It’s interesting the ways we isolate ourselves emotionally from each other. If we gauged only by Facebook posts and polite dinner party conversations it would appear everyone but ourselves has their life figured out and put together, their marriage/job/family/relationships/community working well, all humming along happily. We don’t want to say one of our kids is struggling in school, or maybe the latest career move was a colossal mistake, or our last vacation was a debacle. It’s almost as if we’re embarrassed to admit we are human and sometimes make mistakes and poor judgments. We avoid the gory details, convincing ourselves we don’t know the other person well enough, or there isn’t enough time, and we don’t want to appear sad or confused or weak or self-absorbed.
But here’s the funny part, the unfortunate part. I think every one of us has these same feelings and worries. None of us has it figured out, no one is on a perfect life of bliss, everyone has secret fears and regrets. We are all bruised in different ways.
Even more notably, when someone finally takes a risk to confide in me about their deep concerns, their troubles and their mistakes, do I look poorly on that? Of course not, in fact just the opposite. I feel honored and valued that this person trusts me enough to confide in me. Their willingness to be vulnerable creates a bond and the relationship becomes more intimate. I handle it with care and kindness. I feel connected.
What a gift we can give each other by making ourselves just a little more vulnerable, entrusting each other with our secret worries and internal fears. Our hidden secrets which, since it turns out everyone else is experiencing the same worries and fears, really aren’t secrets at all.