Sunday, April 17, 2011

Say Something

I really love reading other people's blogs, and I check facebook from time to time and enjoy feeling like I know what's going on with my friends - some that I talk to all the time and others I wish I saw more often. But it's pretty rare that I comment. I'm not really sure why - sometimes I'm just busy, other times I don't have anything to say, but more often than not,  it's because I assume they don't need to hear my thoughts - that they probably have lots of other people in their lives that affirm, encourage, and appreciate them. And in most cases that's probably true.

But a few days ago one of my childhood friends left me a generous, thoughtful comment that meant a lot to me, and it caused me to recall a conversation I'd had with another dear friend of mine several months ago. We'd both read the book Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist, and we were talking about the chapter called "Say Something." Basically Shauna just cuts through all the reasons (EXCUSES) why we don't say something when we could - we aren't sure how to comfort someone, we feel awkward, we don't know the right words, we don't feel like they want to hear what we have to say...all of it ends up being about ourselves. She urges her readers to just say something, even if we don't think it's the perfect thing, or even if we doubt we should say anything. In her case, I think she was focusing more on times of grief and loss in others lives, but as my mind revisits this conversation from time to time, I've realized it is foundational to the way we form relationships. There are so many times I have something to say, and I don't say it. Instead of sharing openly and making myself vulnerable, I stay silent and maintain my safe distance.

But after gratefully reading my friend's encouragement, I wondered how many times I've stolen this joy from someone else by keeping my thoughts to myself. So to Ang, thank you for an undeserved but much appreciated comment. I love reading your thoughts, seeing your beautiful girls, and hearing about your ideas, activities, and even what you ate for breakfast. :) And to Casi, thanks for being the kind of friend that makes me think about things like this on a daily basis. You are one of the best "say something" people I know. 


Ang said...

so sweet. Nelly. I really. miss. you.

and of course you love Shauna Neiquist. we totally should have been bff's back in the day. :)

Anonymous said...

Great post! Definitely a good reminder, although I'm sure there are many times that you wish that I didn't ALWAYS have to say something. :)