For a long time, I had no idea what Pinterest was all about. It basically looked like the Relief Society took over the internet and then tried to convert the universe. The result? A gajillion pictures of kittens, 5,000 recipes for pumpkin bread and an eternity of articles about how to create party favors out of tin foil.
Not really my speed.
My own conversion to Pinterest came when I realized I could unfollow someone. Heck, I didn’t even have to totally unfollow them. I could just mostly unfollow them and they would never even know the difference! I no longer had weird recipes for treating burns or 7 Great Ways to Tie A Head Scarf. My Pinterest became brilliance personified! (if my Pinterest was a person, that is.)
I now have 15 awesome boards to help me get psyched up about writing and learning how to become a better writer. I only have one board that is about me.
What does this say about me? Am I so private and selfish that I don’t want to share all my ideas or what I think is cool on 500+ boards like most of the people I know? Is this just one more way in which I am proving myself to be a freak and most likely to commit some kind of hamster-related crime?
Private is never a word I would use to describe myself, but I do have a clear set of defined levels of intimacy. I think this is the same for everyone. When I think about it, I can’t help thinking about Solomon’s Temple. Except, this time, the temple is our heart and soul. Get it? I’ll explain.
We all have people we are acquainted with: people at work, people at the grocery store, people at church, people who cut us off in traffic. These people are outside the temple walls, selling goods and money-changing. We talk with them about the weather, politely laugh at their jokes and/or flip them the bird, but they know they can’t come inside.
Even if someone does get inside the temple of our hearts, there are still levels. There is the Inner Courtyard where the sacrifices are made, which is where some people end up. Even though its bloody and messy in there, these people stick around. They know some ugly truths but still love us and are willing to sacrifice for us. In return, we are willing to let them see most of the horror and beauty in our souls.
Then there is that Holy Place within each of us, the place where we let a select few into our lives. Close friends, lovers, children. These are the people who know us inside and out, who we have entrusted with the deepest secrets about ourselves. There is commune of body and soul here, which is why we consider it our closest community. We would die for these people if asked.
And yet, even that is not the most exclusive place in our soul.
There is, I believe, a place where only you and I can go. Like in Solomon’s Temple, this Holy of Holies is a space where there is only room for one. It is the place you go to meet yourself and God, to commune with the eternal and Holy. It’s the deep place where we decide what is true, what is right and what is sacred.
What is amazing about this Holy of Holies within each of us is that it is a place that we don’t usually go. In Solomon’s Temple, the prophet entered this sacred area only once a year, or in times of absolute necessity. Some people don’t even do this much. For some, they remain in the courtyard of their own soul for a lifetime, never delving into that holiest place for fear of facing truths that they can’t possibly accept.
Fear of sharing with others is normal, a natural part of the human instinct to survive. Still, I think opening up to a complete stranger is sometimes easier than truly being honest with yourself. True bravery isn’t opening up to the 398 friends who share recipe patterns with you. True bravery is being strong enough to truly evaluate your soul and act on what you find.
Those 3am conversions are the most powerful tools the universe has to mold us. We expose ourselves to what we have always known and could not afford to admit. These are the frightening moments that transform us and galvanize us into action. If you’re not scared, you’re not doing it right.
So, what does this have to do with Pinterest?
I realized that this stupid Pinterest board has become a tiny version of my soul’s Holiest of Holies. Since it is not something I want to promote, or really to have anyone look at, I have put things on there that only relate to me and how I perceive the universe. Not surprisingly, there are very few pins there. Like Solomon’s Temple, my spiritual connection with myself is something I do relatively rarely.
Still, it’s interesting to see plainly the things that I wish to keep sacred. When I look at this board, I faintly recognize a spark of the eternal in myself. It may the board that eventually shows me the most honest, unbiased reflection of my soul. That is, unless God has a Pinterest account.
I totally would follow that, by the way. I bet he has some really funny pictures of cats.