stories about life and God

start with yourself.

when i’m trying to get my campers to quiet down at night, i tell them “here’s the secret: you keep your own self quiet, and you don’t say a word all night. if everyone does that, then no one would have to tell anyone else not to talk, because they’d all be quiet already!” (it’s never as easy as that, but the few that understand the concept do make a difference)
from a combination of reading my book for counseling youth and families(please pick up a copy of secrets of your family tree. it’s blowing my mind), and talking to other people about this a lot lately, i’ve decided the “start with yourself” concept works with being honest too.
this is a bit like what i said here.
(side note: i think i’ve thought all the thoughts in the world and now i’m making another go-around…this is like the fifth post in a row where i’ve referred to a past post)
if you want other people to be vulnerable and share things, try doing it yourself first.
i’m bad at this.
i’m a world-class, olympic-level liar. but i don’t use that gift as often as people think. i only lie to people who don’t care enough to wonder how i really feel.
but then i started reading Secrets of your Family Tree, and found that this is something i’ve inherited.
my whole family has this convenient little talent. none of them believe in telling people how you feel. someone asks how you are, you say good. you’re sick and someone asks if you’re better, you say yes. everything has to either be good, or enough on its way to good that no one will feel sorry for you.
i don’t like this.
i’m sure i’ll be writing a lot more later about that book, and as i’ve already been doing, that whole class in general. if you want to get me talking for an hour, ask me about it in person.
anyways, i never tried very hard to be the way my family wished i was. i’ve always known who i am and who i’m not, even as a really little kid, and i know that i’m not one of those people who can tuck every emotion away and not worry about it. i may not always let the whole world see them, but i do something with them. i have a journal, i have friends, i have two blogs…i let things out.
a very good friend told me the other day that we need more honest people. if more people were honest like me, life would be much better.
i agree. not that i’m saying everyone should look up to me or anything, but that honesty breeds honesty. it’s easier to open up to open people.
and it helps to remember that everyone else is messed up too; even if they seem like they aren’t. the ones who seem the most perfect, i’ve found to be the ones with the most problems. but i don’t love them any less. really, the more i know you, the more i love you. (i said that before too dangit. i need new thoughts!)
what you are is enough for me. but if i don’t know what you are, it’s hard to be your friend.

“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – C.S. Lewis

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