Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jan Avellana on Safe Community

I'm practicing the art of asking forgiveness over permission today by borrowing my friend Jan Avellana's recent blog post on being a safe person and practicing safe community. It's only 4:30 am in Hawaii as I post this, so I tell myself Jan would rather I steal her post then call her to ask to use it at such an ungodly hour!

Jan say's the vulnerability I displayed in my last post inspired her to step out and practice a little vulnerability of her own by writing this post. I'm pretty honored to have my words effect another person in this way, especially someone whom I admire and love as much as I do Jan!

Once you finish reading, i hope you will take a moment to leave Jan a comment and let her know how her post spoke to you. And if you have a blog post that leaves you feeling vulnerable be sure to leave me a comment too! And so without further ado (and Jan when you wake up this morning and find this in your inbox, I hope you will forgive me....

(Jan enjoying summer near her home in Hawaii)

True story: A woman at my old workplace would go out of her way to be super-duper friendly to me. She’d stop me in the street as she drove by, rolling down her car window to wave to me, to chat at the stoplight, even. I let my guard down and let her in. My weirdo-radar (apparently an obsolete model) gave me no indication that I should keep my distance from her. So, I didn’t. After a few months of this easy-breezy-chatty-friendship, I found out that she and another woman I hardly knew were spreading rumors about me that were totally untrue.

I was speechless. Really. The fact that someone can even conjure up something sinister about my life (whose highlight is going to the 7-11 for some spicy tuna sushi) is pretty exciting—oh, I mean really, very sad. My first reaction was to defend myself to “everyone”, to show them my resume, let them talk to my pastor and best friends who could vouch and attest for me that I am indeed a non-evil-entity and someone who can be trusted not to eat the very last piece of chocolate in the box because she thinks so of others more highly than herself. Truly. Kindof. My next reaction (and this sickens me to say) was to be extra nice to this woman! As in, there is something wrong with me and if I were just nicer then she will take back everything she said and I would be okay again. As in, more truthfully, I didn’t have the courage to confront her and ask, “What the hell are you talking about woman? (continue reading...)

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