May 01, 2005

Not Quite There

One cool thing about trying to act more confident is that I find myself looking forward to interacting with people more. It's not that I didn't like talking to people before; it's just that it was always mildly stressful, and now it has an objective, a challenge.

Of course, I still sometimes find myself shying away from certain social situations. On Saturday I went to a bridal shower I didn't particularly want to go to --- my grade school best friend's brother is getting married. The thing is, there were a lot of people at this shower whose opinion of me I highly value, and by whom I feel so precariously accepted. I've screwed up a lot of things with these people --- I've known them for years, and have disappointed them on multiple occasions.

And as I was standing around in one of the informal circles, talking, I had never before felt so palpably the difference between being accepted and being loved. Being accepted is being approved of; being loved is being the object of a commitment independent of approval. According to me, anyway.

What's horrible is that as much as I know that what I need in my life is love, I would much rather be accepted. It's nicer. It's easier. It's less risky. And best of all, I don't have to count on anyone.

So I'm disappointed in myself for being so quick to cover up all my wrinkles and scars and stupidities --- because something I've come to highly value in my life is full honesty about weakness. But I clearly need to put my money where my mouth is.

On a not-so-entirely different topic, in my Sunday school class we're doing a series on "Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships." Chip Ingram. Much less pukey than I thought it would be. One of the key points of this and last week's lesson was something along the lines of, "It's not so much about finding the right person as being the right person."

I've been ga-ga twice in my life, neither time with a guy withwhom I was actually involved. Both of these guys had a certain "je ne se quois" (nearly positive I didn't spell that correctly, but I'm too lazy to look it up) --- a certain shepherding nature that I can't quite define. It was like they walked into a room looking for what they could do for people.

So in addition to attempting to present myself as confident to the people I meet, I think I shall endeavor to attempt to find out what people need and whether or not I can meet that need. This is my attempt to "be the right person." But I'm seriously asking God to let this attitude "stick" --- I know I can't conjure up or "develop" a truly compassionate heart the way a person develops, say, killer abs.

And I really, deeply want to be compassionate.

Posted by jessica at May 1, 2005 11:03 PM