Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Scary Close

It has been more than three years since Donald Miller published his last book and I was jazzed when his most recent, Scary Close, came out. Each of Miller's previous books have been absolute treasures to me, filled with wisdom and truth that have consistently served to inspire me and to lift me up. Miller has a droll point of view, never taking himself too seriously, but able to relate to me as if we were sitting across from each other talking over coffee. His writings have helped me to learn more about how I want to live my life, how to be a good friend, and how to move away from the negative things that have sunk their talons into my flesh. In Scary Close we witness first-hand how Miller learned how his approach to relationships was designed to attract the multitudes for adulation while eschewing the intimacy of close relationships. As he grew frustrated with his approach to life that left him alone and isolated, he intentionally worked with counselors and close friends to understand how his personal defense mechanisms were actually putting up roadblocks that kept people from getting close to him. He was finally able to learn to be willing to impress fewer people to honestly connect with more.

Scary Close follows Miller in his courtship with his girlfriend as he worked to set aside his old false persona that was all bluster and self-defense. He learned how to develop intimacy with others such that he came to be the same person on the outside that he was on the inside. He learned how to allow others to feel safe in his presence by finally allowing himself to be honest with others. This taming of the Miller as it were, results in a noticeably more domesticated point of view compared to his more free-wheeling guy persona on display in his past books. Now Miller is more sensitive and measured as opposed to shoot-from-the-hip. More touchy-feely and less dive in and see what happens. More refined and less raw. More arugula salad and less grilled meat. However, he still has a way of presenting an approach to living that is inspiring and worthy of consideration. I enjoyed my time with this book.