I very rarely say what’s actually on my mind. I hate the little box on Facebook that asks:
A lot of the time, it wouldn’t be ok to say exactly what’s on my mind. Like most people I have snarky, mean thoughts…or sad thoughts…or incredibly random thoughts (for example, how do worms reproduce?) which it is not ‘normal’ to share.
But today, I was texting with a friend and making plans for this evening. I invited her over to watch The Help, which we just got through LoveFilm. I said we could watch something else if she wanted, and she replied saying she didn’t want to watch The Help, and would bring a different film she’d been planning on watching.
I started thinking. If it had been the other way round, I probably would have deflected the question entirely – “I’ll watch whatever you want”. In this case, I genuinely don’t mind what we watch, I just want my friend’s company because I enjoy spending time with her…but I realised the majority of people wouldn’t have the confidence to be honest about what they want.
Why isn’t it normal to share what’s on your mind? Why do we hide? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if people were really honest about how they thought or felt? Or what they wanted?
Obviously there could also be some pretty epic and potentially world-changing connotations ifeveryonedid it…world leaders and politicians for example, might have a tough time.
But on the small-scale.
If someone asks you “how are you” – what do you say? My default response is “fine” – last year my life was really anything but fine; I was exhausted, stressed, anxious, ill and deeply unhappy. But whenever anyone asked me, I said “fine” because that is the socially accepted response.
I was at home over the Easter Weekend, and talked with both my mum and my pastor – they’d bumped into each other a few days before, and both told me about it. My pastor asked my mum “how are you” – her response? “I’m having a really bad day”. Mum went on to explain to my pastor that she has severe depression and anxiety, and today was an awful day. Her honesty prompted my pastor to share with her about his own experiences of having depression, for two years, and he was able to say with all honesty: I know how it feels.
Mum said that this chance meeting with him was very helpful, even though he didn’t say anything particularly profound or “counsellor-ish”. He was just honest, because she had been honest, and that helped her.
How many situations are we in, on a daily basis, where we deny our true thoughts and feelings because we are more concerned about how others will receive what we say or do?
I know I do it far more that I want to. I wish I had the confidence and assurance to be honest, in good and bad. To say what’s on my mind – within reason. Ultimately I know that God is my redeemer and thanks to Jesus I am able to rest assured in His promises. He thinks good of me and I needn’t fear Man….and yet, I do. All the time.
Am I alone in this, or is it a common thought among the bloggy world?
Believe me when I say…I want to know what you think!