Generally, I consider myself a pretty animated and transparent person, which definitely has it’s pros and cons. It seems pretty easy to cheer people up or brighten their day just by being what feels natural (then again maybe they are just humoring me). I mean, I honestly care about people, and when you have my attention, you have it…all of it. So a big smile and eye contact seem to go a long way. Then again, if you don’t have my attention…you don’t, so my affection may seem fickle or my friendships might appear flaky. In my mind though, everything relationship wise is fine…there are just busy schedules or minor hiccups in the way….no deal breakers or “big” issues. Pretty normal I’d say. No one is perfect…so no need to over analyze it….right? Maybe, but for the sake of transparency, I’m kinda a pro at over analyzing. That and eating my feet. So let’s jump in!
What if one of the things I’ve held as one of my noblest virtues is actually the source of my undoing? We all know that pride comes before the fall, but is it wrong to be proud of your honesty, your genuineness, your transparency? I think those elements are necessary for any relationship, but I’m starting to see how my pride has turned those virtues into weapons. I usually scoff and cringe at the phrase “fake it until you make it”. I get it, you don’t have to be perfect, just try your best and eventually you’ll get there. It’s probably a wonderful piece of advice, but I could never embrace it because somewhere deeply embedded in my thought processes, faking is lying and lying is bad. In theory that may sound normal, but it usually translates to “it’s better to show my true feelings (ie frustrations, anger, disappointment…) than be silent and pretend all is well, or LIE”. Even then, some may ask, “what’s the issue again?” The problem is, that when I am upset, I am more focused on MY honesty, and how noble I am to openly share MY bleeding heart, that I lose sight of the other person and am essentially quite selfish.
Wow. I know God is at work here because this post was initially going to take a different route entirely. I was stressing about stuff and thought it would be good to be honest and not a “my life is perfect” type of post. I was going to be “real y’all” and list all my woes for the world to see, but THANKFULLY He lead me down this pattern of thought. Honesty and transparency are definitely crucial to any relationship….but are our feelings accurate? Are our perspectives the absolute truth? Sure they can shed light on misunderstandings and such, but that still doesn’t make them “true” or make me “honest” for sharing them. The TRUTH is that more often than not, my past “honesty” served to only further stir up my emotions or hurt those I love, or both. I don’t have to fake false happiness, nor should I feel forced to hide my pain, but if I can’t communicate in a productive way, then maybe I should take a clue of good ol’ Thumper and remember “if ya can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
“Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.” Ecclesiastes 10:12
“A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.” Proverbs 18:7
So yeah, I guess it’s time for this long winded yapper to learn to a new virtue before it’s too late….silence!