In which I learn about ‘space’ :)

5 Oct

Something happened about a week ago (just after my last blog post) that I am sitting here analyzing my reactions to. I want to know why it made me feel how it made me feel I suppose, so I can feel justified. All selfish endeavor? Absolutely 😉 But I like that it makes me know me better – usually when that happens, it’s because I’m recognizing God more clearly.

I shared my blog last week. I had never done that before. Well, no – I have. When I comment, when I link, when I make blogging friends… But never as Writeroo in her physical-world existence! I used to write a blog that I was later convicted to share. My logic was simply that if I was testifying, I ought not to be ashamed of showing it. I still agree on that one. But there came a time – perhaps a phase although I do doubt that – in my life when I wanted to keep some part of me separate. I would and do show evidence of Christ in my life elsewhere on the web and in face-to-face interactions, but some things I was writing about were not necessarily what others wanted to hear. If it were, they would find it. God would open it, and it would convict or strengthen or interest or amuse.

That was my theory. And I am profoundly grateful for my 3 subscribers, and the other commenters and the visitors. They are a much smaller number, but it was also a wise decision not to burden people with the knowledge of who I am more than they are ready for.

My mother first broke the rule. She would. *cue dramatic sigh* I disagree with her position, but I think – and this is conjecture, although informed conjecture (!) – that she did not find it too hard when her father stumbled on her diary (er, and corrected the grammar, I’m told!) and simply put it back where he found it. In it were all a teenager’s rants on the institutions that held her back, which naturally included family! But my mother found my blog because she used a computer I hadn’t signed out of…

But I have a wonderful mother. I really do.

But then I made an exception. I’ve known before that making exceptions kinda kills my self-containing rules! But I did this not in a breaking-the-rule fashion but with much prayer and waiting. I did it because I wanted to, and I thought it was a sensible, useful exercise in fact, for a friend to read my blog. I also felt it was what God wanted me to do, and that was when he wanted me to do it…

It was also a big step for me. To do that, and make myself vulnerable. And it was one that I had placed before God for a while. I had waited on it for some months before I decided to share. Oh – well, there was of course the possibly narcissistic intention of someone else getting to know me more! Eek. So, suffice it to say, it was a shock when my friend decided not to read it.

I suppose in my thinking only of myself I had forgotten to take into account the discomfort of being in someone else’s space, and the burden that openness can be.

Of course, I was hurt. But it isn’t until today that I’m taking the time to write (and therefore, think) about why. I suppose it spelled a rejection to a part of me that I was sharing. Which might have contributed to the shock value… And I felt sad that my friend wasn’t prepared to take that on, too big a step on the other side! My openness was hurt, and I was left feeling a lot more vulnerable than I’d set out for… haha, which makes me think it was more of God, growing me. But I’m sure there was also hurt pride in it, somewhere. Another sure sign of God’s wisdom dealing with my messy self 😉 But I also realized I’d forgotten something.

It reminded me, actually, of why I chose not to share my blog with everyone in the first place. Yes – admittedly, part of it was a defense strategy… But also I knew first-hand the burden of taking on someone else’s inside world. It is a big ask. Seriously!

And that leads to a wider question – accountability and openness in relationships. If you’re accountable to someone, they’re doing a lot more than listening and nodding their heads. It isn’t simply allowing someone else to be vulnerable to you, and being there for them. It is that, of course. But it’s more than that. It is also them allowing you to set upon them a big portion of responsibility, and asking them to break out of their comfort zone and enter your space. If you’re the one listening – then you’re in that position. You’re responsible – quite Biblically, yes, but still definitely responsible to some extent.

So today, I am so grateful for my friends and family. For either being in that space or giving me that space, for opening up to me, for allowing me to talk, to disentangle the hurt or the confusion, to put my fingers into their messy pain and draw out the lessons, and for not being afraid to get their hands dirty on my pain either. For love.

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