Friday, June 29, 2012

We look at ourselves with different eyes

On May 26, I wrote about how the blog posts I most like to read capture a particular moment vividly.  In that post, I was writing in praise of "Pattern" by Angie Smith.  Today I write in praise of "Wrestling with Demons" by Nimue Brown.  The things that strike me about her blog post are:

  • My attention is grabbed when writers vividly describe a moment, as Nimue Brown does in this post.  In contrast, generalizations and abstraction do not hold my attention.
  • My experience is not the same as what she describes, but like her, I have my broken parts.  She has broken parts, and she has a husband who loves her.  I thought that's why people can't love me.  Because I'm not sparkly enough.  But maybe us broken people are worthy of love too.  Really, I think everyone is broken one way or another.  Certainly the people I love are broken.  I don't love them in spite of it. I love them for all of what they are.  So is it possible that I too can be loved, and even by people who see who I am, not just people who admire surface traits?
  • Her blog is one of my favorite blogs.  As a fan of her blog, I think she's a pretty cool person.  But in the moments described in this particular post, she doesn't see her coolness.  How can it be that wonderful people don't see how wonderful they are?

    I remember once, a group photo, passed around to be looked at by each person in the photo.  Each person said the same thing, "I don't look very good in this photo, but everyone else looks really good."

    Perhaps we look at ourselves with different eyes than we use when we look at everyone else.  We see other people as cool, sparkly, wise, funny.  We see ourselves as funny-looking, dull failures.  But maybe none of us are as different from the people around us as we think.  Maybe all of us are broken, but all of us are sparkly too.

    The people I see as sparkly are the ones I don't know as well, the ones I admire from afar.  The people I love, I don't see them as sparkly.  I see their fears, their kindness,  their quirks,  their silliness, their hesitation, their joy, their illness, their courage, their damage, their intelligence.  That's how I want to be seen. I don't want to be admired from afar as beautiful and witty.  I want to be seen for all of me, and loved for it.

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