The first time another human being noticed my soft, squishy underbelly was in the 6th grade,
We were several months into deciding to be friends,
She let the cat out of the bag,
Telling all our classmates that
I wasn’t mean,
But was silly and nice when you got to know me;
People may stay the same,
But perhaps it takes some time to see that.
When any person first meets me,
I am told, given hindsight, that I am quite the extrovert;
I’ll ask you where you’re from,
I’ll make some offhand jokes,
Comment on whatever is going on in that moment,
Stare you down like Ella does when she’s trying to sniff out if a stranger is a good person,
That kind of thing.
It is very clear that I want to be your friend,
If you know me.
Some months later,
It is a completely different story,
That isn’t bad.
I typically become a lot more reserved,
Shy for most situations,
The party-charmer personality vanishes,
Yet she was just as real,
And she is still there, in safe-keeping.
I am happiest when both aspects can come out,
With a healthy dose of grey area in between,
But sometimes change doesn’t allow for that,
And I step through the same pace with nearly all the people I know or love,
As the image changes.
It’s confusing if you think of it as a riddle,
It is refreshing, I’m told, if you think less,
But then again,
I really don’t know.
I like this flexibility,
It makes me feel useful,
Like a jack-of-all trades.
Often people call it disingenuous
Because they know only one aspect.
Do you think lies are only good or bad?
Because that is how you will view these differences too, as they resurface,
Like fish coming up for air,
Don’t fish breathe through gills?
Only one truth could be the truth, right?
What does it mean to lie?
I am not a liar,
But I don’t believe it is my place to speak for others most of the time,
Unless they will not speak for themselves,
And unless it is necessary,
So that people might heal.
It fascinates me how easy it can be to omit certain aspects of the truth,
Which only serve,
To make a person bleed,
After it is clear the person you care about,
Cannot bear to hear them anyways.
I don’t know what justice is any more,
I don’t pretend to do it right,
But I do know that often,
There are a lot more confusing bits and pieces then we all recognize,
And we all just do our best.
When I lie for my own benefit,
For whatever reason,
There’s your sign.
I don’t lie, really,
I can’t think of the last time I lied to alter what was legitimately the truth,
But I do omit things,
Not because they aren’t true,
But because no one person can bear the full weight of the truth,
And even if it should not be up to each person’s individual discretion,
Sometimes the kindest thing is to let things stay confusing,
And ask God for clarity.
Would you believe me if I said that sometimes his answer is to focus on things that hurt less?
Is it lying if it is omission?
Very “small” things, I don’t know that they are so different from the larger things,
But is it fair to hurt others, if you know in advance that whatever you say will do devastating,
While not “irreparable” damage?
It is never nearly so dramatic,
But it can be.
If perspective is the lens that we use to view the world,
Then isn’t the kindest thing to do,
Acknowledging the pain, weeping with, sitting through it together;
Focus on collecting what was good and decent,
And as you listen, allowing the person you love to have the space to grieve,
As he or she abandons the rest?
I don’t have answers,
I trust that God can guide people to find them on their own.
But I know that we all have baggage,
We all have pain,
We may not recognize it,
And we may sit with it, completely alone.
I don’t think being alone is just,
Of all the things in the entire world,
Being alone is not just in any kind of way;
Not to the person who has been left,
Not to the person who has agreed to be left.
Do circumstances account entirely for disaster?
Or do people have a choice in accepting abandonment and loss?
I’m going with the second option,
Because I believe that is the one that heals,
No matter the circumstance.
We each are born into our circumstances,
But most of us are born capable of surviving them,
And God walks with;
I know it is not that simple,
But like I said,
I’ve got no answers here.
I’m not sure where kindness ends and the truth begins sometimes,
But I take it as a gift.