Vulnerability feels naked.
On December 5 I posted a blog called December 4. It was about a lot of vulnerable, exposing thoughts and feelings that have existed in me this fall. It was freeing to write. I shared not knowing how many people would read or how it would be received (you can read it here). Going to church the next morning was strange as I saw friends and families who I knew had read it. I felt naked, for lack of a less sensational word, and exposed as I knew that they had seen into the depths of me. Vulnerability does weird stuff to you where it can make you feel like you should be ashamed or that the feeling of being authentically known is a bad thing. In reality this is a really good really human thing. It’s something I’m working on.
I haven’t written anything that I wanted to share since December 5. This is for two reasons.
Firstly, I felt a weird tension that maybe you’re only as good as the last thing you created or wrote. I’m not saying I wrote a masterpiece. Its just that it generated a lot of discussion between close friends and resulted in a relatively high number of readers. The best moment was a few messages I received from people I didn’t know who engaged with the story. One person expressed that it cut to the core of how she had felt about a similar situation and was really healing to read. In the world of someone that only casually blogs that felt like the equivalent of hitting a walk-off grand-slam. Drop the mic and go out on top.
The second reason I haven’t shared is that December is crazy! Do you realize that not everyone you know has to host a Christmas party? We aren’t socially obligated to serve egg nog to our friends. I vote that next year we all chip in and rent the coolest building we can and have one huge Christmas party. How great would a 500 person white-elephant gift exchange be? Despite the excess, I love Christmas parties. Celebrating togetherness is a big part of the journey of advent and builds this season of preparation. Love it.
Here we are on December 26. I’ve had a little time today to reflect on yesterday. This was the first day-after Christmas in a long time that I’ve woken up feeling really joyful about the day prior. My siblings and I hadn’t all been together in a couple years and last night we gathered in my mom’s house and ate good food, laughed until our stomachs hurt, and teased each other. It was close to what I used to dream Christmas could be. There’s a quality to becoming adults that makes it easier to hang out. We’ve grown through some rough patches in ourselves and are more accepting of each other’s rough patches. We’ve gotten better at practicing love and reconciliation with each other.
So what’s next? I’m going to spend the next week in San Diego resting and hopefully doing a lot of writing. I hope that 2016 is a year where I lean more into my vocation and do as much teaching, writing, and coaching as possible. I’m really excited for it. I’ve got stories coming out of my ears that I’m looking forward to sharing with you. Stay tuned this week for a new way that you can subscribe and share my blog as I re-focus it to center on doubt, justice, faith, and telling stories of reconciliation.
For now, if you want to read a few things that are good here’s two recent articles I wrote and my new favorite magazine.
On rethinking our definition of neighbor
My current favorite thing I'm reading