things the best that I can.