I watched someone crash and burn. I am not sure others were paying attention. Even as the scene moved 6 hours away, the process was painful to witness. The normal confidence and swagger was replaced with fears and doubts. The air of confidence overwhelmed by uncertain emotions. Everything that I can come to expect was not there. I am not sure how long the new awareness will last.
Most of the time he walks with a strut. You get the sense of a big man wearing an even bigger hat. Even the awareness that some of it is bluff and bravado does not reduce the sense that he has something going for him. There are moments when you can see beyond the obvious, however most of the time it is as if he is trying to copy the “Bullies [who] brandish their swords, [and] pull back on their bows with a flourish. They’re out to beat up on the harmless, or mug that nice man out walking his dog.” (Psalm 37.14)
In the crashing and burning one could see through and beyond the usual charade. The revelation was in stark contrast. Fear was obvious. Uncertainty overwhelming. Doubts everywhere. As I started to talk with him, I realized I was talking to myself as much as I was to him. I could see and hear my echo.
To both I left the following suggestions.
Being your real self is never easy. It requires courage, openness, and a willingness to let others judge you.
Unless you are open, it is impossible for others to be close to you. Openness means being vulnerable and at risk. It also means that you are willing to let others embrace you. Both have great upsides as well as the possibility of being hurt.
I try to put God and others in different compartments. Life reminds me that whatever exists between us is defined by the openness of our relationship. Having someone close to you only occurs when you drop your shields and move into the openness. If you do, miracles can follow.