Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What We Miss By Hiding

I often get discouraged at how impossible it is to please everyone. Of course I want people to think well of me, I mean, who wants enemies? But the older I get, the more I wonder if it's just not possible in an earthly world. We humans take our impressions, our past experiences, our wounds, our insecurities and use them to make assumptions about others which may or may not be true. Sometimes our notions hurt others, but more often we hurt ourselves as we assume too much (usually in a negative light concerning us) about the behavior of others.

And we hide, hoping our weaknesses aren't exposed.

And yet every woman I know has insecurities, even the ones who seem "together." All have issues in their past that cloud their thinking. All possess sensitivities and deficiencies and addictions they fight to overcome. Why do we assume otherwise? Why do we keep our tender spirits guarded thinking no one has the same trouble we do? How has Satan blinded us into believing we are inferior to each other?

And why do we keep it all inside? Why aren't we out there talking about our struggles, dispelling the idea that we must maintain a certain persona to be respectable and accepted? Why don't we let the pressure out and work on our problems together? Why do we hide ourselves, think the best of others, the worst of ourselves and live lonely lives when there are people out there dealing with the same things we are? What are we afraid of?

Would sharing ourselves in a vulnerable way--opening up our struggles, our weaknesses, our ugly thoughts--help us relate to each other better? Would knowing where others have come from and what demons they fight make us softer towards each other? Would hearing of their pain make us want to fight for them instead of retreat from them? Would sharing our humanness make us better grace givers?

The truth is we stink. All of us. At some point in our lives, we've all been an unpleasant aroma to our Lord. What makes us think we're alone in that?

I say it's time to break Satan's chains and be honest, open, authentic. I say it's time to risk damaging our pride for the pursuit of real, uplifting relationships. Isn't it time we worked together? Isn't this why He gave us each other?

It's time to quit hiding, to quit feeling isolated, to stop yearning for more meaningful friendships. They are attained at a cost--our vulnerability. It may seem too much to pay, but every time God's given me the courage to admit to my own failures, others breathe a sigh of relief and together we say, "How can we work on this?"

Stop hiding, my friend. Open up. Be honest. Push aside your wrong assumptions. Find common ground and support.

Know what you've been missing.