Residue

I remember the first time I heard someone compare giving your heart away to a post-it note. It seemed odd at the time but makes sense now. If I recall correctly, it was a member of my favorite Christian boy band circa 2001. One of the guys said something about our hearts are sticky like a post-it note. Every time we give it away, it gets stuck to someone else’s, we usually end up having to rip it apart, and eventually all of the sticky wears off.

The more I think about it, the truer it becomes.

Relationships leave residue in unexpected places. It’s like running your fingers across a seemingly smooth surface and finding some unseen sticky substance. It catches you off guard. First instinct is to pull your hand away quickly. After it’s determined this substance isn’t a threat, there is usually some sort of scratching or peeling. If you’re like me, I get determined to get it all off and leave a smooth surface.

And that’s how it is in my heart. Even though I say goodbye and the pieces start to mend, occasionally I’ll find myself running across residue. It’s the leftover remnants from hopes, dreams, wishes, plans, and a heart fully invested.

I’ve primarily operated out of instinct. Pull away. Assess if it’s a threat. Move around it. Don’t engage. But lately I’ve found myself annoyed that it’s there. That it gets to be part of my surface. I want it gone, so I furiously scratch and pick at this residue. I grow increasingly frustrated at it’s presence in my life.

Unfortunately I’ve learned that I can’t scratch it away. I have to let it be. Life has to come in and dull it’s stickiness. It has to buff away the potency of the residue and then build layer upon layer of new surface. In the mean time, I’ll constantly bump up against it, causing me annoyance and discomfort. The fade of sticky is so slow that I’ll hardly notice it is losing impact in my life.

Until one day, the only thing I’ll see is the outline of whatever shape it’s in. I won’t feel it any more. It won’t catch my fingers when I run them over the surface. It’ll be there, but just barely. It will tell a story and represent a time but it will no longer be a source of frustration or annoyance. Simply one more mark on the surface of my life that’s telling the story of who I am.

It would be so much simpler if there was Goo Gone for the heart.

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