Recently, as I was wrestling with a conundrum on which I just couldn’t quite get a secure handle, I sent an email to a friend who lives far from here – they’re not a member of my family and have no connection to UUCC. I opened with, “I need an honest reality check from someone who knows me well and won’t worry about my feelings or give me any bullsh*t.”
I didn’t entirely love the response I received. I felt my arguing brain kick quickly into gear – “What about this point here? Aren’t I right about that?!”
But, in what I think of as a moment of grace, I was able to pause and really sit with what my friend had written. They did, after all, respond as I had asked – honestly, and without worrying that I was too delicate to receive their unfiltered assessment – and they challenged me to reconsider my perception of the conundrummy situation.
They also were vulnerable and trusting in telling me that my perspective was painful for them to hear. I have a healthier and more nuanced understanding of this situation because they were able and willing to step into a place of messy trust with me.
I tell you this story not to pat myself on the back – I certainly mess up my fair share of interactions (though fewer than I used to, perhaps) because I can’t get out of my own way – but rather as a reminder that being vulnerable and trusting has the potential to be super-risky, but also to be meaningful and rewarding. I don’t want to give up on meaning-making merely because it’s hard.
I tell you this story also because, upon reflection, I realize how often you have stepped into places of messy trust with me, too – and how much healthier and more nuanced is my understanding of the world, and of my own life, because of that messy trust.
Thank you, my trusted community.