Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A theory

For years, I've told people, "I'm not a verbal processor." I need to process internally before I can talk about things with someone else, I'd say. My mom, on the other hand, now she's a verbal processor. Needs to talk with someone, to get things out of her head in order to clear it, in order for things to make sense or to experience relief. Poor Mom. So many times she's hoped I would process verbally with her and I let her down. Sorry, Mom, I'm just not a verbal processor like you.

But yesterday, it was strange. I was talking to myself about some things on my mind as I was driving home. And it hit me. Let's be honest, I'd venture that lots of us talk to ourselves on a daily basis, so why not own up to it. Talking to ourselves is nothing more than taking that inward dialogue that we all have going on almost constantly and saying it out loud. Why is that somewhat taboo to admit? Most of us are not broadcasting conversations that we're hearing with other "voices" inside of us. It's just our own.

I think I talk to myself more than I do anyone else. You see, I'm not typically a "chatty" person. I can get my tongue rolling, but I'm just as content not to. Partly because I'm just as content to listen, and partly because it takes my tongue awhile to catch up to my mind when I'm with someone. But get me by myself (in the car especially), and whoa, suddenly I'm a talker. Why? Perhaps because... I'm a verbal processor after all, but I'm in the closet about it.

So here's my theory: there are public (social) verbal processors and private verbal processors. My mom is the former and I'm the latter. Within those two groups, some are immediate, in-the-moment verbal processors, like my mom, and others are delayed verbal processors, like myself. All verbal processors, but different expressions, different outlets.

I don't know why, but somehow this little revelation is a relief to me. I'm free to be a verbal processor, but in my own way. Now, if I could practice turning more of my private verbal processing into focused prayers instead of rambling conversational prayers, that would be good. But I kind of think God doesn't mind these conversations, even if they're not in "prayer" format. At least I'm talking. Without a doubt, in mine and God's relationship, the opposite is true of most of my other relationships: what I need to work on is being more of a listener and letting Him do more of the talking.

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