Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tipping Points and Truth

Life is a series of breaking points.

Or at least my life is. And I like to think it's because I'm really living it, trying to suck each last bit out of it. Even in it's worst moments or it's quietest breaths, I long to be so fully present that nothing goes past me without notice.

Yeah, I'm an intensity freak. Whatever.

So sometimes it's a breaking point that looks like a reality TV show intervention, but not often. That's rare. Sometimes there is something in your life you've ignored and allowed to become a big deal, a huge deal. Sometimes it's an event or episode that leaves you too humiliated to show your face to those you love the most. Sometimes it's something that rocks you down deep to the very core.

We all have them. Even those perfect people. You know, the ones that scare us just a little bit, because they always seem to have it all pulled together and even when they have a rare moment of not being pulled together, they have the perfect Biblical perspective and teaching moment in it. The real truth is, in the darkest part of the night, they break apart too.

The thing is what do you do next. When you're life is unraveling faster than you can catch it, when it's running you over and taking others down with you, what do you do. When that humiliation bites you square in the ass, then what? When truth is spoken and suddenly you have no solid ground to stand on, then what?

I think sometimes you go to those you actually trust and beg for accountability. You ask them to speak truth to you, even when it's painful. And you listen to it.

I think sometimes you surrender all. You surrender brave faces and social images and quit the game you're playing. I think you surrender the lies to each other and live in truth. I think you ask for help. I think you accept help.

I think when your solid ground becomes shifting sand, you hold on tight.

In my circles these days, there are lives breaking apart in all different ways, some subtle and quiet, others threatening to be spectacular. In it, I have really no role. I can tell you though, I'm feeling a million things. I'm frustrated and nervous and sad and at a prayer place often beyond words. That should say something, me, without words, well, sometimes empathy sucks.

Perhaps it's just my personal bent, the way I was created and the way I live, but I am almost not capable of sitting back and letting life run me over and drag me under. I like to have a plan, even if it's a plan that doesn't work out or temporarily takes me in the wrong direction.

I like to call myself realistically optimistic. In my mind, that means I look at the present and the future, hopefully with my eyes wide open, not necessarily expecting or preparing for the worst, but fully aware of what the worst could be and maybe having a little plan brewing in the back of my mind for how I'd face those things. I cannot cope with feeling helpless or blind sided or unprepared. But again, that's how I am built.

I find it hard. I can help, but only just so much, especially in certain situations when it is clear that it is something the person must come through on their own. It is not my job to come in and rescue, even if I had the power of ability to do so, for it would change nothing except the timing of the inevitable collapse.

It is almost scary to push the button on this one because I know just how many of you will believe I've written out your most naked moments right here for all the world to read, but can I assure you, we all have these moments.

We all have breaking points.

We all need to be tender and honest and generous and kind and real. This life is too brutal without that.

It's easy to deny others the opportunity to help. We call it pride or we think of it as weakness and failure to ask for help or to need it. We see only shame and humiliation instead of the other side. Think of how you feel when you have the opportunity to serve another person. It feels amazing. It's a blessing to be able to help. Don't deny that to another person.