I am currently reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown AND Carry on Warrior by Glennon Melton and I’m all “whoa ladies – GET OUT OF MY HEAD!”  Brene is a researcher who has built a body of work on shame and vulnerability and whose Ted Talks went viral.  Her message is to truly live a wholehearted life you have to learn to embrace your vulnerability and stop hiding it.  Glennon’s a popular blogger who uses her gift of words to encourage moms (women, people) to embrace their imperfections and live “unarmed.”  The common thread through both theses women’s writings is connection.  Both have made me turn a mirror on myself and my brain is kind of exploding.

Brene uses a jar of marbles to explain how trust is built in a relationship.  It’s developed slow and over time – one marble at a time – one-act at a time.  Sometimes you do something that causes a few marbles to be taken out of the jar and then you have to work to fill that jar back up.  Sometimes in a relationship someone does something so bad it causes the other person to take the jar and throw it on the floor.  Trust.  Gone. 

Ya’ll I’m a jar smasher.  I’m an over reacting jar smasher.  I want to fill that jar up good and fast.  When I make a new friend.  I share.  I share a lot.  I probably share too much too fast.  It’s like I’m desperate to be that persons person TODAY.  No slowly filling jars.  No building up over time.  I like you.  Do you like me?  Great – new bestie!  If that person is receptive great.  Friends forever . . . maybe? 

A friend of mine brought up what makes people insecure a couple of weeks ago and she shared one of the things that she’s self conscious about.  I didn’t share mine.  I held it close to my heart.  Because what makes me most self conscious is the fear that I like somebody MORE than they like me.  I am constantly accessing my friendships seeing if the scale starts to move.  And that perceived imbalance leaves me feeling that I’m not worthy of being liked – that I’m not good enough.  It leaves me vulnerable.  And I HATE THAT FEELING!

This is where everything goes terribly wrong for me.  When I start to feel like hey maybe this person isn’t as in this friendship as I am I start to build a wall.  I put on a coat of armor.  I withdraw. I start judging every interaction.  And a lot of times I end up smashing that jar over something totally not worth smashing a jar over.  But gosh darn it, I’m going to smash that jar before someone else does or I’m gonna smash it because the slow loss of marbles kills me.  Sometimes smashing that jar is easier than worrying if it will ever be full again. 

There is a lot of shattered glass on the floor from middle school and high school and college.  Those broken jars didn’t leave me with much, but some cut up hands and a lot of lost marbles.  I haven’t smashed many jars lately.  Maybe I’ve matured and have found some self-control but more likely I think that I have learned that using my coat of armor is less messy.  That building walls and withdrawing doesn’t leave a wake of destruction.

What I’m realizing is that the armor isn’t serving me well.  That while I’m busy watching scales balance and building walls, the friendships are passing me by, that I’m missing them.  That I’m missing the whole darn point.  Wearing armor may not be messy but it sure is lonely!

Maybe, when the jar starts to look less full I’m not suppose to wait for the other person to come along and start filling it back up with marbles.  Maybe its me that needs to add some. 

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