It's been awhile since Honesty Box.
Feeling particularly brave lately. Whenever I spend time with my sister Nora, I feel more courageous and candid and boldly straight-aimed in life. So, here's some honest thoughts.
Recently had some ongoing discussions with The Man House about "openness." On one hand, tight-lipped, locked up about sharing anything personal? Or, on the other hand, wide open disclosures about really personal hurt?
Polled some friends, considered my own beliefs. Share my thoughts best in writing, so here it is.
Of course, moderation is a worthy goal, but any sort of healing is such a tricky place to be. And I hold no judgmental bone in my body for anyone there. I trust people are learning to live exactly as they need, including their amount of personal disclosure. It takes someone brave to open up and speak, and other times, it takes someone brave to keep things in the quiet. And I think people are beautiful if they process out loud or more subdued. All ends of people's bravery balance the world.
But honestly, vulnerability does allow for more.
When I served as RS Pres last year, my counselors were wildly uncomfortable with "personal" comments in Relief Society. Saying it "distracts from The Spirit" "need to teach them." Teach people how to hold things in? If someone has gone through something so excruciating that the emotion makes YOU uncomfortable, then imagine what it must have been like for them. Relief Society is supposed to be a place of relief, and the last type of Relief Society I would ever seek to build is one where my girls needed to shush the very things they needed relief from, simply because other people can't understand. One cannot move out of darkness without sharing and feeling support. And often if people have no support, a seemingly out-of-place public comment shows a really deep place of confusion. Of course we can learn to share with tact and relevancy and emotional-control, and past sin doesn't need to be disclosed, but if a comment is shared that bridges onto "personal," then accept it as is. Not our place to judge. Besides, I hear it all anyway - "People aren't vulnerable enough - We need to be more open with each other." "People share too much - Can't they keep it together." May we all learn to share exactly as every single human in the world would want us to.
The Man House and even friends - "but there are places and people for such personal things." Right. Church. where the most compassionate hearts are supposed to be. Some places are more capable to help, so take it upon yourself to be their personal friend and help them there. But did Christ turn away an aching person saying, "Excuse me, your comments are too rambling, and I can't relate to what you're saying, and I feel uncomfortable with how personal it is, so you should go find a therapist or online forum." Heavens no. I'm sure He understood that people aren't perfect in their disclosure, but pain is pain. So they can get it out if that's what they need. Not my place to stipulate the when and the how of what people say.
"It's dramatic." Because life is dramatic. Hello, we need that because we need The Bachelorette to continue forever! But really, whether we can understand one's hurt or not, it is so real to that person. Should we just pretend that rape, porn, homosexuality, divorce, and death isn't real? We've all taken a turn being just as confused as the next about where to go and who to share with. Let people learn the balance for themselves.
"But I'd rather wait and share the most personal parts of myself with only my closest people. Sharing your most personal parts with everyone is like sharing kisses with everyone. Means nothing." I can relate. Lately I haven't been open about sharing personal parts of myself either, but other times I have been. I think we come to sense when it is beneficial to share the most sacred bits of us, and to which ears. But if someone else hasn't, then that's fine. I'll trust that they are learning how to reconcile heartache exactly as they need. I'm not bothered by people's journeys; I think they're fascinating.
Laissez-faire. People don't need our judgments and our rules on living. They just need our love. The real matter of being "personal" lies with our friendship.
Funny, Meg had a similar honest box today too.
Upward and onward,