She called me out. God had already been nudging me and I knew I needed to sit down and really have this conversation that He was hinting at and then my friend emailed me an, “article for you to read”. Basically the writer of this article was being challenged on the idea that she was a hoarder.
I don’t really save a lot of stuff… I’m really good at recognizing what needs to be thrown out or given away and I love living in a clean simple environment. I don’t have a lot knickknacks and I don’t subscribe to the local newspaper or any magazines. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things but I’ve seen where it can get out of control… I just would never have described myself as a hoarder.
So I was wondering what my friend was trying to encourage me in and then I got to the part in the article where she asks the Holy Spirit, “Do I hoard my words?” What? Hastily, I began scrolling to the top of the article re-reading it – what did I miss? I didn’t see this coming, where is she going with this?
I live as if one day my words will function within their full purpose and serve my world.
But not yet … For now, they’re loaded into the many many folders that make up the garage on my computer.
When new words and thoughts come, I keep piling them all into that garage.
These thoughts dawn and I am horrified: Yes, I am a hoarder. I hoard my words, my ideas, my thoughts for someday and one day…
They gather dust in my garage and get battered by time, but there’s no benefit to anyone. No one is served by the words in my garage. No one is fed. No one gets nourished.
Idelette McVicker – Is that a Restaurant in Your Garage?
Holy smokes! This was the conversation that God was trying to have with me. This was what the nudging was about…
By the time I was done reading, I knew that I fell in the same category. I do hoard my words, thoughts, ideas… blog posts. I’ve used general excuses; not enough time, there are enough bloggers out there, it sounds like a journal entry, I can only write when I’m inspired, nobody reads it anyway, writer’s block …blah, blah, blah…
The truth is I have stuff come to me all the time but hold back because the thoughts aren’t complete or it sounds like a rant or what is it even that I’m trying to say? It’s probably perfectionism that stops me more than anything… I want to polish and refine the thoughts before I can even begin writing them. I don’t want to risk presenting something that rambles, doesn’t make sense or is just wrong.
Over the last few days as I’ve thought about the truths this article pointed out, I’ve realized that it isn’t just my words that I hoard. I hoard myself. I keep myself put away and only let portions out to be seen; the parts that are agreeable, pleasing, easy for people to handle or relate too.
Not everything I say or do comes out as I intend or plan for it too, and even when it does, not everyone’s a fan. So I began to hold back, frame my words more carefully; keep thoughts and ideas to myself. I’ve become tentative and cautious and this has impacted many areas of my relationships, confidence and even my writing.
I thought that I was protecting them but – wow – I’ve just been protecting myself.
We all face rejection and people that don’t like us, hurt us or push us away and for too long I’ve let those experiences determine how safe I am, how loved I am, how accepted I am.
There will be rejection, there will be people that are offended or don’t handle your mistakes well and don’t value the relationship. It’s up to me how to live my life. I can hoard myself away and collect dust, get rusty from lack of use, lose my luster and shine as I sit in the shadows of life going on around me or…
I can live in this anchor of truth that the rejection and opinions of others don’t define me or condemn me to never change. I can be wrong about something and learn. I can have a strong opinion and it won’t kill anyone. I am accepted and safety is overrated.
So no more hoarding. Of myself or my words. This has been a year of discovery for me and so instead of holding back and wishing I could shout it out for the world to know – I will write about it. It might be wrong. It might be opinionated. It might be too long or too short. It might read like a journal entry ack! It might even ramble with several thoughts that don’t tie into a great conclusion. I’m not perfect, polished or refined and I don’t need to be. I love the invitation toward the end of the article:
Come as you are. Come, sit with us.
Come, bring your ideas and your heart and your ordinary sentences.
Let’s try them out here. ~Idelette McVicker
That sounds good to me…
Photo Credit to Richard Ricciardi