Onions have layers

Shrek and donkey

Shrek:  “Ogres are like onions.”

Donkey: “They stink?”

Shrek: “No.  LAYERS.  Onions have layers…. Ogres have layers.”

Donkey: “You know, not everybody like onions.”

*pause*

Donkey:  “CAKE!  Cake has layers.  And parfaits.  Everybody likes parfaits.”

Friendships have layers too.  Today’s societal tendency is to stay on the surface, because, well, we all know that the friendship could be like an onion, and make you cry the deeper you get into it.  BUT, what if instead of an onion, it’s a parfait?  And you never get to taste the sweetness that’s buried beneath the surface, because you’ve held it at arm’s length?

Peeling back the layers is scary.  Getting real with people is scary.  You’re exposing places of yourself that can cause old wounds to sting, embarrassing traits to be seen, and bad decisions to be judged. But it has only ever been worth it, in my experience.  Even when I got hurt.  That’s usually when I learned the most about myself. Getting to the heart –and hard stuff– is usually how we get to know each other, as well.

And think about it! We feel important when our friends have the guts to open up to us!  The shear joy, honor and esteem makes us feel loved, accepted, and valued by this person, our peer, who had faith to tell us about the REAL stuff that’s going on in their world.  So make THEIR day and spread the love, value and acceptance.  But I have 3 points of warning.

1. Don’t act like your pain is worse than mine.  Everyone’s been through something hurtful.  Obviously, at varying degrees, but the emotions that these varied experiences create are often very comparable.  You can only speak for yourself.

2. Gossip disguised as a prayer request.  “Did you hear, our mutual friend so-and-so is considering divorce, so would you pray for them?”  Listen, I BELIEVE IN THE HEALING POWER OF PRAYER, but I also believe in the destructive power of gossip.  It can destroy the joy in our own hearts, as well as tear down friendships, trust, and love for one another.  If your mutual friend so-and-so has given permission for you to share, then by all means, be my guest. But if not, you must take it up with the Holy Spirit.

3. If you dish it, be willing to take it.  Being a good listener.  It takes practice, people.  And it’s not always fun, but it’s an excellent character-building exercise.  And much like physical exercise, there’s quite a sense of accomplishment that comes with it.  Not to mention, deeper trust, relational intimacy, and you never know, you might just learn something about your friend that you didn’t know.  More blackmail material for later.

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Step into my office…

I’ve never blogged before.  In fact, I’ve never written anything before 14 months ago.  It started with songs.  My Dad was a #1 songwriter, and most of my siblings write, with one in particular that has always blown me away with her power over words.  That left me… unsure of myself, and vowing never to let anyone see the proof, even if I did put something on paper.  But, my latest conclusion is that life is too short.  To hide.  To not practice something that you want to improve in.  And so, in effort to hold myself accountable, here I am.

It’s sort of become a past-time of mine… tricking myself into staying motivated to do, what seemed in the beginning, to be an activity that would never lose its appeal.  House cleaning, for instance.  When marriage, (and home-ownership) is new, you think “it will always be exciting to get on all fours and scrub the specks off the wood.” Yeah, freaking right.  But I figured out a secret, if I invite someone over at least once a week, I’m forced to either whip out the mop, or suffer through embarrassment.  Same with blogging.  If I just talk about, it never happens.  But as soon as I hit “confirm” button, I’m roped into releasing new content.  At least it FEELS that way.

I’m a very black-and-white person.  By this, I mean that I’m black on the inside, but terribly white on the outside.  🙂  But in all seriousness, I am black and white in my decision-making, my judgement of people, and my opinion on American Idol.  Basically, I’m a natural cynic, trying to learn grace.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM THIS BLOG?  Just for fun, I will be discussing many controversial subjects.  Asking, perhaps, the same questions that millions want to know, and maybe asking some that no one has dared to.  All from my limited perspective, of course.  Things that confuse me, move me, shake me, strengthen me.  And maybe, just maybe, there are some kindred spirits out there who get moved, confused, shaken and strengthen by the same things.

So, welcome.mop face