I use those words a LOT.
To describe relationships, my life, my thoughts, my past...
But what do I really mean?
Do I really mean "I don't want to talk about it right now"? Or "You're not worth the effort it will take to explain it"? Or "I just don't want to go there"? Or "You wouldn't understand"?
Well, at some point I'm sure I've meant it in every one of those ways... but the truth is, it really is complicated.
It's hard to explain something that I myself don't fully understand. It's hard to reconcile the past with the present, the absolute with the variable, and the simple with the not so easy.
Part of it is that I know what's there to explain. I know how bad it gets. I know the ugly, sordid, sometimes unimaginable truth that sits behind the questions. Truth that I wish I could change. Truth that is so repungent that it hurts to even think about, much less explain.
My life wasn't always beautiful. There is a lot hidden beneath the surface that few have any idea exists. But unfortunately, it is what shaped me into who I am. That doesn't mean it is simple, or easy, though.
I guess what I mean when I say it's complicated is that there is so much shame there that I can't, or won't, talk about it. Shame for things I've done, shame for things that have happened that I had no control over but that still deeply affected my world, shame for decisions I've made because of circumstances I was in... That's what is so complicated... figuring out the "hows" and "whys" and moving past the "what ifs".
I want to let someone in, to let them know me completely... my life, my past, my world. I want to be able to open up completely to someone, and lay it all out. But it's complicated... how it is possible that another person could accept and understand, when even I can't? It's easy to tell someone that there is nothing they can say that would make you leave. It's entirely different to feel that way after someone's darkest secrets come out.
I keep thinking about the song "Only Grace". In case you haven't had the opportunity to hear it, here it is...
I LOVE this song. I just haven't figured out how to live it, yet... I can't wrap my head around the concept, even though I SO want to. I can't imagine it all being let go. It all being over. It was a huge process to put it behind me. One that I've finally been semi-successful at over the last few months. But the idea of truly letting it go? Of not being terrified of someone seeing what's there? I wouldn't even know where to begin...
"I'm a lot better before you get to know me". I heard that said today, on postsecret.com (which you should absolutely check out if you haven't, by the way).
I think that's true of me. I think that's true of a lot of people. We are so trapped by our past that we can't just let go and allow the future to be. We sabotage relationships, successes, and friendships because we don't want anyone to see beyond the surface. There comes a certain point, and then after that, it's complicated.
That's all people get after a certain point. And that means we're cheating them. And ourselves.
But it's safer than allowing someone to see what's really there. Especially when it's dark and ugly. So at least "It's complicated" is safe.
But at what point do we decide to push past the complications, open ourselves up, and allow grace to become a permanent part of our lives? Honestly, I don't know. I haven't done it yet.