Sunday, June 26, 2005

Learning From Others

I won't whine to you about how our yard sale went yesterday. I got all the complaining out of my system when I told my favorite email group about it. Let's just say I'm glad it's over.

And yet, the people are always what make those sales worth the trouble to me. The sweetest people come, look over our stuff and they laugh and chat with us and others who they don't even know. The feeling, at times, is almost party-like.

Of course, not everyone is like that. Some people strut up the aisle, then back down, speaking no words, then rush back to their cars. Those are the people out on a mission to find treasure.

One woman bought the bread box I'd found at a yard sale when I was first married way back in the 1970's. I tried to strike up a conversation with her and she just kept giving me yes or no answers, so I let her leave. Perhaps she was in a hurry, but I think it was more that she was shy like I used to be. She had a cowering look I recognized. A look which says, "Please don't make me talk because I'm afraid I won't know what to say."

And in just that tiny exchange I understood why, back then, people were always saying I was hard to get to know, difficult to understand and that I appeared cold and aloof. 

How often shyness is misinterpreted as conceit!

But I don't hear it now, because God has changed me much. But He couldn't change me, couldn't break me out of my shyness trap, until I wanted to be set free to talk, laugh and care for others. And that only came after I stopped staunchly defending my right to be shy if I wanted and just tough to you if you didn't like it--or me.

And I had to stop saying, "I can't help it." Oh my, what a crippling disease that is.

I've written before about the curse of shyness. I'm still celebrating that I've been (mostly) set free from it. I'll never stop savoring this taste of freedom. 


"And the day came when the risk (it took) to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ... Anais Nin

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