Do you have a secret that you would be mortified if others found out about you? Perhaps it is something you did in your past; maybe it was something that was done to you. Perhaps there is a flaw on your body that only you know about and it keeps you from getting close to others. All three of these were true for me.
Since beginning this blog, I’ve had a surprising amount of feedback – primarily from people who knew me as an adolescent – that were shocked to hear that I have (and do) deal with so many insecurities. As a teenager, I was liked and accepted by most groups, but still dealt with voices that told me I was not popular enough or worth knowing.
Last week, one of my childhood friends e-mailed me and told me that she couldn’t believe the things I thought about myself. This message caused me to wonder if I had hid these feelings from others. Then I began to wonder if I hid these feelings even from myself. How is this possible? I don’t even know. However, throughout the rest of the week I contemplated this notion and realized it is true! There are feelings I have mashed down inside of me. Memories of things I have done to others, said to others and things that were done to me. I push them deep inside because when I remember them, I feel gross. I feel heartless. I feel pain.
There is something about our culture – and quite possibly many other cultures – that lead us to believe that it is healthier to hold all these things inside. The voices tell us, “If you expose this about yourself, they will think you are a craaaazy fool.”
Often times when we show and experience our vulnerability, it brings others closer to us – especially for those who are viewed as having everything together. Yeah right. No one has everything all together.
If you do choose to be vulnerable, there will be people who reject you; but it is quite possible that it will be because you are willing to show your flaws and it scares them. If you show yours, then they feel pressure to unveil their own and they just might not be ready for that.
But I’m here to tell you today, my experience of exposing myself has brought an immensely higher reward than what I have felt by keeping my mouth shut.
The below video is a presentation Josh and I shared immediately prior to walking down the aisle on our wedding day. We admit, we are broken, but through faith in Christ Jesus we are healed.