sex, money, and miscellany: talking about what matters

being real

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2009 at 1:34 pm

I’m claiming that this blog is a place to be real. It seems like being real is a major prerequisite of community. It goes like this:

If I’m real, then people can know me. If people know me, then they can be in relationship with me. If I know people, then I can be in relationship with them. If we know each other, then we can be truly connected.

But it amazes me how much and how often our culture encourages us to be not real. Stiff upper lip or big girls don’t cry show up early, but almost simultaneously we start getting the subtle messages that sexual impulse and attraction are bad, or at least well worth the effort of hiding them away. Ostensibly it’s because they make people uncomfortable, but there seems to be an undercurrent of discomfort with our own vulnerability. If you know I like you, really like-like you, you know that you matter to me, that you can hurt me, that your disdain would matter. And that’s not a weapon I want to give to just anyone.

Trouble is, protecting ourselves keeps us apart. There are places where some distance is appropriate–anytime you are in a gathering of strangers, it’s okay to be separate. It’s okay not to be intimate with everyone. We can still be real without shoving people’s faces in it. But when we want to be intimate, we need to tame one another, Little Prince style, learn one another, and grow into it.

What we’re trying on is taking risks together. That’s worth the effort. Because together we are stronger than we ever are alone.


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