"Sometimes the story we're telling the world isn't half as endearing as the one that lives inside us."
-- Donald Miller, Scary Close --
It's hard to know ourselves.
It should be really simple, but we're all so good at putting on fronts for different reasons that we sometimes get lost in them...and then, just like that, we don't even know our own true selves.
I like talking to people and socializing; I always have. However, as I've gotten older, I don't feel as comfortable socializing as I used to. I always feel like I don't know what to say or do, and that small talk is boring, but people seem uncomfortable with real talk (or maybe I'm uncomfortable with real talk?). I say that I value relationships and people, and I truly mean that, but it's sometimes difficult for me to live that out.
Reading this sixth book in the #yearof50books gave me some excellent food for thought as I think about my relationships. This book is Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller. I've read one of his other books, Blue Like Jazz, and have another of his on my list to read, but this particular book has intrigued me for a long time. I appreciate his conversational writing style: he just seems to be talking with you, not at you, which doesn't seem to be the style of all non-fiction authors.
Miller gets real in this book about his own issues with relationships and how he dealt with them. He's read several other books on the topic and references them, as well as information from counselors and his friends, to give readers their own opportunity to develop stronger and healthier relationships and really get to know people.
I highlighted many sections and sentences while reading because I know this is a book I will revisit and I want to remember those key concepts and words that stuck out to me. One thing he said touched on something that I've been working through in my head a lot lately, about the kind of life I want to live. He said, "...I'm starting to wonder if that's not the whole point of life, to be thankful for it and to live in such a way others are thankful for theirs as well." Isn't that the kind of life we all want to live? The tricky part, though, is remembering that and putting it into practice.
I don't want to keep giving things away, but his list of "New Freedoms" for himself are freedoms I want for myself -- the freedom to be human. What a wonderful thing!
Remember, if you're interested in learning more about any of the books I share, I'm keeping track of what I've read (and what I hope to read) on the Books page! Clicking on a title will link you to Goodreads. If you're on Goodreads, look me up! I'd love to be book friends! :)
Book #7 is coming along nicely! This fictional read is one that I think some of my intermediate students would be interested in, so I'm reading to make sure I can recommend it to them. I look forward to sharing it with you soon!