Saturday, August 30, 2008

crucible

Stepping into the crucible of relationship. The place where no one really wants to go. The place where the heat gets turned up so high that parts of you begin to melt away. Bill Bryson speaks of places in Australia that are so hot you begin to cook from the inside out. That is what it feels like sometimes to be in relationship--cooking from the inside out. I want to run. I want to hide. It hurts too much and yet I cannot turn away, because it is too important. It is not important in the sense that I must prove myself right or get a point across. It is important in the sense that it is the place God calls me to be. My role in life to step into the paradox. To be kind and to speak the truth. They don’t always appear to be the same.

Growing up as the "nice" girl, I was taught that being nice was the most important thing in the world—at least to someone’s face. Now as soon as they were gone you could speak the real truth. It was a pattern that left me reeling and off balance for most of my life. It reminds me of the discussions on mind reading and projection. How can we possibly know what someone else means or what they are thinking unless we ask them? But that is when the heat can turn up. Jumping into the crucible can mean you will get burned. It can also mean that something new and beautiful can emerge. The dross burned away. The gold allowed to shine through. It is a risk.

I made a commitment to myself many years ago that I would no longer live in the two-faced, hidden, “nice” world that keeps me and others off-balance from not really knowing the truth. And, yes, sometimes the truth hurts. But, don’t forget this one: The truth shall set you free.

Is freedom worth stepping into the heat? I believe it is.
photos by lucy 7.08

10 comments:

SUNRISE SISTER said...

I, too, believe "freedom IS worth stepping into the heat"....

A powerful post to live up to in our relationships with those we love and I guess with those we don't necessarily love also.

xoxo

Sorrow said...

I am not sure if the truth will set me free, but I feel like the most important thing is to come from a place of honesty and compassion. I have learned over the years that "individual truths" can be subjective, and that what is true for me, may not be true for you.
Perspective is a powerful tool.
In relationships, I find it is much more beneficial for me to own my own feelings, and be very verbal about those being "my feelings".
I spent to many years growing up with a mother who invalidated my emotions, and my perspective on things. I was not allowed to feel certain ways about things.
"don't be silly! you can't be upset about ...."
" You are being dramatic, it's not all that bad..."
For mom, her feelings were always the right ones, and as far as she was concerned she WAS speaking the truth, her truth.
A thoughtful post Lucy...
Thanks...

Kate I said...

Sometimes it's not only worth it, it's really the only choice we have...having exhausted all others.

Laure said...

hey lucy, just a note to let you know that i've closed my blog. (disregard the notice that it's open only to invited readers ... not true ... it is closed to all readers.) will come to visit you from time to time though.

peace.

laure

hmmbrd said...

Passionate post, Lucy! I find this topic to be so challenging. what does it mean to love another so much you would be honest for the sake or hope of deeper intimacy? Even if your innards feel they are cooking! Then, as Sorrow said, what does it mean to then allow another space with their sense of truth, even if they don't allow you that space? Hard stuff... worthy of a few baked internal organs.

His Girl Friday said...

Hi Lucy,
yes, it's sometimes most uncomfortable to speak the truth to someone, so you really have to have your convictions with it, the good for the other person as your focus, and in everything speak with love, respect, and humility. Not always an easy task for us fallible mortals.

lucy said...

SS--i had to smile at your "i guess" in regard to others...a bit of reluctance perhaps? :-)

sorrow--perspective is a powerful tool. my hope is that we all choose to remember that our thoughts and feelings may not be those of another person's. another powerful tool is clarification!

my heart is with you in those words of a mother who said "don't be silly, etc." they ring loud and clear (not true) to me!

kate i--it's definitely the only choice if we want to move...there's always that nasty choice of staying frozen, silent, stuck...not a very good one in my humble opinion!

lucy said...

laure--you will be missed. please do stop by and thank you for letting me know. wishing you peace & joy!!!

hmmbrd--turning up the heat is never very pleasant, is it? as always, your thoughts are welcome & meet me where i am.

hgf--love, respect & humility are certainly not easy tasks for we fallible beings, that's for sure, but definitely worthy of our efforts!!!

kristin said...

Yes, genuine relationship (and love) always involves an element of "risk"....and it always requires truth. And yes, the truth shall set you free! How amazing and awesome is that! :)

The problem too often exists that both parties don't really appreciate or understand this important truth....or, if they see it, they might prefer to try to "ignore" it. If you ignore it, you eventually pay a much higher "price" than you would ever have to pay by embracing the risk, the fear and the honesty.

Thank you - and God bless you - for sharing this important truth...

lucy said...

kristin--i appreciate your words. yes, finding mutuality to share truth is often the trickiest part...risking the heat....i just had this image of raw eggs in a pan. we have to turn on the heat for them to cook and even then they might turn out "scrambled." :-)

thank you for stopping by!!