I want you to know me. When I speak from my pain and frustration, I think you think I look strong and hostile. The things I say can appear concluded and defiant, it can sound like I don’t need or want you in my life anymore, at least not today. When I see the world from my wounds and powerlessness, and from the fear that I am invisible, it is then I want to tell myself that I am not all that powerless really, I want to seize control and shout from the roof top ‘I am here’! But all this I do from within my cage and every sound bounces back to tell me that I lie, and reminds me that I am still trapped and alone. I want you to know me, not who you think I am.
Sometimes the things you say are sharp and closed, and the way you say them is strong and deliberate; you say you have heard me but I don’t think you have, not really – something would be different. You sound desperate for me to believe you, but that makes it hard for me to trust. I feel sad… I recognize myself in your words and actions… I wonder what has wounded you so? What is it you fear? You have pushed me away, but if I see beyond the words and the noise, I think you might be longing for a hand of friendship. I want to know you, not who I have experienced you to be.
‘It is so easy to speak from our wounds rather than from our centre where Jesus is present…. We must not be surprised if we speak from our wound and defense mechanisms and judge others too quickly. That is our broken humanity. Each of us carries within us wounds and fragilities; we can be quickly frightened by other people and their ideas; we all have difficulty truly listening to others and appreciating them…. We can only truly accept others as they are and forgive them, when we discover that we are truly accepted by God as we are and forgiven by him.’ Community and Growth, Jean Vanier (pg 36 revised edition).
As i understand myself better, i hope i will one day grow in mercy towards each person that comes into my life.