One thing that pushes me out of my comfort zone the most is sharing myself. I can share my projects (most of the time) – but I am so uncomfortable opening up my heart with people. I’m afraid to be judged or rejected.
Socially, I tend to keep myself cushioned behind my projects or ideas. And, to be honest, I haven’t minded one bit. Not only have I not minded, I generally think the last thing I want to do is share what’s going on with me.
As much as I have had an overbearingly nagging sense that I need to be sharing my heart with others, I hate the idea of it. I hate putting myself out there for all of you to see.
I get scared to let people in. I convince myself that it will be too embarrassing and painful. Thinking, If you share what’s in your heart people are going to think you’re annoying, crazy, or worst of all, a drama queen. Do. not. do. it.
That story has kept me guarded on several occasions.
It also gets me stuck in a terrible cycle.
After awhile of not engaging with people who actually care to go there, I stop caring if anyone cares, too. And then the non-caring non-sharing becomes mutual. You don’t share your whole self with me, your strengths and your struggles, I don’t share myself with you. Who cares, right? I move on, push towards achieving my goals and fulfilling my vision – get wrapped up in my newest ideas.
I completely miss that I, like many, may have tons of friends but at the same time rarely engage in meaningful experiences with any of these people. And when I do come across an individual that interrupts this cycle and reminds me that how I’m doing is just as important, if not more important, than what I’m doing – it’s both frightening and a breath of fresh air.
It feels like we’re all desiring more meaningful connections. We’re complex and desire experiences that extend past what what we’re wearing, where we’re going, or who we’re hanging out with. But the desire to have those connections has to be met with the courage to create those experiences.
That said, making those connections still scares me at times. Sometimes it feels like those people who truly care to engage (because we have to admit there are also plenty of fakers and manipulators our there) are few and far between.
But I can’t let that be my excuse. While I grant myself permission to be rational and not attempt to forge connections with unhealthy or untrustworthy individuals (duh), I no longer tolerate the story that enables me to be ruled by fear and keep my heart closed off to the world. (quite the declaration, huh?) ;^)
So, I’m trying out this new thing. Publicly(????!!!). It’s called being vulnerable. Which I know the word itself, vulnerable, has become kind of a trendy topic ever since Brene Browns’ Ted talks made it big. But this really isn’t about a trend, or feeling extra special using the word ‘vulnerable’ in a blog post, or trying to sound like I’m soo connected to my heart and other people should be too and everyone should be so super inspired by my posts.
Nope – it’s about being real, and saying, yo – I’m stuck in this cycle of being so cushioned behind what I do that I’m missing out on being a part of the types of relationships that I know I should have. Authentically connected friendships. Heartfelt community.
I’m grateful for my marriage. I’m happy with where I live. I love my work. It’s worth my time. It’s fulfilling. It utilizes my gifts and passions. It’s making a difference in the world. But still, this is not my full identity. Beyond living well and doing good and accomplishing and achieving – I am created to connect in meaningful ways. We are created to connect in meaningful ways.
I say we because I know it’s we. I’ve had this conversation. I know people from all different ends of the spectrum that feel the exact same way as me. People that seem to be living awesome happy exciting lives, but are all wishing for more.
From these conversations, and from my own experiences, it’s clear: we (individually and socially) are neglecting a part of who we are as humans when we don’t allow ourselves to be real and share our hearts, the joy and the suffering, with (*trusted and healthy*) people–and we are suffering because of it.
The challenge here is that our achievement and image driven culture is not well and sells a lie that it’s not wrong to be in this circumstance. Culture promotes and propels this lifestyle and will even identify it as “success!!”. Is it?
If this is success–we’re losing out.
Deep down I think we all know we’re losing out.
This is my attempt to create something new, something different.
..I have no idea where all of this is sharing my heart through a blog is going to lead me. I, of course, fear that it ends in public embarrassment. But can only hope that it ends in connection – real connection.
Do you feel that you can relate to my perspective that, in generally, most people tend to keep themselves guarded–or–do you feel that most people are out there sharing their hearts? What is your perspective?