Last night I read something that hit really close to home that is from a lady whose name is Genevieve Georget. It is a post that a friend of mine shared on facebook and seems to be getting shared a lot. If you would like to read it, here is a link to her post: Genevieve Georget . It is really powerful and I think it would resonate with most people.
When I was younger, I was someone who had a hard time using the classic phrase “I am fine” when asked how I was doing. I felt like I was lying and felt I should be honest. But I learned that people are not always asking “how are you” to hear how you are actually doing. It seems that it is more of a greeting in some ways… people say it in passing and don’t have time to wait for a response. Most times, like Genevieve mentioned in her post, it isn’t the right place or person to share all that you are going through. She talked about the Starbucks Barista who thought Genevieve’s life was golden because that is what it looked like from the barista’s perspective. She talked about how it isn’t the right place to share the difficult struggles she was facing and there isn’t time to do so either. So in the short interactions that she had with the barista each day, her life did seem golden. Yet it wasn’t quite as it appeared.
I am now someone who guards myself so fiercely so that no one sees a lot of what I am facing. I even have trouble sharing about the physical challenges I face. I worry that if I share too much of what I am going through or what has happened, people will not like me and will not stick around. If I don’t joke and act happy, people will walk away and steer clear of me in the future. I feel like I hide so many secrets that it is difficult to have a relationship. I keep such a large part of myself hidden so that I don’t lose people and in some ways it is causing people to walk away maybe because I keep them at arm’s length. I don’t like to be seen as negative and was actually called that by someone the other day who I tried to open up to.
Yet after reading Genevieve’s post, I wonder if my struggles that I keep hidden would actually be helpful to someone else. We work so hard to project ourselves in a certain way, to look perfect or happy or healthy or normal…. scared for others to see that we have struggles or problems in our lives…. maybe because other people look like they have it all together and we feel inadequate next to them…. yet that person might also feel they must have it all together because they think we do. We all end up feeling alone and/or inadequate because of this. We think if they only knew our secrets, they wouldn’t like us. I know that I think that a lot.
People call me kind and all sorts of nice things but it is hard to accept because I feel sure that they wouldn’t feel that way if they knew who I really was or what I have done in my past. So I end up unable to accept the compliments that people give me. I constantly have self-doubt and more easily believe the negative comments because that is how I feel about myself and who I really am. But what if I opened up and shared some of those secrets? What if people didn’t leave like I fear that they would? And if some did leave, were they ever really my friend then anyways? What if by opening up, I actually attracted people to me who would be real and authentic friends? That would be quite amazing actually. Maybe if I let these walls down and didn’t feel like I had to hide such a large part of me, I wouldn’t have to work so hard to keep it hidden and I could feel more free. These secrets become heavy burdens don’t they? Maybe it is time to shed some of these burdens and maybe at the same time, I can help someone else know that they are not alone or maybe even help someone through sharing my own struggles.
This scares me so much to think about sharing things… but sometimes what scares us is the thing we need to do right? So I am going to work on sharing more about myself…. within reason of course. I will not post anything that should be shared privately one on one verses on a public forum like this. I am going to write posts and actually hopefully have the guts to post them. I write so many posts and then discard them because I feel scared to share them. I worry so much about what people will think of me…. and I shouldn’t. Thanks for reading this post and I hope that you will consider joining me through this.