Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thoughts on processing life in community

(This entry is from an old blog, now deleted blog - starting over!)

Last Thursday night, I discovered I am not the only one who lies to my diary. In a roomful of talented fascinating women, I discovered about half of us would openly admit to such ridiculous self-censorship. The reasons varied. What if my parents read it? What if the only record of me were this book, these writings? What if I admit to myself who I am, and I don't like what I see? For me, I realized, it is a question not of my own character as much as facing denial. Not so much of finding myself in the wrong, but finding myself being wronged, choosing passivity, suppressing rage. And seeing my own responsibility in enduring that fate. And then one of my fellow self-censurer said maybe it's best that way. As I listened, I heard her lay out, as she does so often, a powerful challenge. She said maybe we can't process all these big things alone. We're meant to live in community, having our rough edges smoothed and our finer points sharpened by the grace and forgiveness offered by others, and affording them the same. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that she's probably right. I lie to my diary because it can't give me what I want, what I need. It's not worth the arduous pain of self-expression to keep it to myself. I am so thankful to the dear friends who have let me share my heart with them and have had the tissues ready, and who don't hide their pain from me. And I grow more confident each day that sharing all these heavy burdens really makes the loads lighter all around.

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