Based on the title of this post, it’s a long shot that you’ll read past this paragraph. But I think this week’s theme Admit creates such a powerful opportunity for us to share together the ways that we’ve been exposed to our own weaknesses and misconceptions.
Do I need to spell out the ways we’ve all been stripped of ourselves through cross-cultural work? No, I don’t think we need to go there today.
But because of that stripping—that constant cultural rub reminding us that we aren’t good enough or smart enough or have things figured out enough—I believe we get SO TIRED and worn down that we become increasingly defensive.
We surround ourselves with people who will validate us and read articles that will affirm us and even search for Scripture that will esteem us.
We cut off relationships that are *unhealthy*, another defense mechanism.
We use the word *boundaries* in excess, another defense mechanism.
We rally people to choose our *side*, another defense mechanism.
And pretty soon, we’ve reduced the number of conflict-inducing interactions we need to have every day to a minimum. Our hearts can rest easy that everyone is in our camp, that we have found the right way, and that we are free from the expectations of others.
I mean, I’m not saying all of this from experience or anything but OH MY GOODNESS I AM.
This is me! This is how I cope!
When I’m down and beaten up and discouraged, you better believe I don’t run towards conflict and more discouragement. I find a cheerleader or two and I only talk to those people.
And I don’t mean that as a bad thing. We all need validation and affirmation and esteem.
But my fear—especially when it comes to working through the difficulty of team relationships—is that we want to stay in the camp with those who are cheering with us instead of sifting through the conflict that occurs when different kinds of people are working towards the same goals.
The irony. Same goals. Same mission. Same desired outcomes. And SO MUCH CONFLICT.
A few months ago, I found myself unhealthily defensive in the midst of team dynamics. I wanted to have my feelings heard, and most of all I wanted to be RIGHT.
The validation I was seeking didn’t come. And the sting was deep.
I found myself in a state of fight or flight. Should I throw my hands up and give up? Should I build a case in justification of self?
Or should I do the opposite? Should I lay down my defenses, listen to my mortal flaws, and admit that I am half the problem?
I really wasn’t in a good headspace, friends. And I can tell you that everything in me wanted to build a case and declare myself holy and righteous and pure.
But dadgummit humanity. I am so flawed. And something beyond the power within me allowed me to admit to myself that once again — I AM NOT PERFECT.
I’m half responsible for broken relationships. I’m half responsible for poor communication. I’m half responsible for unhealthy assumptions. And it’s my job (especially when we’re talking about team relationships on the field) to admit when I’ve done wrong and ask for forgiveness from my neighbor.
Admitting sin and imperfection? It still stings. But it is remarkable how much healing comes through the discipline of honest humility.
I know we want freedom. I know we want healing. So this week, what is it that you have been avoiding admitting to yourself and others?
This is The Grove and we want to hear from you! You can link up your blog post, or share your practices, ponderings, wisdom, questions, ideas, and creative expressions with us in the comments below.
Here’s our Instagram collection from this week using #VelvetAshesAdmit. You can add yours!