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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Being Human

I never used to worry about "saying the wrong thing".

But that's well before I said the wrong thing.
With disastrous consequences.

And now I worry.

I worry about saying too much and saying too little. Saying something or saying nothing at all.

I used to believe that it was the heart that counted. That because I meant well, and I wanted to be honest, and be a good friend, and seek authenticity; that the desire of my heart would cover the blunders of my mouth.

But that's before I knew firsthand what it's like for someone to take my heart, chop it up, and throw it at me in the shape of daggers.

I used to think that I said too little. That I was so afraid of rejection that I would smile and swallow instead of have my own out loud opinion. I began to think that it was cowardly and insecure of me to keep so much to myself.

Thing is- you have to be ready for rejection if you're ready to disagree.
You have to know the end of you and the beginning of them without getting confused.
You have to know yourself outside of how others perceive or define you.

So I've learned to speak up a little more. I've learned to stick up for myself when the situation warrants. At times I keep my opinions to myself and silently disagree. I know that no matter how much I love any one person in my life, I will never agree with everything they believe.

I want to be a good friend.
And not lose myself.
I want to live my life honestly and strive always to love my neighbour, my enemies, even my family. (we all know the challenges therein)

But I'm so aware that with the joys of relationship comes the pain. Severe pain for which there is no medication that would dull the ugly parts without robbing one of all the goodness.

We need connection.
Love.
Honesty.
Community.

It's what makes sense about the human condition.

And although I know that these things are true, I just wish it didn't hurt.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mmm, nicely said. I hadn't checked in here before I emailed. I know the uncertainty of second-guessing words spoken and unspoken and needing to decide and being frustrated that it has come down to questioning what seemed to once be natural. It should be natural, shouldn't it? For me, I wonder why has it become such an involved overthinking thing--an overawareness if there is such a thing? I like what you said about the rejection and the boundary thing, and knowing yourself. It's something that I am continuing to learn more and more about, but it doesn't make it easy or as you mentioned...without hurt.
VB

Anonymous said...

If you strive always to love you neighbour, do you strive to love the neighbours rooster also?
Melissa

joyce said...

hmmmm, that's a deep and difficult question, Melissa. WWJD?

joyce said...

VB- The "boundaries thing" works well for me. Well, no- it's working "well-er" than the self torture has so far. Really I have to know my own heart and be humble enough to consider criticism without crumbling or turning into a monstrous, angry, defensive being.
It also helps t tell myself that one day with hindsight, I'll have better insights into what's currently hurting me. For now, the lesson to learn is: feel the pain without trying to shut it down, but be KIND TO YOURSELF and to others. There's no law against these things.

Pennerfive said...

I wish it didn't hurt too.

But if it didn't hurt and didn't cost you anything, you likely wouldn't have given much away.

I know you can't do that. And so it hurts.

I'm sorry for that.

K

Roo said...

i also wish i didn't feel so deeply. altho -- i've tried shutting it all off and that didn't fare so well either. :S

janice said...

"feel the pain without trying to shut it down, but be KIND TO YOURSELF and to others." This speaks volumes to me.

I have spent a lot of my life worrying about 'saying the wrong thing' but it never really prevented me from saying the wrong thing - was just a part of my self-loathing. Now I like myself, a lot of the time,and don't worry about 'saying the wrong thing' most of the time. But, I still say the wrong thing sometimes. Oh dear.

I shall strive to be kind to myself and other. WWJD. I am not actually a Christian according to my childhood definition. But WWJD is still a great mantra because he was/is? a great person/god?

Once again, Joyce, you are a talented writer and your navel gazing reflections are profound. (I LOVE navel gazers - so that is not an insult from me.)

joyce said...

ah, lovely Janice.
Liking oneself is a much lovelier place to be than its opposite, no? And always a process, I think.

Sadly, the self-loathing was sort of packaged with the "childhood definition of becoming a Christian" in a lot of ways. I no longer think that's accurate, as it flies in the face of loving ones neighbour, one's enemies, seeking justice, loving mercy, etc. It's too bad that humans took stuff out of the Bible and turned it into a tidy formula: believe these four things; say this limerick, and RECEIVE YOUR FREE GIFT!!!
Yuck.
Thank you for the positive feedback. It seems I"m on near empty when it comes to sticking my neck out, blog wise. Stil, I have good intentions, and readers like you make it rewarding; besides affirming what is beautiful (if broken) about the human condition.

Thanks for sharing.