Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Mess & The Iceberg

Yesterday I wrote about the 7-11 owner Jeannette & I talked with who was robbed at gunpoint.  The idea of lingering pain is still on my mind (yes, it's lingering), so this will be my cud for awhile.

Do you tell people what you're feeling or what you're going through?  
Do you open about things you've gone through, whether they are part of your past or present?  

As far as our feelings and hurts and ideas and fears and doubts and dreams go, we treat the idea of sharing any of them, of opening up, a lot like company coming over.  

During the day to day, when it's just us, the house has the "lived in look." Clothes on the floor.  Open box of Triscuits on the counter.  Kids toys everywhere.  Papers for work or school all over the table.  Lawn needing mowed.  Probably left the toilet seat down.  

Company calls, saying they'll be over in 10 minutes, and we move faster than Dash from the Incredibles. Usually tornadoes leave destruction in their wake.  Not the "I'm just going to straighten up a little" tornado that begins moving through the house before the phone even lands in the cradle.  

You can act like your house is always like that, but your company will know you're full of it when they see the vacuum cleaner lines on the carpet.  Regardless, we don't want them to see the mess because it would be embarrassing, or they would think less of us, or they would judge us, or they wouldn't ever want to come over again.  

It's the same with our lives.  If I have to share then I better clean it up.

In the novel I'm currently reading, the main character made this comment about opening up to others:

"We don't share our thoughts - we share carefully sanitized, water-downed versions of them. Hollywood adaptations of those thoughts dumbed down for the PG-13 crowd."

So true.  Unfortunate, but it is what happens. We clean up, we sanitize, we present an adaptation.

Here's how I would put it into a picture:

We've truly begun moving beyond our "robbed by gunpoint" moments when what's in the water shrinks and what's above gains altitude.   The only way we can change these proportions is to be real and honest with God and with people.

This doesn't mean you have to dump everything out to everyone.  That wouldn't be smart because there are stuffy, anal people out there, people who don't have a drop of grace in their blood and would do all harm and no good if you shared with them. But not everyone is like that.

Be honest with God.  He's the only one who brings true healing.  And He's the one you don't have to clean things up for.  He already knows what you're thinking, so tell him.  Even if cuss words are involved, tell Him.  He'll do the cleaning part, you do the honesty part.

Be honest with someone.  Someone who won't try to fix you, but will indeed speak the truth in love to you.  Someone humble enough to know they aren't God, hence not needing to play that role.  Someone who is able to listen and able to come alongside.  Someone that you don't have to clean up for.  

Be real.  Be authentic.  Allow God to deal with your mess and raise the iceberg out of the water.

Who can you open up to?

If weakness is a wound that no one wants to speak of

The "cool" is just how far we have to fall
And I'm not immune, I only want to be loved
But I feel safe behind the firewall

Can I lose my need to impress?
If you want the truth I need to confess

I'm not alright, I'm broken inside, broken inside
And all I go through, it leads me to You, it leads me to you

               - "I'm Not Alright" by Sanctus Real

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