journal entry 5.17.06 ramblings on the veracity puzzle

if i died one would merely have to collect my writings, photographs, journals, and the conversations i have had to know everything about me. i feel in life each one of us are a complex puzzle, the older we get the more pieces there are for one to collect. we give a small portion of ourselves to each event, moment, and person that we come into contact with. i would imagine we are all the same, some pieces given more freely than others. some pieces bigger than others, according to their importance/impact on/in our lives. are we really ever really ourselves, not in the sense of being who we really are, but do we belong to ourselves? are we really an island to ourselves?
i believe we are not and island to ourselves because clearly when others give us apart of themselves (whether it be their intellect, faith, or opinion) we do not only take a piece of their proverbial puzzle, but we then try our best to attach it where might fit the best, if at all. and they take from us as well. whether good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative.
the other day as me and dorian were sitting outside wishing it were a few degrees cooler and i proceeded to surrender to him my struggles, not that he could ever relate or sympathize, but that i could hand him a section of me that was an aggravation to maintain. why does handing something verbally over to someone feel so freeing? as if now it is their burden to share as well, even though that could not be further from the truth.
i wonder if the reason i don’t tell one person alone every aspect of my life is because i’m afraid of what they might find out. as if one person alone held every key they would realize i am simply human. so silence is a defense mechanism. silence allows the ability to have opinions formulated not by who you truly are but by what others think you are.
well silence has never had its way with me before, so why begin now. i want to hear what others believe, i realize that the more i know the more i realize i have not a damn clue. i want to learn truth, i think we all do, there is something out there greater than ourselves, that can complete our own ‘puzzle’, because i see now we were never complete to begin with. though i find solace in the words and wisdom of others, i see that knowledge and understanding are only the beginning of any quest for veracity.


Hilary said…
reading about your puzzle helps me to stay grounded and realize what i want to seek out in life. maybe not all at once but bits and pieces come into play in many aspects of my life. being humble and helping the less fourtunate are things i want to adopt and do more often.
Jeff said…
I think its all about being real. Being vulnerable and authentic with one-another. It creates community that far far destroys the "community" one sees in a group of Christians who pretend to live some "perfect" life none of them will ever achieve. Sharing your heart with someone is truely liberating. Regarding this whole thing, there's a book called Inside Out that is supposed to be really good. It's by Dr. Larry Crabb and is supposed to be very good. I say that as it sits here on my desk, yet to be started. Maybe we could correspond via email about it... ;)
iLikePi3 said…
i liked the bit when you said about talking to your friend, "not that he'd be able to understand" or something like that... that is something i perceive all too often - that in any dealings with other people, they bring their own ideas, history, perspective to a situation making total understanding impossible.

but i also think that's what makes certain friendships so special. Ever wondered why you have a bunch of friends, but one or two of them are just so much more important to you? I think it's because somehow those people just 'get' you a bit more... not because of any particular attitude they have or experience you've shared (though that's important) but it's just one of those things.

precisely why a book/song/thought from across the world or from centuries ago can resonate so much in a moment when all current discourse seems somehow lacking.

and i just thought of it then, but perhaps part of the liberation in sharing something important is the knowledge that the other person has willlingly taken it on - they have enough true love and care for you to accept something that hurts or concerns you, that's pretty darn special. you are important to that person. (of course like anything it can be abused by overly-needy, gushy people!).
Anonymous said…
'i wonder if the reason i don’t tell one person alone every aspect of my life is because i’m afraid of what they might find out. as if one person alone held every key they would realize i am simply human."

This is the beauty and the joy of life. Being fully loved is being fully known. If you are only partially known, how do you know if you are more than partially loved. Why not be loved in spite or because of your weaknesses.
I have just been thinking about this recently. I have a friend who tries to hide his emotions and struggles. I think he is afraid that if someone knew about them, they would think less of him. With all my heart, I wish he would trust me to show who he really is and what he really thinks to find out that I will never love him or think of him less--the things he thinks he is hiding I already know. And I don't love him less right now, if he came into the open the only thing that would change is that HE would know that I don't love him less. He would feel the wholeness of my love.

I think this is what makes marriage so deep and the love so strong. There finally is someone who knows just about everything and sees everything you can't hide and... still loves you!

It is amazing. Many people never experience this because of fear.
Which reminds me of the verse: Perfect love casts out fear.

How many people go running away from love because they are ruled by fear, when in reality--perfect love would forever cast it out.

Jen said…
No one but God will ever really know you. Not even your bestest friend. As long as you are, as Jeff put it, 'real' people will be able know you as much as they are able to or as much as you allow them to. I don't like the idea of people knowing everything about me. It makes me feel vulnerable.
impossible to avoid or to prevent from happening said…
People who love you know more than you could ever imagine. Everyone has skeletons in their closets, but unfortunately your closet can’t get much fuller. I wish you the best finding someone in your future that you can truly be honest with. That is love. Until then…Quit stealing peoples puzzle pieces while making them believe that they have received yours.
Meggios said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Meggios said…
God is the ultimate puzzle master. He is the only one that made our puzzle & knows the percise details of every piece that is of us. Though we give may pieces away & selfishly keep lots of pieces to ourselves or hidden away (hidden in our closets), God is the only one that knows where each piece is & He is the only one that is able to fully complete our puzzle. We can find total comfort in Him, that, even when we don't want to share every aspect of ourself with others, He knows our inner most being & wants us to be open with Him to share our fears, doubts, and troubles with Him. Take the pieces that you have, give them away freely & make each piece that you give away, worthy of the King. Don't be afraid to give, but afraid to never give at all!!!!!!
mistygardens said…
hey, you said something about a "change" t-shirt you have.. where did you get it? I want one so bad!!!

Thanks :)
deb said…
it's human nature to want to be in control and when you, as you put it, tell one person alone every aspect of [your] life', you kind of give some control over to the other person and as a result lose some of your hold on how concrete your thoughts, actions, etc. are as someone picks at it with opinion and criticism.

i don't think silence is a defense mechanism. sometimes in silence, you gain so much more than when your vocal cords work overtime. in silence, you allow the other to speak and yourself to listen. sometimes, that's all you need to do to comfort or encourage.
MH said…
It comes down to the terrifying question: what if one was to let someone in on everything?

Chances are, if they're your friend, it goes both ways and very slowly at that.

More likely though, you simply cannot share everything (not just out of fear) but even more so because...we cannot recite everything because we don't necessarily know 'this little thing turned out to be significant' and so forth.

Perhaps it's the fear of being found out/figured out before we understand ourselves in the first place.
Anonymous said…
"we give a small portion of ourselves to each even, moment, and person that we come in contact with."

I love that. Your entry would fit in nicely with what I just wrote in my almost in some ways, say what i was thinking yet couldn't put it into words and you begin to answer my question of "am I or am I not?"

And how is your book coming along? or am I confusing you with somebody else hehe, I probably am I don't know.

Anonymous said…
all i can say is we were designed to live life together. if you've ever read blue like jazz, donald miller talks about his time living as an 'island.' and he couldn't live it forever. i found out through being surrounded by my ywam teammates here in indonesia. i am not an island. i need others to help me bear my burdens.

- a voice in indonesia
palehorse said…
i completely agree with your statement that we are not islands, be it that our words are vessels. we can become isolated if there's no one to speak to, but then again, with the help of a journal or other outlet, one can never leave everything inside.

"i wonder if the reason i don’t tell one person alone every aspect of my life is because i’m afraid of what they might find out." --- i think this is wonderful because it's very relative to anyone. at times, i believe we're more alike each other than we think we are, but everyone's nervous for one reason or the other. sometimes i feel it's because people want to be accepted - no one wants to be nomadic; everyone wants some type of home. for me, i feel everyone will always look at me with glazed eyes.

i'm always interested to read your postings. like jeff above says, "it's all about being real." you're real and more philosophical than most of the people around me, which makes this all very interesting to read. thank you.
Vanze said…
Hm...this is weird Stephen but I felt like you do now!-and to be honest with you I still think like it a bit... I'm a person who don't want others to know what I think, what I did and what my faults were and are. But, this can't be life...becaus Jesus forgave our faults, sin, etc. and I don't think God wants us to live like that because we don't have to be afraid of what we did and who we are. I also did things I so freakin' much regret now and I'm pretty afraid of what ppl might find it out but I'll pray for it that God will give me strength then.
Well don't be afraid of others....pray for it and God will give you strength!
John 14.1
"Do net let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust in me, Jesus."

You are always in my prayers dude!
Jon said…
Great thoughts, Stephen. It's funny how we live our lives trying to relate to people by convincing them of our adequacy (by ommitting, by exaggerating, by overcompensating, etc) when it's our inadequacies that make relating both necessary & fulfilling.

I think processing our struggles can often require sharing them with a friend because we anticipate their reaction & take a more objective look at ourselves & our situation. Everything I've ever learned about counselling has centered around listening... we really underestimate the value of "being listened to."

Anonymous said…
Anonymous S. said it perfectly... and I'd like to add this as well:

I think this is a big issue for many people. Of course no one's an island! We need God, and we need each other. Without both, our life is not fulfilled. And while I agree with you, Stephen, in the feeling that the other person cannot truly take on your burden, yet we must let them try ("Carry each other's burdens..."). As Anonymous S. points out, those that show true love (as brethren or friends) WANT to help others, WANT to take on at least part of that burden. It's what we all should do.

I'm very grateful to have three dear friends of this nature, and I hope and strive to be like that myself. In this way we can truly become a community.

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