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honesty and intimacy

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There has been something that I've been thinking about more and more, and I just can't go without expressing what I'm thinking for too long. Jessica Martin-Weber, my good friend, confidant, and mentor posted something earlier this week that I had been trying to formulate thoughts on for awhile. Every once in awhile, people ask me what's going on with all of this emergent stuff, and I reply yadda yadda community, yadda yadda, different, and blah blah blah. Well truthfully that was all a happy and good answer, but I had no clue why I was saying it and I had no clue why I was so drawn in.

Frankly, I do think that it all goes back to honesty. I am desperately seeking to be more and more real and honest with people. I want to connect on levels that just don't exist in formal modern church settings. People ask me "how are you doing?" in church on Sunday mornings and my answer is going to be no less than great even if I am having the struggles of a lifetime. Why is this? I suppose it is because we're conditioned to not be weak because we could knock people off track. I suppose it is because we're conditioned to keep from truly feeling emotions in church because if things are sour our relationship with God must be suffering (I do not agree with that one bit). Jessica says it beautifully in that post, "Community is a beautiful thing but community that neglects the harder side of life isn’t really a community, it’s a country club." Here in ABQ, I am part of a community that is more comfortable with that honesty, and I love it. I love that when I've had a rough week people want to know why, and that I really do feel cared about. We're making steps slowly but surely.

On the way back from Santa Fe, Tracy asked me how I thought one of the therapy techniques would be different with people in my age bracket. Most people my age communicate almost exclusively via the internet and instant messaging and text messages. We are not present with each other, and the more and more I begin to reflect on it, the more and more I see that somewhere down the line this type of communication is going to produce some negative effects. I say that I want to be real and honest with people, but my constant online communication provides me with filters and screens that are somewhat disturbing. My closest friend live in Illinois, I talk to them every day, but in some ways, I am isolated from them and from everyone around me. Is this healthy? I can't say for sure, but upon analysis it can't be that great. What would I do if I weren't talking to my friends in Illinois for hours a day? I would probably get out more here, explore more, make friends in interesting places. Sure, I've kept friends over the internet that I would have definitely lost touch with upon leaving home, but is that positive devastating towards my life and my future? I don't know, but I do know that this will be an issue that I will really begin to wrestle with because of where I am in my life. I want to be real, honest, and present with others, and right now I feel further from that than I could have ever imagined.
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