it’s a blessing and a curse.

 I’ve been cursed with a humongous heart. It sounds like a good problem to have; I suppose it is most times. Sometimes, though, it leaves me in a situation where my over-sized heart is left a little bruised.
I was told earlier this year that I have a calling to draw people in. I am outgoing, kind, funny and personable; people are attracted to that. I was also told that it isn’t necessarily my calling to keep them there so don’t be surprised if I have a lot of people/friendships come and go. I was told don’t be upset about it. It’s not about me. It’s just part of who I’ve been designed to be.

Basically, I’m seasonal. “Ouch” was my first response. I looked back over my life and realized she was right though. I can’t tell you how many people that I’d been “tight” with over the years. People whom I talked to regularly, hung out with, poured into that I no longer speak with. We didn’t have a falling out, there was no anger, we just grew apart. I wasn’t hurt by this realization. I understood. I’m an open book so it’s easy for people to feel comfortable leaning on me, trusting me. And I’m happy to be that. I genuinely care about people and their well being. I tend to see the potential in them; I’m content being that person who’ll encourage your success. If life takes us separate ways, I continue to wish them well from distance, rejoice in their accomplishments, pray for them in their down falls and am always a phone call away if they need a shoulder.

But every so often, I come across someone who is a little different, whose fires seems to burn more intensely, who touches my heart in an unexpected way; I can’t fathom them being temporary. And when that happens, when I decide I care about someone on that level, I will hold on fiercely. I will invest my time, my thoughts, my prayers and my energy into them. I’ll prepare to let them into the secret corners of my soul and live there, thrive there. I will sacrifice my feelings for theirs and do it with a smile. Sometimes it results in a friendship made to withstand the test of time. Sometimes, it leaves me standing alone.

Problem is, I seem to lack discernment as to who actually deserves that level of my investment. I can’t always tell if they are meant to be there for a lifetime or just another seasonal fixture meant to drift back out as swiftly as the wind brought them in. While I’m still trying to figure out ways to fight for them, their need for me has expired. Other times it’s put me in situations where I’m constantly giving and the other party taking and even mistreating or under-appreciating me. And it takes quite some time for me to realize that they’ve over extended their welcome in my heart.

It’s not always their fault. They don’t do it on purpose. They don’t necessarily have any ill intentions. They can’t help my intense nature. Often we’re still “friends”. But when their need for my closeness has ran its course, I’m left missing theirs. And in the event they need me again, there I am, waiting. Because I’ve been cursed with a humongous heart. When I’ve decided your fire burns brighter it’s not an easy thing to let go, no matter how short or long that person has been a part of my life.

It’s something I’ve faced in friendships and relationships alike. I’ve been told to not let people in so easily. I’ve been told to build up my walls and strengthen the fortress around my feelings. But I don’t know how and I’m not sure I want to.

I’ve always been afraid that if I do, I’ll miss out on a forever person. I’ll miss out on a real relationship meant to endure simply because I was too skeptical to open up. I don’t want to miss that.

So here I am. Blessed with the ability to care immensely and cursed with the pain of losing the drifters.

-Kristen

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