Thursday, August 20, 2015

a sort of "P.S."

As a sort of footnote to the last post....
Even when you tell your story, that isn't always the end of it.
Often there will still be times when ..."new wrinkles" of or from it will surface.
When they do, you are again at the crossroads of  tell? or no, or not this time.
If you notice something "new" from someone you know, who has a dark chapter or two from their story. You may be inclined to wonder if "this new thing" has to do with "that part" of their story.
I'd say you can ask. Their answer can range from the one word: "yeah." to a full on explanation. Or... they may ask you to "just let it" or "can we NOT talk about that?"
This might not mean, not ever talking about it. Sometimes I, personally, need distance from my story. To feel accepted both in & out of my story. My current life does not revolve around my story.
Telling my story is emotionally draining most times. As well as bringing darkness to the surface at times. Sometimes it's better to walk away from it for a while. You know, "we need to agree to see other people" kind of thing. Put another, perhaps simpler way: Abuse is part of my story... not the story unto itself. My story is always a partial story anyway. I am still here. Chapters are still unfolding. Chapters have yet to be written.
I have so much more I could say.
I will, however, leave this post short.....

May His grace drip from your fingers,
B

Sunday, August 9, 2015

About Dark Stories [telling them, or listening to them]

This could go really well........ or it could really end up being a sad attempt at something "to big for a blog post".
The last question on the TWLOHA movie discussion questions is:
"How do you make sure you are sharing your story in a healthy way?"
...why IS it that bad examples are so much easier to find than good ones?
It's not quite what my next example is...
TWLOHA movie [it's at about 47 minutes in] Renee goes to the church where the funeral was held for her friend's mother.[Jessie] Sitting down with Jessie & Dylan, proceeds to share her story with them.
No yelling, or pushing... just calm, somewhat quiet talking.
This is a favorite moment of the film. They mend fences, get real, & honest with each other. [Jessie & Renee]

In my own life, I've pushed back against telling my own story.
There are a lot of questions to think about. Honestly, there are questions no matter which side of the "telling a dark story" you happen to find yourself on. The one telling the story..... or the one listening to the story.
Here is a brief idea of some of them.
Telling your story.
How much can I tell them? [meaning: a, Do I have the strength, comfort, safety to "tell all"? If not, how much can I tell? b, how much can one person take of my story?] How hurt will they be? Can I trust them?  What will they do with such knowledge? What will this do to our relationship? Will it be over? Will they walk out? Am I willing to loose them, just to see if they can handle "the real me"?
Not fun....
The one being told the story.
What happened to them? What awful experience would make a person hide part of themselves from everyone? Did they make some horrible mistake? What did someone do to them? How does this story make them feel about themselves?  How do I help them? What should I say? Is there anything to say? How vulnerable do they feel right now? How do I show love in a way that seems real to them? How do I behave in such a way that I am a safe person? How do I act so that I am not triggering?

I'm not sure you can be prepared for a story you know nothing about.  You can watch someone's actions, try to piece together, from their behavior, what you might be in for.... however, without details you're still blind. You're still walking into an emotional mine field. Unsure what move will end up biting you.
You will probably apologize. "I'm sorry." will feel like handing a band aide to someone who lost a leg. [can you say "pointless"? I knew you could.]

This is probably not a complete list by any means. Just a little taste of the concerns on both sides of it.

For the rest of this little... whatever you want to call it..... I'm going to tell a story. A time when someone got me to tell them my story. I'm not sure it was shared in the best way. It started off pretty rough, anyway. It's why I mention the idea of willingly walking into a mine field. Which is pretty much what he did, at least at first.
Sadly, this story happened at church.
So... "on with it" then......
I used to work 2nd shift. So, on Wed. I'd help out at church. They needed "tech people". You know, people who could work with electronics & do non-linear video editing, make copies of tapes & discs, setting up the stage, tearing down the stage.
Things were good.
Then, one day, I went in. I sat on the couch in Dave's office. He says to me: "Hey, I need to have a serious conversation." I was fine with that.[not realizing he was wanting to talk to me] I don't need to eves drop on it. So, making for the door I reply: "Ok, well, tell me what you want me to work on & I'll get to it & be out of your hair."
"Um, no, I mean I need to have a conversation with you."
I stopped dead. Turned & looked at him. He asked me to close the door. He didn't realize what he was asking. I slowly walked toward the door. Now, for the first time, I began to take a different look around his office. Bookshelf by the door. That'll do. I can knock it over, thus making it hard for him to come closer to me. If that doesn't work the bookshelf is pretty full of books. I only need to have a firm grip on one of them.... to kill him with it. I'm moving toward the door. The handle is metal. The door is solid. If I have to, I can hurt or kill him with either one.
See... what he didn't know was that being locked in a room for hours, is how the abuse started. I HATE being trapped. I "threw" my arm into a window of my overturned car once. Just so I could crawl out of the car. Kill me. Don't trap me. I cannot tell you graphically enough, how I hate being trapped. He didn't know this. How could he? I never told him.
Worse... "B, can you lock it please?"
I never let go of the door handle. I did lock it. I'm sorry for what I'm going to write..... it is what I said, though.
Turning to face him. "LOOK. If you're firing me -though how you fire someone from a volunteer job I have no idea- Just say so. I'll be gone. You will NEVER see me again. ok?"
"I'm not firing you. You seem -"
"I HATE being trapped, David. So, you have 5 minutes to tell me what the ___ this is. GOT IT? 5 minutes. During which time you need to keep your ___ in that chair. If you touch me, I WILL kill you. I know you were a cop. I know your bigger than me, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE. I can fix that. I can make you any size you want. Do NOT touch me. I don't want to hurt you. David. But I will if I have to."
He smiled. [an uneasy, nervous smile. tinged with sadness. So much for making me feel safe] Folded his hands across his stomach. "I'll stay right here. I won't come out from behind my desk. What I wanted to say was that several people feel you have something that is eating at you. Like you are going to explode. I want you to feel free to tell me whatever it is. I may not know how to help you. Yet you can say anything. I wanted the door shut & locked, so no one would walk in on us while you are sharing it. That's all. So you are sharing only with me..... can you please tell me what happened to you? Why you feel threatened by being here?"
"I don't think I should."
"Why not?"
"Because I don't hate you that much."
"Ooook."
Somehow, he got me to start telling him. It just fell out of my mouth.
A great deal of it. Then, when I was done, he said: "So.... is that it?"
Unfortunately, I heard it as: "oh, is that all."
Me in total sarcasm mode: "Oh, I'm sorry. Was that not graphic enough for you? Cause I can give you the blow by blow, bloody version, if that'll make you feel better."
"No, no, no. That's not what I meant at all. I mean, you've kept this to yourself for all these years. Are you sure that you've told me all of it?"
"Let's just say it this way, Dave..... I think I've told you all I can suffer through telling in one sitting. Ok? There probably is more. ....you just don't know how hard it is to tell this stuff. It's like bleeding... it's like taking all of your clothes off just because you can. I'm not used to sharing all this. It hurts. It makes me feel..... I'm not sure I can say how it feels in words..... I'd rather be dipped, naked, in rubbing alcohol, & drug slowly across a yard of razor blades.
.....so, do you still want me here? I understand if you want me to leave & never come back."
"No. I want you here. I'm glad you could tell me. I cannot imagine how hard it was to tell me all of that. It hurts me to know that you had to live though that. I'm glad you're still alive. I don't have any experience with any of that. Thank you for telling me, though. I want you to know, you can come in here. Shut the door & say anything you want. I want you to feel like we can talk about anything. I'm here for you. No matter what."
He eventually suggested I go to therapy. Mostly because a therapist is qualified to really help process such things. Yet he made t clean that it "in no way" meant he wasn't interested in listening. He just wanted me to heal. I went all sarcasm on that, too. I told him years later that I finally went to one. I apologized to him for not going sooner. He was great about it.
This conversation began this... "code" between us. If I needed to rant. To verbally throw up [or "word vomit" as Renee Yohe calls it] I would walk into his office, push the door shut, & say: "Ok... the gloves are OFF!" Then I would launch into whatever was ticking me off at that moment.
...truthfully, everyone should have a person like this. I've a few people that I can be really... "descriptive" with. [MAN that sounds so polite & benign, for what it really was/is]
Maybe someday I'll give you some example of my "way with words" in this regard. ...perhaps I don't really need to? ouch.
So...
I began with some questions. Maybe I can finish with a few feeble answers.
In telling your story.
How much can you tell?
A. Only you know when you reach your limit of sharing. If you can't tell all of it. Maybe just say so. "Look, this is really hard for me. I don't think I can say more right now. I think I hit my limit."
As for how much can someone take of my story. If you feel comfortable enough to share with them... they will probably hear all you have to say. It WILL hurt them. This means they care.
If you don't know if you can trust them, I hope you keep looking till you find someone you can trust.
What will they do with such knowledge?
In my own experience, most of those people will be the ones you will feel most comfortable with. They will learn better how to respond to you. How to help you. They will understand your behavior better. Most people at my church don't touch me much. Though some have done the slow process of ..."replacing bad memories". They have learned how to make touching me easier for me to handle. Some of them I go to & hug them, now. Which took them by surprise the first few times.
So it can grow your relationship with someone. Not always, yet it can happen.
I haven't lost many relationships because of sharing my story.
The one being told the story.
Once you know what happened, you may have some idea how to be a better friend. You will probably have a few "ah ha" moments about things that didn't make sense to you before. I have a friend who told me this.
"B, there were always behaviors I didn't understand about you. Now I understand all of them perfectly. Everything about you makes sense now." Telling me that was a bit jarring at first. Yet I'm glad he did. I don't know if I can say how that helped me.
How the story effects the way they see themselves? You'll only know if A. they feel comfortable telling you... &/or B. You feel comfortable asking them.
How vulnerable do they feel right now? Again, asking is the best way to know for sure. To hear it in their own words.
What should I say? Is there anything to say?
For me, at least, the single best thing you can "say" after the telling of a story like mine... [if told "in person"] Just stay with them for a while. Communicate that you are still there for them. As soon as you can. If they tell you in an email, for whatever reason, email them back as soon as possible & just tell them you are still their friend. You still want them in your life. After a few days seek them out. Call, email, some form of "thinking of you",
"wondering how you are", "are you ok?" It'll mean a lot.
How do I behave in such a way that I am a safe person? How do I act so that I am not triggering?
These will depend on what happened in the story. If you aren't sure, ask them. How can I be a safe haven for you? Is there anything I do [or have done] that would trigger a memory for you?
Ask how [if/when/where] you can help.
I hope this ends up being helpful to someone out there.....

ok... I think I need some songs on here. 
"...Come surrender your hidden scars
Leave your weapons where they are
You’ve been hiding
But I know your wounded heart
And you don’t know how beautiful you are..."
Danny Leggett - The Valley [love how this tune builds] "...you're not alone, on this dark day, sharing your wounds will be your strength..."
Both songs from the TWLOHA movie soundtrack.

May His grace drip from your fingers,
B

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I'll be here

Last night I ran out. I just didn't want..... anything. Didn't want to eat. So I didn't. I don't let myself skip meals often. Last night, I did. Yesterday had a few "hiccups" yet nothing to make me feel the way I felt. I told a friend in an email about it. They were so very kind:
"... write whenever you want to ... I’ll be here..." 
I really needed to hear..... just that. Just to be told: It's ok. I feel that way too sometimes. I'm not going to think less of you. I love you as you are. 
So beautiful. So necessary. All of us need people like this in our life. 
Anyway, in my Wed night group we talked a bit about the Apostle Paul. Specifically his writings on "the thorn" in his life. We never learn any other name for it. So we don't know what "it" was. 
I think it's a wonderful thing that we don't know what Paul's thorn was. 
Why? Because then we can substitute a struggle of our own in it's place. 
With this in mind, I give you a poem that I wrote. 
I'm kind of scared to share it because I wrote it about a "thorn" in my own life. 
I never name it, of course. I just hate it. Hate that I have to fight it. Hate that I loose. 
However, I keep fighting..... 
so here is the poem,
may it encourage you.....

that
I want you to feel that good
I just don’t want that to be how you get there
You are worth more than that
You
Mean something to people
You
Are important
Your story
Is too beautiful
To have even a sentence wasted on that
So please
Run
As fast & as far
Away from that as you possibly can
Please stop thinking you don’t matter
You do
Not kidding
No exaggeration
You need to have joy
Ecstasy
That is just the wrong way to get there
Ok?
So please step away from there
Move into where you are loved
You are loved
You need to be loved
You
Are beautiful
Your story
Is better than that
Your story
Is wonderful
You have amazing characters
In your story
There are amazing chapters
In your story
Don’t let them be ruined
There’s too much at stake
You are too beautiful
To be soiled
Like that
So don’t let that
Be the end
Don’t let that
Put a shadow
On you
On your story
Too many people
Are invested
In you
In your story
Walk away from that
Don’t walk away
Alone
Your too much fun
To do that
live into a better story....

b.e. noll

May His grace drip from your fingers,
B

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

me too

ok... first off, I wanted to post very soon after my post on suicide. I just didn't want that to be the last, most recent thing from me for a very long time. Yet, that's how it played out. Tonight, a friend posted a writing from Anne Lamott on facebook. I really liked it. 2 things hit me from it. the title: "Grace bats last"..... & "me too". So, I haven't posted a poem on here for a while. [don't know if this is a "stellar" one or not, yet here we go...]

Me too
I know
I know that you feel it too
that feeling of being
"the only one"
The only one:
who feels broken
this much
The only one
who struggles
with this
No one else
could be this weird
this broken
this twisted
"just me"
only me
you feel
like a category
of one
No one could understand
my life is a story no one would believe
you say these things
well...
guess what?
me too
I've said them
I've felt them
felt alone
even though
I wasn't
I had just pushed
the people who care
out
I couldn't help it
you weren't there "then"
so why should I believe that
you'd be here now?
You didn't know about "then"
so how could you?
Now
you know
Now
you are here
You believe me
Even though
if I named my story
it would be called:
"I don't believe it either [& I was there]"
you
are here
I'm not alone
You feel this too
&
you aren't alone in this
because
I feel this too
by b.e. noll


May His grace drip from your fingers,
B

Friday, June 26, 2015

for Mark

[this is a post I'm writing to a friend. He just found out about my blog. And we had a rather heavy conversation the other day. It was about suicide. As I've heard from various people, recently, about suicides, & a person who I rarely worked with tried to kill himself on Tues.]

Hey,
I'm sorry I seemed to "go heavy" on you strait out of the gate.
I told you I've been suicidal. I'm sorry for talking about it in such a way that you might think I still am. I'm not. I'm 44 years old... for 39 of those years, off & on, I felt like dieing. I felt like a waste of space. A waste of matter, atoms, molecules. I could see value in everyone.......else. It is sad. The further from it I get. The more it hurts. Which is where I was/am with hearing of suicides & attempts at suicide. It helps me to know there are people like those from To Write Love On Her Arms. People who are shouting "you matter. Your story is worth finishing. Please stay. Wake up, your alive, we're on your side." That last sentence is actually one of their many cool t-shirts.
When I hear about suicide. One of THE first things that comes to mind, is the list people I would have walked out on if I had killed myself. Then there's people like you. If I had killed myself, we would never have met. I enjoy you. I would have robbed us.....of us. Like I said on the phone... I wouldn't have met Mick [Mickey, my wife of almost 20 years.], I wouldn't have met & enjoyed her 3 sisters. Who are my sisters. I love them. I need them. I wish they could understand how much. I now have 2 brothers-in-law. They are cool, too. [they don't know it either] I have 2 nieces. There are no words adequate for the task of describing the feeling of being "Uncle Brian". I NEVER thought about that. Never thought about what it would feel like to be called that by 2 little girls. They will run across a crowded room, screaming it when they see me. It is the ONLY fame worth having. Nothing is so beautiful, or scary, as being recklessly loved. I'm glad to have that. I'm sorry I almost gave up on getting it. I'm sorry I've scared people. Knowing that there is a "dark part or chapter" to my story.
I have people to call. As I told you, people who will only ask 2 things if I called & said "I need you" right now. "B, where are you? Should I bring anything?". Parents, family, LW family, friends.
I take NONE of it lightly.
I have music...
King Crimson makes me want to be creative. They remind me that I AM creative. They remind me that there are people who call me an artist, a poet, a musician, a valuable person, a friend, a cook...
I have a TWLOHA playlist. I call it that because it's code for: Songs of Hope.
There are songs by Switchfoot, King's X, The Call, The Fray, Plumb, U2, PFR, BEARCAT, Rush, Dustin Kensrue, ..... on it
I have movies....
the TWLOHA movie, among others.
I have books.....
The Inner Voice of Love by Henri J.M. Nowen
A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sitzer
Purpose for the Pain by Renee Yohe
If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski

These are my emergency med kit for when I feel dark. I have pieces of it that go everywhere with me. "just in case". Do I still feel worthless at times? You betcha. The feelings, the thoughts.....yeah, they keep trying. However, I don't plan.....I don't write notes to those who would be left behind. No.
I do write notes.......now, though..... I write notes to the ones who want to leave, asking, begging them to stay.
I sometimes read something & for me, it relates to suicide. 
like this:
[from Eugene Peterson's Devotional book: Living the Message. pg 64. Feb 28th]
"When we read a novel we have an analogous experience. We begin the first chapter knowing there is a last chapter. One of the satisfying things about just picking up a book is the sure knowledge that it will end. In the course of reading we are often puzzled, sometimes in suspense, usually wrong in our expectations, frequently mistaken in our assessment of a character. But when we don't understand or agree or feel satisfied, we don't ordinarily quit. We assume meaning & connection & design even when we don't experience it. The last chapter, we are confidant, will demonstrate the meaning that was continuous through the novel. We believe the story will satisfyingly end, not arbitrarily stop."  

Dear friend, I have lived through some nightmarish stuff. 
do you hear what I've been saying? Do you "hear between the lines"?
I HAVE LIVED THROUGH IT. meaning I'm still alive AFTER it. 
In the beginning of this post I wrote: 
"I'm 44 years old... for 39 of those years, off & on, I felt like dieing."
That's 5 years difference. Those 5 years....mean something. They mean something changed.
Something ended. Something else began. 
"I am a story still going" - TWLOHA 
I loved Star Wars. Enjoyed it since I was a kid. The sub-title of the first one...fits here.
"A New Hope"
Though, perhaps it isn't new. Perhaps it's very old. Perhaps.... at some point, I just woke up to it. Realized, yeah...this IS for me. 
I hope you know this. 
I hope that you've never deeply felt like giving up on your story.
I hope you never do.
I hope that you'll reach out to me if you ever get there. 
So I could help you leave.....the feeling,
not us. 

I hope these words find you. I hope they comfort you. 
mostly, I hope you live.
as long as you can.....

May His grace drip from your fingers,
B

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

somewhat briefly.....

I've said it everywhere else, I finally got my CDL license. I've been reeling since.
I have had a sore throat for many days. [since, last Fri. I think]
I'm driving every day except Fri. this week.
So I might be really "off" for a bit.
maybe not post anywhere for days. Then post a little one place, or post everywhere in a matter of moments. It's hard to say.
I do want to finish & post some things here. It's just crowded in my head... & outside my head. To be honest. I know quite a few people who are struggling right now. So I struggle.... with them.
As well as on my own.
Been listening to all kinds of stuff. From Rush, Big Big Train, Yes, Huey Lewis & the News, Queen...
To Miles Davis, John Coltrane, King Crimson, Return to Forever, Steve Taylor, Steve Vai.....
Thinking of all kinds of moments from my childhood....
Things I want to get done....[some I wish were done years ago]
My wife enjoys watching The Voice. I came in, sat down & ate supper as one person sung a cover of a song, which I really took a liking to. [Demi Lovato - Warrior]
And in case a friend of mine, who's been struggling a lot lately, is reading this post.
I'm going to link another song for her. [hang in there sister. Thanks for helping me all those years ago.]
Bethany Dillon - Beautiful

ok.....I need to take care of myself now.....
May His grace drip from your fingers,
B

Friday, May 22, 2015

"So let the words slip out of your mouth"

Life can feel like a roller coaster. Last week at this time I was feeling a bit "at the ever living end" of myself. Tried to help someone out & it seemed to go sideways. Which is part of the reason for the X-men post. Yet as I talk to a few other people.... it seems like I write or speak the words others couldn't find. It's "scary encouraging". I'm trying to help a few struggling friends. Trying to speak into their lives.
...& the whole time remembering a scene from TWLOHA movie. On the rooftop, Jamie & Renee talk.....
Jamie "Sometimes I wonder if I could've said something. I want to be the guy who knows the right thing to say."
Renee "I think sometimes, people need more than words."
We do.
While I want to be helpful. Some of that help seems to end up being me sharing my story. At least parts of it. And/or how it effects me. I learned from my abuser that I couldn't trust people. Long before Sameen Shaw of Person of Interest said it, I said it to a friend. "Trust is overrated." No, it's not. Under appreciated, perhaps. Not overrated. So it's difficult to share about myself. Certainly to do it without feeling like it's going to bite me in the rear. So sharing deeply can be a process for me. A not so fun one, at that. Yet I yearn to be helpful. To speak healing into people's lives. Don't we all? Partly because I think when we help others, we ourselves end up feeling helped along the way. While I love Jazz music, Progressive music, among others. I like unique approaches to it. Classic ways of doing it... I guess I enjoy good musicianship... yet, I also want music who's lyrics speak to the human condition. All of it. Love, joy, pain, sorrow, loneliness, silliness.... the range of emotions & experiences that we all have. I don't want to avoid any. Yet, some, like sadness, I don't want to become a "permanent residence" either. As I write to a friend or two. As I share things that at first are hard to type.....& then hard to hit "send" or "post"..... I am struck by the words of a song.
The Words by Christina Perri.
"I know that we’re
both afraid
We both
made the same mistakes
An open heart
is an open wound to you...
And I know
The scariest part
is letting go....
I promise you
the truth can’t hurt us now
So let the words
slip out of your mouth"
Which is hard to do. It's easy, putting on a "hard outer shell". To play tough. Though I've never really liked tough guys. Partly because they want to fight. Either you, or they want you to go with them to fight someone else. Boring. I've fought. I've fought for my life. Truthfully... I have come to within millimeters of killing 3 people in my life. No... it isn't cool. The last 2 were by accident. That hurts to type. Because it means one was on purpose. The first was my abuser. When I was 11. I had him. "dead to rights". Just twist his neck a few millimeters further... What bothers me is how bad I wanted to. I crossed a line that day. A very dangerous line. For one thing, I held a life in my hands. If you can avoid doing that... please do. It does something to you. Also, more than before, I truly didn't care if I died. I had lost the fear of death. I wanted it. Living, at times, felt like being punished. Living felt like a prison cell. A side effect of that was, you don't want to care about anyone. Because it means they can hurt you. I'm reminded of a scene from Star Trek: Voyager. Jerri Ryan played a borg. Named Seven of Nine. She didn't feel much. She was "emotionally challenged", seeming more like a cross between the Vulcan Spock, & a robot. Yet in one episode, she bonded with another borg that, like her, had been "separated from the collective". She began to have a mothering relationship with him. She was with him as he lay dying in sick bay. Suddenly, she breaks the painful silence with a childlike response as she holds his hand & looks at him lying there, slowly slipping away. "Stop it. ....you are hurting me."
It was powerful. At least to me. We wouldn't say that to anyone we love who was dying... but we'd feel it. Loudly.
The scariest thing about loving someone... is we give them the power to deeply hurt us. To leave us bleeding on the floor. Physically perhaps, yet more likely emotionally. Obliterated... ribbons of who we used to be. A pile of shards of broken glass.
Yet... without love..... we won't break....& no one, not even we, ourselves, care. It is in being fragile, breakable, that we can be helpful to anyone. Healing to anyone ...and... in helping others... we strangely find ourselves being helped... being healed. It does not make any sense.
I don't think it's supposed to.
You don't have to understand why chocolate tastes so good,
to be able to enjoy eating it.

"Love has it's reasons,
which reason knows nothing of." - unknown

And again... I sit here. Should I post this?
Is it helpful? Was the therapy only in me writing it out?
Getting it outside myself?
Or... is there a use for you? Is there something you can use in this?
If it's for my glory... then it's a waste of time for you to read it. I have no glory.
I am not the sun. I'm the moon. I don't give off light from myself. I reflect it from another.
So... that said, is this reflecting that light? Or just pretending to?
These last questions are just some of the thoughts that I have right before I hit "post".......
If nothing else, remember that I'm learning. Just as you are........
The other Christina Peri song that has been stuck in my head some of you may be sick of hearing. I like the song... & I hate it. I hate... how true it is. Most of us can fake being ok. Make others & even ourselves laugh. We can smile & say we're fine. Yet.. like "being tough" it pushes people away. Creating barriers to community. Being honest is messy. It allows our flaws to be seen. Our weaknesses to be revealed.
.....is that as bad of a thing as we think it is? 
Isn't the reason the song is so popular, 
because so many of us can honestly sing it? 
After all...... 
we're all 
only 
Human

[...and yes, for some of my friends... I'm going to pay for this late night writing. Fri is going to be a bit long.]

May His grace drip from your fingers,
B