either i've become soft or my theology is truly changing my heart. i never really thought that conflict was a problem for me. i am an opinionated woman and lead from my gut. i can think on the fly a lot of the time and hold my own in most conversations, even heated ones.
but one thing that i have found recently is that i have begun to let "old relationships" die. we have moved quite a bit, and maintaining friendships over distance isn't something i'm good at unless they are like you all - internet savvy and as interested in pursuing online correspondence as "we" are.
i have recently realized though that i am allowing some of these relationship to die because i believe in my heart of hearts that if they knew what i believed about their faith now they would brand me with a scarlet H and out me as a heretic. even here i haven't blogged through some of the ways in which my theology is morphing and my questions are becoming larger than my answers.
i do believe though that conflict and conflict resolution is truly the bridge to community. when we care enough to work through our problems the ties that bind us grow stronger.
i have realized that i can say that all i want and it still doesn't make it true unless i live it out. one of the filters i use on being opinionated and outspoken is that of 'speaking the truth in love'. if i can't say it in love i can't say it.
what i am finding through living out this filter is that the love i have for people and relationships isn't as strong as i thought it was. i realize that if the relationship cannot maintain the work it will take to walk through this problem it's probably not going to sustain me in the hard work i have to do to get to the other side. i don't like that. love isn't nearly as good of a motivator for me as being pissed off or when i am seeking justice. those emotions motivate me to action. love i'm finding is much more difficult than i realized.
i find i love myself and my peace of mind more than i love some others from my past.
i have a very good friend, things between us got a bit sideways. i was tempted to write her off. i was afraid if i spoke my truth she would have chapter and verse to show me i was wrong, and i don't really have the energy for those kind of debates anymore. if there is more heat than light i want nothing to do with it. i know that some things are worth fighting for - but i'm finding that the list of 'those things' is growing smaller each day.
the temptation to just loose contact was strong, but i realized that the love i have for her is stronger. i don't want to loose her friendship. i had hoped we could speak face to face over the holidays, that didn't happen and i was left with few good options. i decided to write her a letter, i sat with my words for the full weekend and finally sent them.
they were well received, but now the work begins. trying to speak my truth, keeping it about me and not her, and not basing my behavior on her response is key to this for me. i know much of this is more for me than it is for her. it is still hard. much of what i am addressing is still so fresh and new, i haven't had the courage to verbalize much of it before. i explained to her that these ideas feel like new shoots in the garden and i don't want things uprooted or squashed.
putting these things down in writing is important. speaking them "out loud" is necessary. if they don't have the strength to grow into real beliefs what good are they?
i left a comment on a new blog today about letting the worms out of the can. the damn things just won't go back in. so i sit, with my worms and new growth, i know they are good for each other - but it's a dirty, fertile place of waiting. waiting for the light to bring strength, growth and maturity to these fledgling seeds. god send the light.