Description by: Mallory Ellington
Indeed, it is scary to be close. Sometimes I get anxious when the wrong people get too physically close, sometimes people are too close to learning my true thoughts, and sometimes people are too close to seeing my true emotions. And I believe that to be true for the majority of us. Who knows our mess and broken bits better than we do? Why in the world would we want to show other people the ugly within us? Well, maybe we do it because it is good for us. Maybe we do it because we are better for it and our relationships are better for it.
Donald Miller used to be a pro at acting in order to keep people an arm’s length away. He struggled with relationships because they lacked vulnerability. But because of the influence of some incredible people, he began to have his eyes opened to the mess he was making within his own life. And slowly, sometimes painfully, and with lots of help, he began to change. He began to see how relationships are worth fighting for and investing in. But that means they get messy. That means there are hard and honest conversations to be had. There will be long, awkward silences and sometimes words mixed with tears. But he began to see how worthwhile it was. This became most evident once he became engaged. Donald realized that he wanted a healthy marriage and it was something he would need to put work into, so he sought the advice of great husbands that he knew.
I think this is what I loved about the book, it is about real people and real experiences and sometimes those experiences are painful. Donald asks his friends how they maintain healthy relationships, he is depending on his community to help him better his relationships. He wants to learn from the people who do it best in his life. And consistently what people tell Donald - more importantly what they show him - is that honesty and vulnerability are the key to making relationships work and work well. You have to show your heart, even when it hurts. The reality is that we all want to be fully loved and fully known, but we do not think the two can be mutually exclusive. Donald pushes back on that idea showing his readers that we can be fully known and fully loved, and in pursuing that we will attract relationships that are better for us in the long run. Reading this book has encouraged me to drop my act and open my heart to those around me in an effort to better current relationships and I hope the book will encourage you to do the same.