Transparency + Truth

DSCN1081Interesting fact: One of the people has been here now. I don’t know what I think of that. Above all I strive to be honest and real, and giving him the keys to this place was both of those things in extreme. I do not regret my choice. I don’t regret my choice, but I wonder…

I wonder if I speak too much Christian-eze here. I wonder if I present enough of the evidence that demands a verdict. There is evidence, you know. One of the things I appreciate about my parents is that they’ve let me ask hard questions and seek that evidence. Instead of rigidly stating ” This is the truth. Believe us.” they’ve said “This is the truth.” and proved their belief in that statement by allowing me to cross examine the truth, investigate other philosophies, and to confirm that their truth is The Truth for myself.

Initially I wondered if the person would even come here, and if he did come how much he would read. He came. He said he read a bit. He wasn’t turned off. Sometimes I think that I over-think everything. Sometimes I think that a part of me really doesn’t believe what I try to hold to–that transparency is the best option, that being open, raw, and real in life (and especially about God) is more attractive than the perfection facade. I ought to believe it because it’s proven to be true repeatedly, but each time I open up and bare my soul I am am scared. Sometimes I think revealing your naked soul and trusting someone is the ultimate form of bravery. I guess I’m returning to the catch word which I probably overused when I first started this blog: vulnerability.

It is scary to be vulnerable, but it is also rewarding. Friendships don’t grow without the revelation of all sides of a person. To be cliche, new (silver) friends never turn to gold (old) without the unveiling of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Someone has to start it. And why should someone trust my truth to be real if I’m living a lie–unwilling to display my real self to the world?

Really, there are only so many truths to be stated. Really, truth transcends the seasons of the journey. With that said, I will unabashedly restate two truths I’ve repeated many times from this platform. First, be real. Beautiful masks are actually less compelling that a sometimes ugly reality. Second, seek God. Don’t be afraid to question and doubt. Questioning and doubting are good if you allow them to push you to uncover truth. Those two gems have served me well during my brief existence. What truths have helped you?

Categories: My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Transparency + Truth

  1. Many truths have helped me, but there is a great difficulty in understanding the practice of (and then doing) helpful sharing of the truth. There are people who are “honest” and that means being like a bull in a china shop and then saying, “But I was just being honest!” when all the china ends up broken.

    I can easily be that sort of person so I struggle with understanding what being “open” and “honest” means in terms of being edifying to other people. While being vulnerable and open can be scary (and I have felt, and feel that) it can also be self-serving and destructive when honesty means shredding someone with the shot-gun blast of our feelings and thoughts.

    I’m not suggesting dishonesty is an option–but I struggle with understanding where wisdom commends keeping one’s mouth shut and where it calls for opening the mouth and being thoughtful in what we say. I know I tend to swing from the extremes of saying nothing, to the other of saying lots–and probably way more than I should.

    I share far less of my thoughts and feelings about God (publicly on the internet) than I could because I have witnessed plenty of (metaphorical) blood baths in that arena when people were being “open” and “honest.” It is amazing how two readers can interpret something a person has written in two entirely different ways. Offense and misunderstanding spreads like wildfire.

    This has led me to be very guarded in how I write about such things on the internet. I think about all the possible ways what I say might be construed. I am not sure how much of that is a good thing–it can be paralysing, where one reaches of point of concluding that saying nothing is better than causing unintended, and pointless, battles which tear down rather than build up. I have found that I easily retreat to one-on-one discussion when I can at least attempt some judicious tailoring of my comments to the particular individual I am speaking with–and perhaps have the opportunity to be around to pick up the pieces when misunderstanding and miscommunication follow.

    And I’m not sure how much of that path is wisdom, and how much it is the reaction of fear. If I better understood perhaps I would be better at sharing such thoughts publicly.

    How about you? How do you balance being “honest” and “open” with the goal of being edifying in what you share?

    (Maybe the answer to that would be serve as another blog post.)

    • Your comment was thought provoking, I guess because I don’t usually think about “shot gun blast” honesty as vulnerability. I think of it as the opposite of vulnerability– it means hurting someone else to edify yourself, whereas vulnerability is opening up to the possibility of being hurt by being real and honest about yourself. This in turn often leads people to be open about themselves, which is where I struggle. If someone doesn’t tell me not to share how much is too much to share? Usually even that is not a huge issue for me, but I think it’s the biggest potential sticky spot in the open, raw, honest section of things.

      I have been told I am not guarded enough about what I share online. I’ve also been told I’m too guarded. I just share what’s good for me, I guess. I find that the more open a post is the more responses I get, which is interesting to me. Anyhoo, I’m out of time to write right now, but those are some of my reflections on the topic. Maybe they make it clearer?

      • Sorry about not responding to this earlier. My spare time was devoted to a certain email πŸ˜‰

        I understand what you are saying. But I guess what I was actually wondering (and you don’t have to answer) is how you do censor yourself–what’s the standard? I know that some things you would have posted on your blog your parents had other thoughts about. Do you leave all the better judgement up to them, or do you sometimes write out some struggle your are having and then think, “Nah, I better not share that because it wouldn’t edify anyone else?”

        I guess I was pondering aloud how we can distinguish between rightfully not sharing something which is vulnerable for us because it would not be edifying to others, and where it is right to share the vulnerable because even though we might get hurt it would be edifying for others.

        I don’t think there is one perfect answer to that question. I guess I’m just pondering aloud.

      • Honestly, I don’t know the answer to the censorship question. I’m not one who does much self-censorship, I guess. I don’t spill my guts when the time isn’t right, but I’m not opposed to doing so when I feel that it’ll help a situation. Mostly, the potential blog posts that I don’t publish are either really ranty, or involve specific people who’s privacy I don’t want to infringe upon. I realize I’m sounding really vague here, and I’m not trying to. I guess mostly I just go on instinct of what to publish and what not to.

      • I realize I’m sounding really vague here, and I’m not trying to. I guess mostly I just go on instinct of what to publish and what not to.” No, that’s okay. I wasn’t really expecting some grand policy–I was just curious how you thought about it. And actually I, too, mostly go on instinct with what I put out for the public and what I don’t.

  2. Alyosha

    Hey Veronicah! I haven’t commented (or blogged) in approx 40 yrs but I still follow your blog and much enjoy it, so thought I would say hello πŸ™‚ Hope you’re doing fantastically!

    Love this post and nah, catchphrase or not, I don’t think the vulnerability thing ever gets old. I keep thinking “got this figured out, look at me being all vulnerable and honest!” and then haha NOPE hello to yet another layer and yet another terrifying way that the mask of perfection has to be scrapped. No idea how long that goes on for, but so far it is the best and bloodiest adventure.

    And sometimes-ugly reality being more compelling than a beautiful facade: HECK. YES. Every time, man, and thank you for fighting for the rawness and realness.

    • It seems like this is the post for all the haven’t commented in forever people. πŸ™‚ It’s nice to “see” you again. And I am doing fantastically at the moment, thanks. You?

      I have to agree on the vulnerability thing. I keep thinking I have it only to find something else that I’m masking. It’s a frustrating, refreshing, amazing journey. As usual it is really encouraging to hear that I’m not on it alone.

      So yeah, thanks for commenting, and let me know if you do get around to posting something. I’ve always really enjoyed your posts, though for some reason my computer won’t let me comment on your blog. :/

      • Alyosha

        Hey! I’m doing okay, just finished a rather bloody semester so I’m QUITE excited for summer. (and Nastya’s coming here YAY). A million congratulations on the looming graduation, that is exciting. And probably wild and terrifying eh? Wishing you all fantastic adventures!

        Frustrating, refreshing, and amazing–ha yeah pretty much! Blogging – at the moment I post occasional stream-of-consciousy things on Tumblr ( personal post), that’s about it for now. I don’t think it will let you comment without a Tumblr though, which sucks. :/

  3. murtaghsgirl

    Hey! I was going through my email and discovered this post and realized I hadn’t read it yet and that it’s been like years since I commented. As usual, love what you have to say. I think it’s very important to be real in everything we do, but most especially with our faith. Keep talking about it!

    • Hey, it’s good to hear from you again. I’m humbled that you take the time to read my blog, but also thankful. I’m glad you enjoy it.

      Also, I suppose I’ll be nosy and ask if you’re still one Susie forums? I haven’t been on in forever, though I still have a years’ worth of magazines. Sometimes I miss it. Sometimes I’m glad I left…

      • Oh yes, I enjoy it very much. Wish I could write as deep and thoughtful as you do.

        Yes, I’m still on Susie, but I really do next to nothing on it. I still like the magazine, and there’s a couple of people I personal message on it, so that’s why I keep it. Other than that, I don’t usually do anything on the forums or with the whole community. It’s kind of really taken a turn toward littler girls, so I don’t exactly fit in with the subjects anymore…

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