Can we DTR?

Oh hey, DTR means “define the relationship” in case you did not know.

I never actually know who reads these things I write. When I freelance or ghost-write, I don’t think on too much about my ongoing relationship with those readers. It is primarily a one and done experience. But, with all of you beautiful people, I want to know you. I mean come on, when I actually am on here I tend to pour myself out a bit too much. So it shouldn’t be asking too much that we become best friends, right?

Well, okay maybe we do not have to be best friends, but I want my writing to be a lot more than a stop-off once every couple of months. The truth, though, is that this responsibility rests on me. Consistency and communication are the keys to any relationship flourishing, but here we stand at the brink of a fallout because I have been holding my words within. Will you forgive me? Will you give me a another chance? Because I think God might want to do something pretty cool through our relationship, even if it is just you reading what I am sending out into the internet. I want you to know that I think you are super special and are full to the brim with amazing gifts and talents that can change the world. And if the world is too big, know that you have every bit of potential in you to change someone’s world. Just know that my distance hasn’t been because anything you have done; that is all on me. You may not believe me, but this whole being human gets the best of me some days. Well, most days.

I’ll take your continued silent reading as confirmation that you forgave me and we can dive right in.

Let’s talk about accountability today. Yikes, a word that no one seems to want to utter into the vast emptiness of shame and guilt. Take a moment to think about how prevalent the idea of “you do you, I do me” is throughout our culture. Forget our culture, think about it in your own life. Tell me right now that you never wished some one (your parents probably) would back off and let you do things your way. I highly doubt you can tell me that you have never felt that way, even if you didn’t ask the other person to back off.

I am just going to come out and say that every person, every Christian I know struggles to have a healthy relationship with the concept of accountability. And therein struggles to have healthy intimate relationships with humans and with God. I have seen it in ministry, in family, in friendships. A hesitancy to fully engage with accountability because at the core they do not want to be seen as judgemental or even deeper they do not want to be held accountable themselves.

Let’s take a step back and define accountability so that we are all on the same page. What I mean by accountability is the active commitment to hold other people to a standard of living. The tricky part is that true accountability is rooted in mutual commitment between both parties. It is rooted in community. It is messy and sticky. It requires mutual vulnerability and intimacy. True accountability is supposed to exist in every single genuine relationship between individuals, but true accountability should also exist in between communities of people. We are dancing on the edge of something called the “Beloved Community” and how I perceive true social justice, but let’s pull in our focus this time around and just talk about accountability within individual relationships and with God.

I would bet money that you are incredibly ready to be there to support a friend or loved one. But I wonder how ready you are to embrace and receive the same type of presence you are offering? The clarification that needs to be stated is that accountability is NOT just asking questions and listening. Remember, I said it is active. That means accountability exists on the basis that we are able to actively speak into others’ lives and receive the voices of others.

Can accountability be misused and abused? Of course. It has throughout history. But the other end of the spectrum of avoiding accountability all together is nothing more than selfish self-preservation.

A few things that I want to point out:

Our choice to keep others accountable, but not to embrace returned accountability is self-seeking and hollow. You are better to not offer accountability at all. Mutual submission to vulnerability and honesty is how intimacy and growth flourishes.

The point of accountability is not to squeeze people into an image you have created for them. The point is not to make someone feel bad about their actions or lack there of. The point is to love someone so deeply that you refuse to let them settle for anything less than the God-given potential residing in them.

To the same point, you receiving accountability is not about you being corrected or shamed. Shut those hang ups down. Allow yourself to be held accountable so that you can thrive and become the world-changer God has made you to be. It is about you growing into the beautiful and mature creation you are meant to be.

Accountability isn’t meant to be offered or asked for flippantly. It is time-consuming and energy-consuming. Most people only ever offer and receive it from their spouse. Which is something, but our lives are meant to be roots spreading into the world. Like dominos, affect one person next to you and watch the world shift all around.

Be all in. In your relationships. In your love for yourself. You are meant for so much more than you might have convinced yourself. I can see in you the Image of God. That is no small thing. That is everything. Allow yourself to be helped. You might think you are protecting yourself, but you are hurting yourself and those you love.

Remember, true accountability exists midst intimate and intentional community. It is necessary, there is no convincing me otherwise. If you are having trouble finding intimate and intentional community to grow within, write me. Lets talk.

And in true form of accountability. I ask that you all engage with me and keep me accountable. My job is to write and sustain our relationship. Do not hesitate to let me know that I am slacking. I love you too much to continue down that road.

Much Love

BGTF

 

 

Advertisements

Healing Community.

My first true blog this Winter Break, and here we go.

Its been an interesting first week and a half since I left school back on the 15th of December. I have been running around  like a chicken with no head for most of it, or completely and utterly bored and alone for the other parts of it. I have gotten a good deal of reading done which is very nice. A lot of praying and well not a lot of writing. I think sometimes I convince myself that my words are not important enough to be read by others. And there is a huge fallacy. It has nothing to do with importance because well, I do not write for myself. I write for my readers. I want any words that they read from my finger tips to be about them and not about me, so I apologize for that struggle with pride.

Now back to this blog. The Curcio’s have had quite an eventful last two months. We lost our home in Hurricane Sandy, We got denied by insurance, we moved into a little rental that is kinda of cute, we welcomed another infant into our ranks and well we tried to come together as a cohesive family unit which has not really ever been our strong suit. But we love each other dearly and are working together and growing together. It’s a process, but life is a process.

This was all going on in my life and head while I was experiencing one of the most amazing semesters of my life socially and spiritually. Some days I was straight up confused and angry about how I could be so happy and content at school while my family was in shambles. Well, I could give you the easy answer that says that God filled me with an inconceivable joy that overcame all the worries in my life… He did do that on several occasions this semester, but for the most part, well I was submerged in denial.

Denial that anything was happening outside of school for me. Denial that I had to worry about anything past my last final. Well here I am a week and a half into Winter Break and I have to admit to you that, life exists on the other side of finals. And we have to navigate that life no matter how difficult and stressful it may seem. Luckily I am blessed with an incredibly supportive and loving family and group of friends who are like family.

So lets talk about healing since I am in need of it, and my family is in need of it, and my friends are in need of it…and well YOU are in need of it.

So I have talked about this before but I cannot seem to talk about it enough. Christ meets us in our vulnerability.

To be vulnerable requires confession. It requires dependence. It requires TRUST.

Trust in someone else, Trust in God.

It is one of the scariest things out there but its a risk well worth taking. Oh I have been burned before trusting others, but I promise there are those people out there who will never betray your trust, they will never leave you hanging.

God is the perfecter of trust. And sometimes we see Him as the perfect breaker of Trust, but we are like babies not fully comprehending truth in moments like that.

So vulnerability is where Christ heals us in amazing and profound ways. Trust me even if you have trust issues.

I have at least one close friend who I can confide anything in and well, I have, I have confided everything in him and he has in me also. There is nothing hiding between us. That, that is vulnerability. The things that God speaks into our friendship and does through us for each other and for others is mind-blowing sometimes. That is what community is all about. That is what it really should look like.

Now I am talking about radical healings from unprecedented pains and struggles. I am talking about healing from fears and woes that you never thought would go away. That is what vulnerability fosters.

Now I have a special message for any Christian men reading this blog. Stop pretending like you can get by without being vulnerable. I am so tired of guys dancing around their struggles and problems, like they have to be so much stronger than every one else. True vulnerable community and fellowship has no place for competition. If you want to be a part of healing, get over your pride. Every one is broken and every one needs love and encouragement and compassion poured into their lives.

Sorry for attacking men, I am sure there are some women that fall into this category as well, but as a male Christian who attends a Christian college you would not believe how uncommon true vulnerable male companionship and fellowship is… or maybe you would believe it.

So back to the crux of what I am trying to say. Confess your garbage to one another and you know what go out of your way to be vulnerable so that OTHERS will desire to be vulnerable with you.

But I warn you, if you are not first being vulnerable with God, this is going to be a pain strewn road you are traveling with very little healing if any ever experienced. If you cannot trust your maker than how can you ever trust someone else.

And I am convicting myself in typing those words.

You are very deeply and truly and madly loved by God. Own that and believe that my dear friend.

Much Love

P.S. I am feeling very pulled to write this on this post, I write many of my blogs with the assumption that my readers have at least an understanding in Christianity and Jesus Christ. But if this is something that you do not understand or do not understand fully and desire to know more about, please, please message me or email me. My email address is mcurcio@eastern.edu. Do not hesitate to reach out. You are so so so so loved. And I love you, yet I may not even know you.

BGTF

 

My Heart just Sunk.

Here goes some conscious-stream writing:

I am sitting at my desk listening to Billie Holiday sing out her soul. I have two or three papers to write tonight and I have not started any. I have wasted an entire day being tired and just allowing my heart to ache slowly.

I wonder if any of my readers have experienced a similar sentiment. As if his or her heart is in their stomach. As if they want to cry but their ducts are sealed shut.

And this experience which I feel more often than I would like to admit. Leads me to something to actually talk about. Fear.

Specifically fear of the unknown…

Now I am not talking about being afraid to swim in a lake because you have no idea if their are leeches or a crocodile under all that mud.

What I am talking about is the fear of what you can never truly know on your own. I think this encompasses two main categories. Relationships with people and a Relationship with God.

I am going to focus on the first category because it so easily connects to the second.

Have you ever been afraid to take a risk? Afraid of commitment? Afraid of what someone else might be thinking?

I find this hilarious because, before I get ahead of myself too much, earlier today a very dear friend of mine confided some thoughts and fears to me. I gave this person solid advice. Then I proceeded to share with him my fears which are similar in that they have the same antidote. As I think back on this conversation I kind of chuckle to myself to think that fear can control us so thoroughly that one minute we can offer advice to another and the next be lost in the woods concerning our own fear.

I find that humorous. Sorry if you dont.

So this solution. This antidote for this fear. This unending and heart wrenching fear of vulnerability.

Isnt that what fear of the unknown truly is though? Being afraid of being vulnerable. Not knowing something takes away our individual power and strength. It leaves us confused and disoriented.

It leaves us vulnerable.

The question is are you willing to be vulnerable long enough to find out the unknown.

Discovering the unknown in relationships, to me, is a fair example of growth and progress. It takes time. It takes change. And it is scarier than almost anything else.

So let me reiterate. If you are afraid of the unknown. You are afraid of being vulnerable. If you are afraid of being vulnerable it is simply because it makes you fragile, susceptible to pain. To hurt.

What do you have to do to be vulnerable though?

You must TRUST.

So if you are afraid of being vulnerable and of the unknown, you are surely afraid to trust.

I do not think that I can explain it more plainly than this.

To make this conversation a little less convicting let me share with you how I deal with my trust issues.

I personally analyze everything and use all of my immense prowess and wisdom to read minds. I step away from trust and put words in other people’s mouths. I make up their minds for them. Nine times out of ten I go prepared into a situation with every possible outcome. I refuse to be caught vulnerable.

No surprises for me. I have life by the reigns as well as our relationship because I have made your mind up for you already.

The TRUTH is though, that honestly I still have absolutely no understanding of the unknown. Some friends catch me doing this more than others, and I have been called out. I am grateful for that beyond belief.

To be honest, to give some trust to my readers, half the time I am unaware I am using these coping mechanisms until it is too late.

Prior hurts have made me so deathly afraid of the relational unknown. Whether that be my guess at another person’s critique of me, my pursuit or interest in the opposite sex, or just understanding another person’s brain at all times. It is honestly a compulsion at some points.

So what I am proposing is that these guards that each of us enlists to protect/prevent us from trusting others are disabling to us all.

When I pray to be content. This is what I am talking about. I am praying for trust. More trust in my loved ones. More trust in my God. Less trust in myself.

It is one thing to trust yourself to pass a test it is another thing to trust yourself to see every perspective and not become consumed with your own perspective.

I fail at the second horribly and I know plenty of others that do as well.

So in plain English what I am saying is: TRUST. Be VULNERABLE. Allow others to be themselves. Release your power over situations that you cannot ever plausibly control. Live each day. Do not miss opportunities as they come your way.

And when your trust is broken. When you put your heart out there and it is broken and stepped on. When you take a risk and fall flat on your face.

Use those moments where your vulnerability and trust lit your heart afire to grow in strength and courage.

I promise that the times of broken trust and hurt will be dots compared to the shinning force that comes with opening your heart to vulnerability.

Allow the unknown to be just that for a little longer. Let it become known at the appropriate pace. Patience and love my dear friends. Do not rush what is yet to come.

Do your best to love others, love yourself and love God endlessly.

To do those things. It requires TRUST. VULNERABILITY. and a large dose of waiting through the UNKNOWN.

I truly hope you can trust me my friends.

Much Love

BGTF