Today is my two year anniversary with WordPress. Two years of writing. Two years of dramatic personal change. Two years of being proud of what I’ve written most days, and two years of half-finished writings stored on my phone and in my computer. A lot can be learned from writing. I especially enjoy writing about my experiences in the world, and when I sat down to write today I thought I would explore my fascination with the human heart. But as I write, I keep thinking about all of the less-than-satisfactory words I have put together over the past two years. The stories that didn’t make it outside of my file folder, or outside of my journal, or outside of my mind. The beautiful, but broken, stories that I felt would not be accepted or celebrated. I realized midway through my journey of writing that I never want to write for an audience. I never want to write to appease a crowd or get “likes” (although I do enjoy getting feedback from my posts). I would always write from my heart. I would always write words that were motivated by genuine intention. For this reason, sometimes many weeks go by before I write. Edgar Allan Poe once wrote about in “The Philosophy of Composition” that all stories are premeditated with the end in mind, that no stories occur out of divine inspiration. I disagree though. I am convinced that some of the most beautiful works of literature were inspired purely by the capacity to write and the want to do it. Not all writings were designed to deliver a purpose. Not all words were methodically placed together to convey a message, at least one that was anticipated beforehand. This makes me feel as if one of the purest forms of art has been reduced to pushing an agenda. And I just can’t believe it. I truly think some words, at least my own, are inspired by an intent to write. Not an intent to satisfy the reader.
But I think of those flawed, puzzling pieces of my writings that remain unread by those other than my own eyes. I think of the times I have started writing and ended prematurely. I think of the times I imagine writing something that would be moving, exciting, celebrated. And then I stop, and insecurity floods in. I am not a writer. Many times, I hide what I write.
I think human behavior can relate to the way I view my own stories and compositions. The good pieces are always published. They are always on display for others to read. Everyone has access to what I view as my more polished writings. But the faulty ones, the less perfect ones, they are hidden for my own eyes to see.
Humans are flawed.
We are all flawed. Yet we try, so diligently, to create a flawless image in the eyes of others. We are all guilty of this. Myself most definitely included. We paint pictures on social media of lives that are full of happiness and success. We post images of our friends, our husbands, our beautiful homes and cute outfits. We attend church and sing songs that portray a life that is without pain, without suffering. We chat with our friends about all of the good things that are happening in our lives.
But all human lives are flawed.
And I truly think that if we showed more of who we really were, more of who we are everyday, day in and day out, that we would be a freer human race. Humans weren’t created to experience pure joy. We shouldn’t be expected to maintain an image that shows this standard either. We are made of disappointments and successes. We are made of triumphs and defeats. The little intricacies that make our lives are what comprise who we are. I am half-written, sloppily-tied-together ideas left in a journal. I am phone notes full of thoughts that I started writing about. My life is spattered with disappointments, heartbreaks, and very real sadness. I don’t always win, I don’t always succeed. My brightest days are complemented with my days of uncertainty. No one holds immunity to life. No one writes perfect pieces all the time.
I love that human life is flawed. I think one of the greatest things about Christianity is that the ruler of the universe, the maker of the world, sent his own son into the world to experience the human dynamic. I believe a big thing we can realize is that God in the flesh didn’t hide his suffering. He cried out. He felt betrayal. He knew pain, and he expressed it. What makes us any more human where we feel scared to show others that we suffer?
Would I be a worse scientist if I didn’t tell people the many, many times I failed to understand? Would I be a worse Christian if I hid from people the own doubts I have about my faith? Would I be a worse writer if I didn’t tell people of my incomplete and unworthy writings? Surely the answer to all of these is yes. But I truly don’t know. I feel being real and genuine would allow us to explore even deeper into the things we love. Knowing we have failed, and will fail, offers a liberation from a standard of perfection that is unattainable. I know my desire is unlikely. I just yearn for a world where we could all see the value in being more real, more authentic. We shouldn’t feel ashamed of the less perfect aspects of our lives. We should treasure the diverse pieces that ultimately fit together to make the imperfect, unique, and valuable us.
But my writings remain hidden and my flaws remain covered. And one day when someone is bold enough to unashamedly show their less perfect lives, my words will be set free and hopefully we will be too.
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