By: Staci Stallings
A very dear friend of mine and I are having an on-going discussion about personalities and people. The subtext of the conversation revolves around who we are and how best to become and share our true selves with other and allowing and encouraging others to do the same.
Now my friend is rather young, in her early 20’s and because of some tragic life experiences, her friends often don’t “get” her. She is also extremely well-versed and spoken, reads extensively and has many interests that go far deeper than what kind of purse someone is carrying. Her issue is learning to share more of herself without alienating others. She spoke the other day about “plain vanilla” personalities and how she often starts down a road, realizes the other person is either lost or not interested and quickly changes to “Isn’t ice cream delicious?” so the other person doesn’t feel intimidated.
I haven’t gotten a chance to really express my thoughts to her on this, but I want to share one facet with you.
I teach geodes.
By “teach” I do not just mean in a classroom with a blackboard and eraser (though I do that too, and this lesson overflows to that area as well). I “teach” in many, many different venues. I teach with authors I work with, with my children and my husband, with my friends, and with people I happen to meet. There are some underlying tenets of what I teach and how:
1) God loves you more than you could ever know or imagine, and my mission is to convey that love in the time we have.
2) You have value and worth, and you would be shocked to find out how wonderful you really are if you let yourself just be you.
3) Living life, rather than just existing, is more fun and more exciting than you can even imagine.
4) Let my life be a witness to all of the above, so you might have the courage to reach for what I have.
Now, I have to pause here and say, I don’t always do this perfectly. Sometimes I get it wrong. Sometimes I get it REALLY wrong. But I try.
For those who don’t know, geodes are rocks that on the outside look bumpy and lumpy and not at all pretty. But when you bust them open, they are filled with crystals and beauty one could hardly imagine when looking at the outside. Here’s a link to a pick of a geode if you’ve never seen one. Go here.
I believe the secret to drawing out “plain vanilla” personalities is to think of each person you meet as a geode. On the outside they may look plain vanilla. They may even look lumpy, bumpy, and not very pretty at all. But I believe that God made each of us to be a geode, and when you approach other people that way, they will open up and show you their beauty in ways that will amaze you and astound them.
It’s fun to teach geodes because every day is a day of great discovery and depth and Godly-awe. You hear it in their voice. You see it on their face. Their actions and words begin to speak of a soul that glimpses their own great purpose and value.
I love teaching geodes.