Saturday, May 21, 2011

To know or not to know, that is the question

I remember a time when I was kindergarten age. I used to stay with a woman named Dawn in the mornings while my mom worked, after which I would go to P.M. kindergarten. I remember one day I was helping her clean some things, and she was about to ask me to do something. But before she did, I said exactly what she was going to say. "It's like you read my mind!" she had said. Those words struck me, and for such a small moment in my childhood, they have actually come to shape a lot of who I am. Strange. But from those first words, I was addicted to the idea of anticipating what people were thinking. I fancied myself very intuitive, drawing a lot out of a grown-up's patronizing comment to a youngster. It's funny, but I still have the same desire to know what people are thinking. I search out people's motives, and observe their behavior. The thing is, I really thirst to know, and am most comfortable when I do.

This business of knowing has gotten me in some trouble though. Because after all, I am rather human. And it's awfully presumptuous to imagine that you "know" a person, or know their thoughts and motives before you actually do. People get annoyed when you don't let them tell their story themselves. It's a gift, really, listening. One that I have not developed in my zeal to "know" people. And it's not just people I like to know. I like to know things too. I actually draw a lot of my identity from intelligence - or perceived intelligence I should say. I am most comfortable when I am most quick-witted, when I know the ins and outs of a situation, and I can read my fellow conversationalists. It's foreign and uncomfortable for me to feel behind, or slow, or uknowing, mostly just because I try so hard not to be.

But lately, well lately to my joy I'm realizing (finally) that I really don't know a lot. In fact, I hardly know anything. And I really like it that way. I often expound on my ideas and theories, weaving deep and esoteric tapestries. But there is something to be said about truth. Truth doesn't change, and it doesn't take that deep and esoteric mumbo jumbo to be understood. Wisdom is perhaps not made of rabbit holes, but bricks. I am looking at the people around me and coming to the conclusion that maybe I ought to embrace the fact that I have so much to learn. Maybe I ought to put my mouth a little out of practice, and give my ears some exercise. I want to learn from people. And I want to embrace that I don't know anything. I am as human as the next person, and we all walk around with skin on. I want to lower this veil of intelligence to some degree and just be. I have as much to learn from a kid off the street as I do from the most learned scholar. And I want to spend quite a bit more time not "knowing" the Bible, but approaching it with the same learning and listening attitude.

Because, as seems to be a common theme lately, I am no different from the next person. In the best way possible.

Thanks, guys.

"Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him." (Proverbs 26:12)

"Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know." (1 Corinthians 8:1b-2)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Today's Song

SMS (Shine) by David Crowder:

Send me a sign
A hint, a whisper
Throw me a line
'Cause I am listening

Come break the quiet
Breathe your awakening
Bring me to life
'Cause I am fading

(Surround me) with the rush of angels' wings

Shine Your light so I can see You
Pull me up, I need to be near You
Hold me, I need to feel love
Can You overcome this heart? Let's overcome

You sent a sign
A hint, a whisper
Human divine
Heaven is listening

Death laid love quiet
Yet in the night a stirring

(Surround all) the rush of angels

-Chorus-

Oh, the wonder of the greatest love has come

Shine Your light so all can see it
Lift it up, 'cause the whole world needs it
Love has come, what joy to hear it
He has overcome
He has overcome

------
This song is perfect today. :)
Live link to a youtube video in the sidebar. (Sorry, for whatever reason I can't post live links in my posts)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Authentic

It might be funny to tell you that for as many blogs as I write, I draft at least as many others that never get published. All those drafts are still available in my google dashboard, and I was sifting through them as I was doing some editing last night. They are ghosts in cyberspace somewhat, abandoned either because I as a person was not ready to post them, because I got distracted or busy, or because I got frustrated that I couldn't portray what I wanted to say to my satisfaction. Sometimes I want to sleep on what I've written to see if it still sounds post-able the next day, but never get back to it. Other times the issue is covered by slightly more controversial waters than I would like to traverse. Whatever the reason, I just found it interesting to realize just how much I write that I never end up getting to later.

But anyway...yeah. I was walking down to 4th Avenue a few mornings ago and I passed a neighbor's garden with this magnificent sunflower in it. I love flowers :)



This morning I was thinking (ok fine I'm always thinking). I am a fairly reserved person. With new people, I generally show neither my terribly deep side, nor my silly wacky side. My Meyer's Briggs if off the charts for intuition, and I see it in my life in that I find it hard to relax and "let life happen" because I am constantly aware of life happening. It's like a radar. Whether or not I try to, I am always honing in on people's body language, their tone of voice, the way they interact with others, and sometimes it just gets in the way of actually getting to know people! I find myself pseudo-paralyzed sometimes in the process of actually developing intimacy with others and being authentic myself because letting things 'just be' is an acquired taste for me: a learned skill. Only the people I really trust see the Christy that gets disgruntled, or laughs about dumb things, or is sarcastic, or deep, because that's Christy when she's 'just being'.

But what I was thinking about this morning was that when I think about being genuine, I think of it in taxing terms. Oh I have to go out there and be authentic again, I'll mumble to myself. I say that half jokingly, but that statement does kind of reflect my attitude. I am a guarded person, so when I think of letting my guard down to be a goofball or to genuinely take interest in other people, I think of something that takes energy, not gives it. But realizing that I thought that way struck me. Because that's not how it really is at all! The truth is, when I am genuinely able to laugh and be silly, to be myself, to be witty, or free, or even be genuinely grumpy, I feel so much better about everything! It's a life giving thing, not a life taxing thing!

So I shouldn't bemoan the gift it is to be myself with new (and not so new) people. It's still a challenge some days, and I'm not trying to be an extrovert suddenly. But there is a subtle change in the palate regarding how I am approaching this mentally. And I'm hoping that will begin to eek out in a greater freedom to be whoever it is I am with whoever my present company happens to be. We will see!


Happy Mother's Day, moms! :)