Skip to main content

A Little More Honesty

I have not neglected my promise to continue thinking about honesty. In fact, it feels like it's all I think about these days. It fills up the cracks and rare quiet moments, pops up as I walk to work and home again, comes up in almost every conversation, and even rears its head in dreams.

I have followed my thoughts on honesty down rabbit trails and into rabbit holes of alternate universes and possible conversations and through the threads of movies, novels, poems and song.

I've covered so much ground that I forgot where I started or what context this question exploded out of. So I went back and reminded myself, and am ready to write down a small portion of the ever-expanding cloud diagram that exists only in my mind.

I wish there were a way to show you how convoluted all these thoughts have been, and just how difficult it has been to pin them down. For the sake of coherency and readability, this entry will stick to the thoughts directly related to honesty and the internet.

Pre-thought: The actual issue at stake is better described by the word “vulnerability” than “honesty.” In my life, I am committed to honesty. I do not make a habit of lying (although I can't pretend it doesn't happen). But vulnerability is a subset of honesty that I struggle with far more.

Thought A:
Your personality is your personality, and that will (eventually) play itself out on the internet as it does in “real life.” Or as I prefer to say, “in person.”

My personality is this: I am outgoing but shy. I take my time to fully trust. I am keenly sensitive to others' opinions. I am much more likely to be vulnerable when asked specific questions than given a wide blank slate and told to fill it up.

Thought B:
There is a vast difference between vulnerability under obligation and vulnerability out of compulsion and then vulnerability out of deep thought.

I remember sitting in a small group of Christians, knowing there was an assumption of vulnerability (which is great), but it translated also into a certain amount of pressure. It felt as if I had no right to privacy, that it was wrong to hold thoughts and fears internally for a time. To speak in that setting, I would have been honest, but it would have been a reluctant, begrudging vulnerability.

There are rare moments in my life when I blurt something out without forethought. An uncontrolled confession or an unmediated thought whose implications may be bigger than I've considered. And words cannot be undone. Often, this type of vulnerability comes from a manipulative or insecure place, wanting affirmation and attention in one form or another.

And then there are the times that, in my gut of guts; my heart of hearts; that place between my liver and my left kidney where conviction lies, I know what I need to say. I know that it won't be easy, and I can't control the outcome, but this is what I need to do. This is the kind of vulnerability that I want to mark my life.

Thought C:
Life is not meant to be lived selfishly.

As someone who loves Jesus, I am deeply convinced that my life choices should not be a response to the question, “What do I want out of this?” but “What does it look like to love Jesus and my neighbour in this situation?” So questions of vulnerability need to shift from a matter of control and pride to one of service and love.

What does all this mean for my blog (and my facebook and my twitter and any future online dating endeavours and every other part of my life)?

A. I need to love who I am: present myself as myself and not as someone I might prefer to be.
B. I need to consider that no topic or truth about myself is “taboo,” but that I am under no obligation to expose my heart against my own will.
C. I need to be walking closely with Jesus, knowing his heart more even as I know my own heart more. Then I'll be able to see and love his desires for my life.




Katie V. said…
The honesty/vulnerability-when-asked. Yes, I subscribe to that often. I'll be pretty much totally honest but you gotta ask the right questions ;)

We need to hang out again soon.
Beth said…
Funny thing. That statement was directly tied to our PS conversation and your question of me :)

Yes to hanging out!

Popular posts from this blog

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…

I Like to Keep My Issues Drawn

It's Sunday night and I am multi-tasking. Paid some bills, catching up on free musical downloads from the past month, thinking about the mix-tape I need to make and planning my last assignment for writing class.

Shortly, I will abandon the laptop to write my first draft by hand. But until then, I am thinking about music.

This song played for me earlier this afternoon, as I attempted to nap. I woke up somewhere between 5 and 5:30 this morning, then lay in bed until 8 o'clock flipping sides and thinking about every part of my life that exists. It wasn't stressful, but it wasn't quite restful either...This past month, I have spent a lot of time rebuffing lies and refusing to believe that the inside of my heart and mind can never change. I feel like Florence + The Machine's song "Shake it Out" captures many of these feelings & thoughts.

(addendum: is the line "I like to keep my issues strong or drawn?" Lyrics sites have it as "strong," …

Simone Weil: On "Forms of the Implicit Love of God"

Simone Weil time again! One of the essays in Waiting for God is entitled "Forms of the Implicit Love of God." Her main argument is that before a soul has "direct contact" with God, there are three types of love that are implicitly the love of God, though they seem to have a different explicit object. That is, in loving X, you are really loving Y. (in this case, Y = God). As for the X of the equation, she lists:

Love of neighbor Love of the beauty of the world Love of religious practices and a special sidebar to Friendship
“Each has the virtue of a sacrament,” she writes. Each of these loves is something to be respected, honoured, and understood both symbolically and concretely. On each page of this essay, I found myself underlining profound, challenging, and thought-provoking words. There's so much to consider that I've gone back several times, mulling it over and wondering how my life would look if I truly believed even half of these things...

Here are a few …