Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Reflective Wednesday


    1. 1.
      close familiarity or friendship; closeness.
      "the intimacy between a husband and wife"
      synonyms:closeness, togetherness affinity, rapport, attachment, familiarity, friendliness, friendship, amity, affection, warmth, confidence.

I've been thinking about intimacy. The ebb and flow of offering ourselves to another. Now I know you're all thinking I'm talking about Mr. F. And I mostly am, at least that's what's fresh in my mind. But what I find myself reflecting on the most is all the components that lead us to this point.  I don't think authentically offering ourselves to another happens overnight nor is it intended to happen with just anyone. No intimacy is special, sacred, and reserved for the few.

Here are some of these components he and I have been reflecting on (and thanking God for growing us in):

1) Vulnerability. I had to learn (and continue to learn) the gift and risk of putting myself out there. And it didn't start with Mr. F. It actually started a long time ago when I just couldn't manage my world anymore. Depressed and disillusioned, I struggled to make sense of the darkness I was in and finally admitted to myself I needed help.  My mentor and counselor Patti was one of the safe places God gave me to slowly reveal parts of myself that had been hidden away, most especially from me. The light pierced the darkness only when I risked being exposed. This is true always. Period.

2) Authenticity. You can't get close to the false. There's a lot of false intimacy out there. It's when the self protected, covered over parts of you try to connect with the covered over, false parts of another. It's called pseudo-relating. We've all done it and are tempted to continue to do it, only trouble is it's wearying. It makes us tired, grumpy, pressured, and fake. The opposite of authentic.  Truth is I'm a recovering fako. Yup! I'll always be tempted to put my best foot forward. It's only because I've tasted the fruit of authenticity and the joy of being known and loved that I continue transversing the path of authenticity. Love changes everything.

There's also a second part to authenticity I learned while I was seeing Patti. One day we were talking about this temptation to cover myself over in wrappings I thought people liked: "Put-together Susie," "Happy Susie,"  "Come through for you Susie." People seemed to really respond to "her." Only problem is on the inside I was dying. A slow decrepit death swept through my bones. The symptoms were depression, loneliness, anxiety, and fear. The usual suspects.  If you're coming through for everyone else, where are the places you get rejuvenated and restored? If the demand on yourself is to be put-together, well then you let no one be strong for the not-so-sput-together parts of yourself. Love can't get in because the door to let it in is barricaded.

As we talked about my growing unrest and weariness trying so hard, Patti pulled out from beneath her chair a wrapped box.  She explained the outside paper was actually covering the true beauty.  The wrappings of this particular box only showed one aspect to the person. But then she took the wrapping paper off and showed what it was covering...a beautiful, one of a kind crystal goblet.
She went on to explain, "Susie, you are that crystal goblet. God designed you with purpose, value, intent, care...when you cover over that unique design people miss the unique facets you display of Christ to the world. No one can reflect precisely what it is He has given you to shine in!"

My power is made perfect in weakness.

W o w !

I'm going to leave us with that to reflect on today. Friday we'll celebrate a few more of the components that make true intimacy so captivating.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That hug looks great... Here's to Happy Susie! Love,