About two weeks ago I felt pushed to delve into and write about what it means to guard your heart. However, I couldn’t because there are just some aspects of my heart that were better left ignored, in my opinion, until there was an appropriate time, namely after the biggest exam in my life to date, passes.
I can’t help the unintentional triggers that cause me pain. I feel like I don’t have a choice in the instances where in the melting pot that is America, I inevitably pass people that speak her language, or eat her favorite cultural dessert.
I can’t help those, so I took the necessary steps to avoid intentional triggers. I removed everything of hers off my phone, from pictures to texts, and her presence off of my favorite social media sites.
In all of this though, my relationship with God suffered. I blame God for the ongoing state of pain I always find myself in. In my mind I saw the potential for the downfall of this relationship and when I tried to run away, I thought that it was Him teaching me how to stay and learn to love and accept love.
So naturally for me, as i’m sure many people like me with BPD, can relate to. What resulted was the inevitable investment of my entire self. My heart, my mind, I would have even invested my body if she wanted it, in exchange for her to do the impossible task of filling me unendingly. Of course at the time I did not know that I was engaging in this kind of relationship, however, soon after circumstances revealed the nature of my attachment, things went bad fast.
I was already in too deep to pull away, and she was already too scared to love me or care for me past the newly instated boundaries she felt compelled to enact. The result was a perpetual state of rejection and hurt like none other that I have ever faced.
It hurts so freaking bad. I feel like God must be punishing me for being such a bad person. I believe that he orchestrated all of this on purpose to break me. In my mind He must be punishing me because her joy and her peace has been restored, leading me to think that it was Him and her against me this entire time. And I’ve had other borderline relationships end but despite the pain, my internal sense of peace and connection to God, was never affected because things just made sense. This never and doesn’t make sense. So I run away.
Though I began by subconsciously running away, when God brought it to my consciousness with a post on my instagram that I’m running. And a follow up verse to show me how just to guard my heart, I ignore Him. Philippians 4:4-7
4 Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy.
5 Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon.
6 Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.
7 And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I found it a cruel joke to be told that the way to guarding my heart is by having God’s peace. A peace that comes from not worrying about the trials in my heart, but instead praying for a God to do what He sees fit, when I’m scared that what seems fit to Him is punishing me because I am a bad person that does not exemplify His Glory in the way I live my life.
But yesterday, two weeks after this initial run in with God, my ways failed me, like they always do. My way of guarding my heart backfired, because I truly was always unable to do it alone. Though I thought I removed her from all social media platforms, yesterday night her blog showed up on my wordpress feed, because I completely forgot she had a blog. And like clockwork, just at the mere sight of her name, my heart sank. Everything I have been protecting myself from came rushing full force. I felt pressed at the thought of her noticing that I unfollowed her blog, and feared her thinking it was out of malice and not self-preservation, then saddened by the realization that she wouldn’t even care or give it thought because whereas she was able to stop caring for me, she still means so much to me.
So when I woke up this morning, with no desire to move, or eat, or breathe, I began to cry because I realized that I have to confront my hurt, and my heart, and that I have to do so with God. Removing reminders of her is a way of preventing constant bruising at wounds that are trying to heal, but that is not what guards the heart.
Guarding the heart has to be more, it is meant to be more. It is not trying to protect myself from heart grievances by instituting walls that keep everyone out and me locked in. Guarding my heart is a daily walk of prayer with the God who I am angry at. It is covering myself with prayer, and accepting His comfort. I didn’t know how deeply betrayed by God I felt, until I tried to sit and watch a sermon and anger boiled inside of me, then despondency, then finally waterworks to my friend, that revealed through my rambling that my soul is so unstable, because it recognizes it’s emptiness, and fears that God doesn’t recognize it too. That God doesn’t care about my pain or hurt because He thinks I deserve it. That God has His other children’s backs and I have to get the cinderella step-daughter treatment because I am just inherently vile. I believe that He would have her build me up and help me learn to love myself only to have her reach a point of being unable to love me to reflect the reality that I am unloveable.
Guard my heart because from it flow the issues of my life. “Guarding my heart” against a relationship is not what this verse intends. Who we are does not flow from relationships but rather relationships reveal who we are. Guarding the heart means guarding the thoughts that we store up inside of ourselves that then color the lens through which we live.
Hence why it is only appropriate that Paul follows up his discussion about Gods’ peace with Philippians 4:8-9
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
The thoughts we think are important. Not seeing her name is not how I guard my heart. Dealing with the fact that I feel unloveable and unworthy of connection when I see her name, is guarding my heart, because then and only then will I stop equating my worth with the value I felt I had in our relationship. Then and only then will I be able to see her name without feeling that I will inevitably be rejected because that’s all I deserve. Once those thoughts have been replaced with new ones, I will not only truly heal from this past relationship, but will be better equipped and ready to handle not only new relationships, but different avenues that I may need to get to, that my stunted self-esteem has kept me from.
God must see something in me that makes Him pursue me, and it has to be more than wanting to punish me. Only by working with Him, and not against Him will I be able to purify my heart and gain His peace to help me grow.