A start

Monday, November 24, 2014

There's a lot I've been thinking about and a lot I've been learning recently. A lot, in a little bit of time, from a lot of people, from the Holy Spirit, from myself, from my superiors, from my peers. There's good, there's ugly, there's straddling that line between realism and optimism, between speaking the truth and making sure it's done in love and in kindness. Between taking criticism and extracting the honesty and intention from the words. Between expressing the hurt you've felt from someone you care about and yet still lifting them up. In realizing my flaws. In repentance. In a quest to love as Jesus loves. In a mutual understanding that I'm not perfect and you're not perfect and at the end of the day the love that binds us together is the most powerful force. A force that has the ability to wash all of that other stuff away.

Does that mean ignoring the issues? It shouldn't. I feel like if two people feel strongly enough to sandwich a word as meaningful as "love" between "I" and "you" and possibly even trail it with a "so much" then it warrants as much as a couple pairs of open hears, softer, slower words, and a heart to heart on what's really happening. Does that mean it will be a two way street? Idealistically, but not always. But it does mean pushing forward. It means working to get there and building upon it once you have. In an earnest attempt to love more whole-ly. Loving past the awkward and putting yourself out there. Notice I didn't say putting away the fear of putting yourself out there. That would be amazing too, but in this case that may be of those things that follows the act.

Maybe I'm feeling this way because I am freshly 23 years old and more than anything, I want this year to be about intention. About putting a purpose behind what I do and what I say and how I act and the good works I create and the mistakes I make. I want to go there and it's okay if you don't want to go there too. But please know that if you plan on sticking around, I for one will be pushing you to. I want to get there and I want to be held accountable. I want to lift others around me higher, those here, those in my personal life, those on instagram and facebook and the ones who look on and never peep a word. And I want to be along for the experience too. I want to know hearts like I haven't before.

Sometimes, I just sit quietly in a loud space. Well, nearly quietly. Really I uncognitively begin humming, because when I find myself a quiet soul in a rambunctious environment, it just happens. Maybe it's a soothing mechanism, or maybe I just want to add something to the sound of life happening around me. But sometimes, I sit and just look around a room and I want so badly to just reach out to someone. To hug them or ask them how they're doing. No, how they're really doing. Someone I barely know. Or someone I know really well. And not necessarily because I feel badly for the person, but just because for some reason or another I feel for them. And if I feel drawn to reach out to someone, other than my own personal trepidations, really, what's prohibiting me?

I read this piece by Hannah Brencher and it was filled with so much yes, I had to share it on my blog. I think so many of us want to do more, but we don't know how or where to start. My mind and iPhone notes are filled with little lists of ideas of how to connect with people, and words, and thoughts that I feel and if I'm honest with you, I fear a day when that will be all they ever became. A bunch of ideas and words and thoughts that I felt that were kept comfortably in the notes section of my iPhone and in hidden pockets of my mind.

I don't want this blog, and more specifically, yet also more generally, I don't want my life, to be just about me. I recently came across the notion that I have been given the gift of connection. And although I'm not too entirely sure what it means, or what it looks like, I know it has to do with a whole lot more than just me and being preoccupied by the little space bubble that is my own mind and my current realm of comfort. So today, although I'm not leaving you with any answers, I'll leave you with this. And also, with a place to start.

And I was sitting the other day, tucked into the booth of a McDonald’s we found off the beaten path on the way to our campground, and I told my friend that I don’t really have a bucket list. I don’t know how we even got on that topic.

“There is no bucket list,” I told her. “If you told me this thing was going to end there wouldn’t be any places I really wanted to see.”

It’s not about that for me. There’s something more I’d want to do.  I could just picture myself gathering up every person I love and adore into one space-- maybe a cozy coffee shop that does a boss-of-a-job with an au-lait. I’d want them all to be there. And I’d want to get some sacred space to be able to hold their hands one last time and look them straight in the eye and tell them what I think of them and who I can see them becoming. Because that is the most powerful thing you might think to tell someone today: not just who you see them to be but who you know they are capable of becoming. We all want to become someone different and beautiful-- it might be a little easier if we cheer each other on in the making.

I’d want to make sure I pushed them one last time. If I had you in my grips I would make sure to tell you to look up. And look around. And invest in what actually matters. And stop doing the things your heart is not living inside of. And just hold tight to the good things-- the true things-- that walk into your life.

“I just want to be able to be the person who calls other people out and notices them,” I told my friend.
And then, right there, in the booth tucked on the edge of the wilderness of North Georgia, it felt like my heart was breaking in two.

Because I am alive. And I am well. And I am not on a sinking boat. And I do not need a lifeboat right now. And yet I am missing it. I am missing it when I let another day slip by where I do not live inside of the one thing I say I want to do for others if ever there comes a time when I am running out of time: affirm them. Tell them who they are becoming. Don’t let them get swallowed up by the valleys and the hard things of this present moment and just beg them to keep their eyes on what will come. Enough trust, and hard work, and good deeds will get you places you cannot imagine. Enough of your skin in the game is going to change you and make you into someone’s miracle one day.

Life will never get un-crazy. We can't worship the idea of one day having enough time to say what we really need to say. That time is now. Right now. It’s just this: look at the people you love, the ones who surround you, every once in a while. Look at them and make sure you tell them how you really, truly feel. Don’t wait for a holiday. Don’t wait for a time when you have them in your grips again. Just pick up the phone. Send a quick text. Write a little note and stick a stamp to the envelope.
Each one of us is fighting a battle we don’t really talk about that often. It’s hard for all of us. Some days it feels harder. Other days, easier. But you always feel lighter, you always feel like you want to fight harder, when someone picks you out from the crowd and tells you you’re capable. Hardworking. Earnest. True.

Maybe just pick someone out today. Maybe just let them know with a subtle nudge, “Hey, I see the fire in you. I see you. And I want you to know that you matter more than you think.”
- Hannah Brencher


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  2. *slow clap. for all of this.
    First off, I want to say that you are one of the most loving people I know. You sacrificially give of yourself and of your finances when it matters. And I'm gonna agree + confirm right now that you have the gift of connection. You're constantly connecting your friends to others, and it's a beautiful thing 'cause you desire for everyone to know one another, to grow together, to be better together. And as for the intention behind this post, you bet I'll keep you accountable for being intentional (;

    Also, that post by Hannah Brencher is a huuuuuuge YES for me as well!! Come on! So good. I need to read her stuff more often. Last time when you introduced me to her blog, I saw that link to her letters movement and wanted to do it. Thanks for reminding me!

    Overall, I'm feelin you hard + deep on this post, Seysey. Love you, soul sista <3