This subject is hard. Who wants to admit to being needy? To being broken? No one, that’s who. Yet, we are. Each and every one of us.
Sweet E, my lovely little man, how I love you and your brokenness, your neediness. Don’t be afraid. Don’t fear what is uncomfortable to face.
When I was a wee one, I recognized my neediness, yet had no words for what it is was I felt. I needed to be heard. I needed to be wanted. I needed to be safe. I needed one more Twinkie or frozen Ding Dong (I swear to you, right here and now, if you haven’t had one of these yet, I will remedy that.)
When I was a wee one, I was broken in my need. In all of my needy need. And so are you. Don’t push it away because it’s hard to talk about or face.
The truth of all of this is that you are also loved. Thank you sweet Jesus, you are loved, even before you were formed in your mother’s womb. And that’s what saves us from our need and brokenness: a love bigger than we can imagine.
You parents love you bigger than any words they could express. G-Daddy and I feel the same. So many love you; so many will be the salve to heal your need, for your brokenness, whenever the need arises.
When you know that you aren’t perfect, nor can ever attain perfection, is when you can relax into the life you build for yourself. Success is built on failure, never forget that. You will attempt many things. Some things will come naturally and you’ll find success without hardly trying, but other things, some more important than you’ll realize at the time you are attempting, will seem foreign and difficult and you will fail. You will be broken. You will be needy in your failure.
Covet those moments, those experiences. Those will be the building blocks to your wisdom, to your strength in this world. To fail is to live. To fail is to grow. To fail is to allow your needy brokenness a place that isn’t scary, but expected.
There are moments you will want to pull away from those you love because you may feel your neediness, your brokenness, is too acute and you wish to spare others your pain. I’m begging you to resist that urge. As one who has had the honor of being present for others in their brokenness, I will tell you that it is an immeasurable gift that becomes a blessing for the one able to stand with you in your life’s grief. How often are you able to serve in heartache?
I know I have said this before, but you are not that special (stay with me my sweetest E) when it comes to emotions felt or hidden; we are all the same in that regard. We all feel them, it’s just some aren’t willing to reveal the hardest parts about themselves because they feel alone, that they are the only ones feeling such things. Not so. We are all broken and needy. We may not like it. We may erroneously think it’s weakness. We may think we are too good, too brave, or too strong to admit our needs.
So, so wrong.
You can deny all you want, but one day the neediness of your soul, the brokenness, will speak up; it will not be silenced.
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Sweet E, I think you have read enough of my essays to you to know everything you feel is important. If it still makes you uncomfortable, I hope you gain solace in knowing you’re not alone. Look to your left. Look to your right. Look ahead. Look behind. Every soul you see knows their own neediness and brokenness. No one escapes. Not one person.
I love you. Your parents love you. G-Daddy, he loves you. We see your brokenness and your neediness and we still want to spend every minute of every day with you.
This aspect of being human does not diminish us, it’s simply a part of the complicated, glorious, fabric of what makes us, us. It’s the stuff that binds us together, baby.
My caveat is this: Never, ever, never, use your brokenness, your neediness, as a crutch. You are stronger than anything that is weak within you. You have the power to use these feelings to fuel a better, a more loving, a more understanding and compassionate self. To use a weakness as an excuse for poor behavior is inexcusable.
Life is messy. When our neediness and our brokenness overcomes us, and they will, count on it, we may question everything we hold dear. If you can remember that it’s temporary and that you are loved, no matter what, then that love, that acceptance of all of you, will carry you through the messiness.
Sweet sweet E, you are wonderfully made. Being needy, being broken, is part of the package of who you are, along with your good looks, your charming smile and that lovely laugh of yours that I like to believe came from your father, through your grandfather.
Yes, the subject is hard, but loving you, in toto, is not.