If you are reading this chances are you know a bit about me or perhaps you don’t. If you don’t know much about me feel free to check out my bio. It pretty much sums me up in a paragraph. I’m not sure if that is pathetic or not, but it is the times we live in and we have 30 seconds to share who we are and then your audience is bouncing to the next thing. Today we function in Snapchat speed – ten seconds or less – GO!
Over the last year and a half, I’ve broken down the barriers of shame and shared my story. Along with that many things have happened and many feelings transpired. The first time I shared my story was via a fundraising campaign and I posted it on social media. As soon as I clicked the ‘share’ button I broke out in a sweat and completely panicked, “What did I do?! How do I erase it? Is there somebody I can contact in the Internets, like a customer service department? Oh, I know. How about contacting that group, Anonymous (the internet warriors), and have them virtually blow up my story into a million little pieces!!!” There must be a red button that can be pushed and KABBBBOOOOMMMMM. The story is gone. The truth can be erased. Clean. Simple. No trace of truth residue.
I compare sharing the truth to standing in a room completely naked and on a pedestal while a room full of people walk around with clipboards in their hand. There are some artsy-types that sketch out your curves and quietly whisper to each other. They appreciate art and in fact, one is inspired to write a poem. One woman, in particular, has her glasses riding on the ridge of her nose, pencil tucked gently in the corner of her mouth, as she nods with approval. She sketches with an intensity and a soft face full of approval. There are two men standing nearby the lady sketching and they assess every single detail of the body. They banter back and forth dissecting every square inch. Over in the corner, there are a few women leaning against the wall and they are far enough the ear can’t hear what they are saying. Oh, but their faces tell a thousand stories and they point, laugh, and roll their eyes. Then a family wanders in and immediately they are shocked. How dare truth be shared! How dare someone share about addiction, abuse, and suicide?! Where is the dignity? Shouldn’t these conversations be private and behind closed doors?? Disgusted the couple covers the eyes of their two children and ushers them out of the room.
Then an older woman walks in with her Pomeranian in her hands and Hermes scarf around her neck. Ah, yes, I know how this lady is going to act, I say to myself. I stand there shivering in nakedness waiting for this lady to start ripping me to shred but I am wrong. She immediately cries and clutches her Pomeranian tighter in her arms, “Oh, FiFi, her truth is my truth! I was once a wanderer in the very same path she has walked. What victory! How brave to share such truth!” She tosses a thumbs up with her perfectly manicured fingers my way and walks out of the room with an extra pep in her step.
You see, I can judge myself. I have been completely thrown off my game with different reactions. People I assumed would be embarrassed for me because I was so vulnerable and raw turned out to be my biggest supporters and opened up their own truth with me. Others I thought would be understanding have thrown a bit of shade my way. There have been highs and lows over the course of the last year and a half. There are times of confidence and absolute regret. I have had amazing conversations and some very uncomfortable conversations. When people talk to me in person there are times I am dying inside. It is wayyyyyy easier to share the truth behind a computer screen. I see how easy it is to become an Internet warrior sloughing off at the mouth through a keyboard. People be crazy on the Internet!
There has been one thing that remains constant in truth – layers of freedom are revealed. Each time truth is shared another layer of shame, regret, and bondage is stripped from the bones. For every time there is a feeling of immediate regret, a person reaches out to assure you that your truth is welcome and very much needed. There is a dire need for stories of truth to be shared today. There are so many battles being fought and all you have to do is log on to the Internet and you will find people hurting and seeking understanding. As we each begin to share our struggles and battles, another person strips naked and jumps up on the pedestal. Before you know it, we will all be standing there completely naked, in all shapes and sizes, and none will be the fool. Nothing to see here, folks, just a bunch of truth-tellers stripped of shame and regret basking naked in the light of freedom. Won’t you give it a try and join us?