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Monday, June 26, 2017

Too Close For Comfort

I was painting a frame for a friend's baby shower when I noticed I missed some spots so I went over it a few more times to make sure all surfaces were fully covered. The frame has a rough surface and if you look closely, you can see the coarseness of the wood gain and some fibers actually came off as I painted it. I didn't mind this at all since the blemishes just adds to the character of the piece I was working on. However, some people may have a different opinion of it and if anybody scrutinizes it, I would certainly come to its defense. It's perfect! Just don't look too closely.

How many times have we squirmed uncomfortably when people looked too closely and we feared that they'll discover something we've been hiding? Perhaps we want to give the impression that we have voluminous hair when in fact we're wearing hair extensions or maybe the sutures from the latest face lift are still intact so we try to keep others at arms length away. What about when you're taking someone's picture and they say "Not too close!", conscious that their face will take up the whole frame. Maybe we keep our distance because in a rush to get out the door, we barely had time to wipe away the rheum in our eyes, let alone step in the shower. We've all been in situations where others got too close for comfort.

We keep others at bay not just to save us from embarrassment brought on by our lack of proper hygiene or vanity (it's ironic how we feel ashamed of our attempt to look good). Sometimes we push people away because we simply can't handle being emotionally close to people. We put up a wall because we're afraid others will see us for who we really are or how we truly feel. There are times when we let our guards down just enough to feel human but as soon as one person starts to make bigger deposits into the emotional bank account, one pulls away. We're afraid that our vulnerability will lead us astray.

There are a number of reasons why people pull away from friendships or romantic relationships. One reason could be that some are afraid of commitments. Others may have social anxiety; others may have had a traumatic experience of losing someone and they don't want to experience the same pain so they avoid having close relationships; for others still, culture and upbringing influence the way they handle relationships; then there are others who simply don't want to take a chance. Whatever the case may be, my prayer is for all of us to banish all fears and allow ourselves to feel the comfort of deep and meaningful connections.

--with faith and gratitude,

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