Posts tagged ‘sharing’

November 10, 2015

Brokenness connects us

Thought of the moment, courtesy of vocalist and author Sheila Walsh:

My brokenness is a better bridge for people than my pretend wholeness ever was.

Think about it: it’s not your perfection, but your imperfection that allows people to truly connect with you. As humans, we all have cracks and fissures, chips and patches, and we feel reassured and relieved when we learn that others have them, too. Sharing our vulnerabilities, fears and foibles with others often allows us to build deeper, more intimate relationships. We can identify, emotionally, with people who aren’t shiny and perfect, and we’re much more inclined to share our own personal experiences with people who we know have faced similar struggles.

Feigning perfection — putting up a false front that always proclaims “I’m fine; everything in my life is/was/will be great!” — is more of a wall to connecting with others than sharing your faults and failings ever would be.

October 22, 2013

Love your quirks; they’re beautiful

Just be yourself. Let people see the

real,

imperfect,

flawed,

quirky,

weird,

beautiful and magical

person that you are.

              (Mandy Hale)

December 4, 2012

Love the ones you’ve got, while you’ve got them

I like this quote from Canadian poet Lorna Crozier’s memoir, Small Beneath the Sky, because it captures the essence of the ties that bind a family — that hodgepodge of collective memory that only we, our parents and our siblings can access — as well as the very fragility of those ties.  One day, the people who helped colour the memories of your upbringing will no longer be present to share those memories with you — to laugh and cry with you over events gone by; to remind you of moments or details you had forgotten; to understand, implicitly, completely and without question, the myriad currents flowing beneath it all, holding it all together.

Near the end of her book, Crozier writes about the decline and death of her mother, Peggy, with whom she was close.  In the moments before Peggy enters surgery, she refers to her daughter, then fifty, as “still my little girl, my skinny little girl who I couldn’t get to eat.”  For Crozier, those words trigger an instant flash of memory — and a sudden sense of impending loss:

People would stop [Mom] on the street and ask why I was so big-eyed and thin.  What was she feeding me?  The truth was I’d eat almost nothing but bacon.  Outside the porch on a wooden chair she’d leave pieces for me to snatch as I flew by like some wild child, not wanting to come in from playing.  Who else could tell me that?  Who but my mother held those small pieces of my childhood?  Where would they go when she was gone?

July 4, 2012

Secrets vs. storytelling

I recently read the novel The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd, and this quote jumped out at me:

They say you can bear anything if you can tell a story about it.

The concept here is that even the worst experience you’ve had — the deepest, darkest secret you hold — loses its weight if you are able to speak openly about it.

Kelly Winters also writes about this idea in her book Walking Home.  From her perspective:

Secrets carry power, but too often, if you keep a big part of your life secret, it gives people power over you.  The power of fear, the fear that they’ll take your secret away and expose you.  It’s better to expose yourself, and do it early on.

I think we’ve all had moments like these in our lives:  something “big and bad” has happened to us, but we are afraid to speak out about it — to share our story — for fear of being judged, or appearing “weak,” or alienating people, or whatever.  But the act of carrying that secret around on our own weighs us down, and the longer we do it, the larger our associated fears become.  Eventually, a part of us crumbles under the burden of it all.

Speaking out under such circumstances might seem impossible, absurd, like emotional suicide.  But do it, and everything changes.  All that accumulated pressure evaporates into the air.  Our secret, we find, wasn’t so big or bad after all.  We are still standing, people haven’t deserted us, and — most interesting — some folks have had similar experiences to our own, and they share those experiences with us, and we learn that we are not alone in our fear or shame or guilt or sadness or what have you.  We are left lighter, fresher, cleaner and more connected to the people around us, our anxieties unfounded.

To quote author and philosopher Howard Thurman:

You must go through some things crying all the way if you’re ever going to live with them without crying.

A catharsis worth risking.

Be well.