“You’re a falling star, you’re the getaway car.
You’re the line in the sand when I go too far.
You’re the swimming pool on an August day.
And you’re the perfect thing to say.” -Michael Buble, Everything
This is one of my favorite songs. It’s full of all these metaphors about how this girl is everything to him. I imagine that different people would like different metaphors best. Like to some people, for someone to tell you you’re like a swimming pool on an August day would be one of the best compliments you could get. The best compliment for me, the one that pulls at my heartstrings every time I hear it? “You’re the perfect thing to say.”
It’s my idol, the Perfect Thing To Say. It’s why I take the time to craft my words carefully, at least words involving relationships and faith and the things I value. It’s why there are pauses interspersed throughout most of the sentences I speak. It’s why I walk away from many social interactions cringing a little inside, because I typically don’t achieve it, Perfect. It’s one of the reasons many of my letters and blog posts end up obnoxiously long, because in order for me to make any point at all, I have to find a way to explain myself for every aspect of my argument, include every caveat I can think of, and try not to offend anyone, which I don’t do perfectly, and I might lose my audience in the process. It was hard for me to write the previous paragraph without inserting the caveat that I don’t believe one person should be everything to us. (I guess I couldn’t leave without saying it after all.) 🙂
I’m getting better at this, letting go of the Perfect Thing to Say. Because I realized that it was paralyzing me from saying anything at all. I’m well aware that I share some intense personal information and theological thoughts on this post, things some people are probably taken aback by. Some days I cringe a little to think about what people might think. But I believe God gave me a clear direction to start this blog, and that he’s led me to write each post, as well, whether or not I’ve said things perfectly or been wrong about something I’ve said. There are several drafts that remain unposted, most because they were written of my own accord rather than prompted by the Spirit, or because they did require discernment and were in fact too much to say to the general population without knowing who my audience was.
“INFJs, like many other FJ types, find themselves caught between the desire to express their wealth of feelings and moral conclusions… and the awareness of the consequences of unbridled candor.” -http://www.typelogic.com/infj.html
I’ve had a problem in the past with regulating my self-disclosure, vacillating between saying too much or nothing at all. I’m getting better at it, and I see that in this blog. Because as much as the kind of things I’ve written about have the potential to make me self-conscious and maybe make others a little uncomfortable, I don’t regret a single thing I’ve written. I know there’s a case for exercising restraint when it comes to self-disclosure, particularly on the internet, but in this case I’ve got no problem airing my dirty laundry, because it’s for a purpose, one of the most important purposes of my life: showing people an authentic example of what it can look like to walk with God, in my strengths and in my weaknesses, and how the Word of God really is living and active, how he can be so much more real and powerful in your life than what you may have heard about in Sunday school. Perhaps only something I care about that deeply could be powerful enough to get me to overcome my fears.
“What you say might be too much for some people. Maybe it will come out all wrong and you’ll stutter and you’ll walk away embarrassed, wincing as you play it all back in your head. But I think the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest… I don’t think you should wait. I think you should speak now.” –Taylor Swift
Besides, it’s my very favorite thing to do: write about life and faith and relationships and hopefully speak LIFE to others. It’s what makes me come alive. I hope deeply that something I’ve written has spoken life to you in some small way.
So here I am, baring it all on the internet, even though it comes out far from Perfect. And maybe Perfect’s just an illusion anyway. So I’ll just be honest.
“The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.”-Mr. Rogers
It’s actually been really good for me to get this practice, of sharing my heart and starting to feel insecure about what other people might think of my innermost thoughts, but then having to choose to let it go, because I can’t stop writing. I don’t want to. So it’s stretching my muscles, and I’m growing stronger to withstand criticism, even just the perceived or potential for criticism, the stuff I often imagine other people are thinking, the tendency that has kept me a little bit insecure for a long time. I think this blog is an important step in my personal and spiritual journey. And God knew it. That’s why he told me to do it. I love that he knows just what I need.
“This time don’t need another perfect line
Don’t care if critics ever jump in line
I’m gonna give all my secrets away.” -One Republic
“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” -Matthew 10:26-28a