Real public service requires trust which requires honesty. It’s not about upholding an image or fealty to a party. It’s not creating a club whose members agree on everything. It’s not an act that follows a script. It’s about showing up real and offering all that you are to help people.
I’ve been on the dark side a little too much these past few months. Remember the Dung Beetle post? Well, it’s gone downhill from there. Heathcliff advised me after that one that I needed to write something positive. Notice I’ve not posted anything in several months.
As Micha Boyett reminds us that Benedict reminded her, “Always we begin again.” So today I’m beginning again, choosing the path of Grateful Girl instead of Anxiety Girl. Click To TweetWe’re going to call this new era on the blog the Gratefulness Project. Here’s my plan. For the next year I’m going to write letters expressing my gratitude and publish them here. I hope you’ll join me by commenting things for which you’re thankful or even write letters of your own. I know it sounds silly but that’s okay. It’s scientific—Dr. Warnick said so. And after writing about Dung Beetles, I figure I’ve got nothing to lose.
There’s a recurring theme in my life called not being very good at boundaries. I’m getting better, but I used to be really bad at it, especially with people I love. And so even if someone disrespected me and hurt me really bad I might keep going back for more. It seems the more I cared about the relationship, the longer it would take me to create a boundary so as not to be hurt. I thought I could make it better if I kept on trying. I wanted to fix it. As a Christian I had a bit of a mixed-up notion of what it means to turn the other cheek and forgive seventy-times-seven and all of that. I believed it was wrong to walk away.
I believe writers write at least in part so we don’t have to talk; we can say what we want to say, put it out there, and hope people connect with it. But we don’t have to face anyone else when we’re writing. We don’t have to feel stupid if a joke falls flat—at least not instantly, like happens when you’re speaking. We can also edit till we feel we’ve got it right, or as close as we’re going to get. Speaking is not like that unless it’s totally scripted. And of course, totally scripted is not how I roll.