Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On Tension, and What it Means to Me

I've been asked why I named this blog as I did, so I thought this would be a fitting place to address this question.

Here goes.

Tension. [ten-shuh'n] From the Latin tensio - a stretching.

  1. The act of stretching or straining
  2. The state of being stretched or strained 
  3. Mental or emotional strain; intense, suppressed suspense, anxiety or excitement
  4. A strained relationship between individuals, groups, nations, etc

  1. To subject (a cable, belt, tendon or the like) to tension, especially for a specific purpose
Now, I'm not nearly arrogant enough to assume I have it all figured out.  I am always straining to be a better version of myself, and I am constantly seeking to be stretched by others.  This is not always the most delightful process, indeed it is often quite painful, but it is necessary.  It often creates conflict, engenders indignation in others, and can lead to schisms in relationships if not handled properly, but it is always for a purpose.

A simple look at my bio will tell you that I am a thoroughly conflicted individual.  I used to think that such inconsistencies were a manifestation of some kind of internal identity crisis that I had yet to come to grips with, but now I realize that the issue is much more fundamental. 

Wait for it.

I'm alive.  I'm human.

And as a result, there will always be tension in my life, and there will always be struggle, but I'm finding that the key to surviving and thriving in the midst of the tension is, instead of fighting/denying/ignoring/relieving the tension, I'm learning to embrace it.

Note the definition of the verb form of tension: to subject to tension, especially for a purpose.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." II Cor 4:16

So I decided I have to own it. I can't continue to look at it like it's something that will tear me apart, or it probably will.  Instead, I'm choosing to treat it as a purposeful stretching that leads to strengthening, and that, my five wonderful friends and my mom that read this blog, is why I write here.  What you see when you read these words is me choosing to see purpose in difficulty, and trying to figure out what that purpose is. 

So, I hope you'll stick around and figure it out with me, or at the very least, hang out and poke fun at me for missing the most obvious explanations, as I am so prone to do.

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