Ever since "The 4 Things I Learned in 4 Years of Marriage" post, a lot of you have asked me to write regularly on marriage. And I'm all,
And the urging continues and I'm like,
Guys! You're too kind!
But seriously, shut up, I want to say a few things:
With all of the feedback I got from that post, I was struck by how many of you said things like "I never knew other people struggled with this!" or "It's a relief to hear someone say what I'm feeling" or "You're not a sea-witch or a turd!" (Thanks, Mom). I picture us all, hunkered down in our apartments and houses, trying to stuff our embarrassments and imperfections back down into privacy.
And it's just so exhausting, isn't it?
Because we're building our own prisons, growing our own disease - because the secrecy makes it worse. Anne Lamott puts it well:
When people shine a little light on their monster, we find out how similar most of our monsters are. The secrecy, the obfuscation, the fact that these monsters can only be hinted at, gives us the sense that they must be very bad indeed. But when people let their monsters out for a little onstage interview, it turns out that we've all done or thought the same things, that this is our lot, our condition. We don't end up with a brand on our forehead. Instead, we compare notes.
And I think my 5th lesson is already taking root:
5. Let your monster out. It seems to be that if Love has an enemy, the greatest trick he could pull on any of us is to convince us all that we're alone in our imperfection. That the great majority is flourishing. That we should hide out and hope for the best. And I believed this! (YOU FOOL!)
But, if there's one thing your responses taught me, it is that (sing it out, Zac Efron & Co) WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
None of us has it together.
We're all terrified of what you think of us.
We all pick fights for no reason and then ride our argument into the ground because we can't admit that it's stupid.
We all use and abuse sex.
We're all intentionally cruel to the people we love the most.
The greatest freedom Jesus ever offered us was the opportunity to admit that we're broken and find rescue in Grace. Why would we exclude our relationships from this freedom?
I say enough.
Let's find a way to get the monsters out there and start breaking some chains. Let's admit to our brokenness and compare notes. Let's really be in it together to strengthen love and encourage each other through the darker times. Obviously, we should do this with our human friends and family. But, my friend, we live in a digital world and sometimes it's easier to display our monsters online.
Which leads me to my IDEA:
If you have questions or comments or stories about marriage/relationships/Jesus/goodness and how they all work together, leave me a comment or send me a message! I have changed the controls so commenting is completely anonymous. I'll do my best to answer - either by commenting back, or maybe through another blog post, if we find a particularly pervasive issue. Not because I'm so wise or old or experienced *looks down at cartoon underwear and applesauce lunch*...but because - by some bizarre twist- you people seem to trust me and because - by an even more bizarre twist! - I seem to have no problem airing my dirty marriage laundry for you all to gawk over. Lara, over at I Quit When It's Cold did something similar with adoption questions and has created a wonderful little community there. (Stop over if you're into adoption, or if you just want a good laugh- she is hilarious)
Thanks for the millionth time for being the best and most encouraging readers. You sure know how to make a girl feel brave.