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Reservedly Transparent – Silent & Vague

December 8, 2008

I tend to be a fairly transparent and open person. I guess I usually figure that I don’t have much to lose if people know the truth. I somehow simultaneously manage to be fairly quiet and reserved in the midst of that transparency.

? – I’m not quite sure how that works.

When I am quiet, it’s usually for one of two reasons: 1. What is on my mind and in my heart cannot appropriately be expressed. 2. I don’t have anything to say.

Because I am so naturally transparent, a lot will come out if I do talk. Sometimes that means I shouldn’t talk because it would be out of place. Why bother saying something less than the truth? Why bother speaking if I have nothing that can be appropriately said?

In group settings I am especially quiet. I could come up with things to say, but if other people are talking and I don’t have something to say, I’ll leave the air-space open. I don’t feel the need to be constantly heard. I don’t see this as a problem. The problem is when I do have something to say and choose not to say it for the wrong reasons (fear, insecurity, etc.) And this definitely happens on occasion. But I would not say that this is the primary reason that I frequently sit in silence when I am in a group. People like to be heard. You put a bunch of them together and there are a lot of voices trying to get into the conversation. I don’t like pushing my way into that if I don’t have a reason to speak.

I am still learning to bridle my speech. But I have learned that bridled speech frequently requires silence. And I am still learning to exercise the necessary level of restraint.

There are aspects of guarding my heart that demand silence in some matters. And I also do not have the freedom to publicly reveal more about a person than he or she has chosen to reveal. I have little against exposing myself. But I am not OK with exposing others. (Which is not to say that it has not happened… this is still an area where I have recently learned some very difficult lessons.)

That is a significant reason why my blog can tend to be rather vague. Sometimes wisdom says, “Don’t write that… you need to guard your heart.” And sometimes there are other people involved who I cannot expose. But I still want to articulate and express the emotional realities and the truths about God that are moving around those stories and events and relationships that I need to be so vague about.

Actually, I am rarely vague without meaning to be. Few things bother me more than failure to communicate and poor articulation. It happens, but it frustrates me and I work hard to communicate well. However, I frequently choose to be unclear because it is necessary. Or, on occasion, I am unclear because it is simply more fun. (E.g., when I get up in urgent need of ANOTHER bathroom break and declare that I am going to go “not pee my pants again.”)

I may aim to be unclear, but I never desire to be confusing. (Confusion should only enter the equation if you are trying to figure out what you don’t need to know.) Unfortunately… these two overlap quite a bit. I’m still working on it.

I will adress the other side of this in my next post.

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