Open elegantly. Open fiercely. Open delicately. Open with surprise. Open with everything at stake. This, of course, is a bit like being told to walk a tightrope. Go ahead, then, walk the tightrope! Relax yourself into the tension of the wire. The first line, like the first step, is only the first of many, yet it sets the shape of what is to come.
(9, Letters to a Young Writer, by Colum McCann)
Oh friends. Every day this week I felt stung in a number of ways, separate moments seeming to reach out with their individual seconds of time and just jab and poke and say, "hey, you a person? Let's see if you're real. Do you hurt?"
This week was all about relationships. And learning how hard they are.
I am a person who lives for relationships, thrives on them, yearns for them. I exist for other people. But a lesson I had to learn again this week was that other people do not exist only for me.
I had to relearn the name of Jesus, friends, and I say that in humility and love, and respect. The hardest thing for me to do is to try and please everybody. And yet, that's what I've always been driven to: making others happy. I hesitate to speak about my faith because I am so aware that it is not the faith of so many of my friends, of my readers, of the world! How do I grapple with that? How do I believe in something and not speak of it? How do I love, without speaking of the way I know and believe it?
I cannot do it anymore, trying to please people. It just isn't working. So I say now that Jesus, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit within me, is working a different battle through me. It started this past week and I hope it doesn't fail to continue. Because in my twenty-eight years of wanting to be defined by other people, I've come to a place where I just don't want to do it anymore. It's just me and God now, and I'm slowly crumpling down to the place where I realize, and know deep within me. . . that that is how it is supposed to be.
I utterly hate being alone. But alone is a fact. Joy will come in doing what I feel created to do: write, love others, serve others, bring people together by finding similarities, finding ways to connect.
What is it that you feel called to? Is there anything? Something? Even the smallest thing?
This blog post is more personal than others. So be it! (I'm getting ready to go to work and I needed to send this out in my pre-work burst of energy!)
If I can offer anything to you from the voice of someone else, take this, from Colum McCann's craft book entitled Letters to a Young Writer:
This is what writers do: we write toward our obsessions. You will not be able to let it go until you find words to confront it. It is the only way that you will free yourself. / The trick is that you have to be open to the world. You have to be listening. (19)
Writing it down may help. Writing it down helps me. Write the obsessions, the hurts, the joys, the questions. Write.
Be blessed, find joy, love deeply.