I won't lie. It has been a rough few days. We come to expect we will have them and we know they will pass. If we come through on the other end, hopefully we will have learned a lesson that makes the next rough spot not seem as rough. If we share a little bit of the roughness with others, then we have the opportunity to really connect with people. We can start to take down the image we put out there that our lives (from the outside) are really perfect.
I grew up in a home where part of my family believed in upholding a certain image..the image of relative perfection. We covered our insecurities in designer clothes and trendy make-up. Conflict was avoided and a smile was required. Difficult talks ended up brushed under the rug or not addressed. Sadness was uncomfortable. At the time, it made no sense, but looking back, I see the purpose it had for my family. It protected them from getting too close to anyone so that being vulnerable was not even an option. It protected them from getting hurt. And it gave them an air of confidence and stability that they might not have had otherwise. But as a kid growing up...it was stifling.
I went through my 20's and part of my 30's not knowing how to deal with conflict. Trying to have meaningful relationships, but picking people that were incapable of having them. Not reading people accurately because I was comparing my insides to their outsides. Real boundaries? Never heard of them...Compassion and empathy? I was too busy judging. Real relationships? I had no idea where to even start.
Most of you may not know that my life before Blue Egg Farmstore was centered around counseling and teaching college. I had clients come into my office with the most raw of emotions, in pain and feeling so disconnected. It was heartbreaking. Part of my usefulness for them was just to bear witness to what they were experiencing and acknowledge that, yeah, life sometimes is really hard. I mean really hard.
But what touched me the most was their complete transparency. Their honesty about who they were and what they were experiencing. In the end, it was how we really connected to each other. I saw them. Not for how they necessarily wanted to be seen, but for who they really were inside. And because of this, I imagine that they might have helped me just as much as I helped them.
I am not advocating emotionally throwing up on everyone you see today (this is where those boundaries come in). But instead, if you are having a rough day...say so. I imagine they can relate. Reach out when you need help and let other's work through their own discomfort of being in the presence of genuineness.... They just might learn a thing or two.
There is nothing more important than building a relationship on something completely genuine. There is nothing more essential than to be seen for who we really are.
And don't, whatever you do, let someone else's judgement about your new path of becoming more authentic and transparent make your light any dimmer. We have a lot to learn from you....
We have a lot to learn from each other.