My desire to be deeply vulnerable is tied to my instinct to trust. I sometimes embarrass Steve and other friends when I share funny stories they’d rather keep private.
There is a genuine disconnect for me when people want privacy. I realize that sounds crazy, but I really have to work hard to understand that instinct.
I don’t see sharing as risk; I see it as trust. A chance to “give and receive fearlessly.” My first thought isn’t that I’ll get hurt or hurt others with my openness. I believe humanity is in my cheering section and in your cheering section. And if people aren’t in our cheering section, they will be once they know our story. Once they can connect to our imperfections. Our imperfections make us accessible.
Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. —Brené Brown
So as friends listen to embarrassing stories tumble from my mouth in slow motion, screaming “NOOOO!” with their eyes, I’m thinking, “But… it’s a great story! This story will connect us. Our fumbles connect us. We can trust these people; let them show us.” Plus, we’ll get to laugh! And laughing is my favourite. Laughter vaporizes shame.
Oversharing is my own brand of couch surfing. My version of falling into you.
ETA: If you have trouble trusting and are more apt to stay on the side of privacy, “not wanting to give something so precious away to someone who might be careless with it,” as my friend Cecily said… I don’t think you’re doing it wrong. This is me digging in to understand and accept my attraction to transparency. My tendency is to think I’m doing it wrong. It’s taking loads of intense work to tolerate “the discomfort of believing in [myself].”
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