I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Being vulnerable and open to sharing your struggles with others.
A lot of times in group settings, or classes, or especially in church, we hear, “without saying too much or being too personal…”
Lately I’ve been thinking, WHY NOT?!
I know it’s really hard to even think of yourself telling others outside of your home what you’re struggling with or sometimes even those in your home. You don’t want to burden others with your “problems”. “No one would understand”.”It’s my business and I don’t want other people in my business”.
“My problems are really not that big of deal, and I’m told all the time that I need to be grateful for my issues because a lot of times most others are way worse than mine, so there’s no need to share”.
I can see two sides to this. Yes maybe there are some things that really are just personal or sacred and don’t need to be shared.
I want to address the other side. The side where we don’t share or tell anything, to anyone.
I was on that side. I didn’t want to say anything about ANYTHING I was struggling with because that would mean people would judge me by what I was doing or wasn’t doing. Or that they would think I was weak because I was having this, this, or this issue. Or they would think I was weird. Or I would make things harder for someone else. So I just wanted to keep to myself. I didn’t like to share things I have problems with. It was uncomfortable and I just didn’t want to even go there.
I had a huge struggle with feeling like EVERYONE was judging me at every moment that I was outside my own home. It dictated the way I did certain things!
I used to read blogs and stories about people sharing their struggles and what really went on inside their homes and heads and I would read in disbelief thinking, “how in the world and why in the world?! Doesn’t she know that she probably has thousands of people judging her left and right for divulging all that private info about her life?!”
And then I started to see that I could actually relate to those people. I knew exactly how they felt about some of the things they would talk about because I did or felt the SAME WAY! It helped me through lots of tough times, knowing I wasn’t ALONE in my thinking. That I actually wasn’t that horrible of a mom or human being for even thinking I wanted to chuck my kid on his bed and then lock him in his room all day. I wasn’t horrible for not throwing amazing birthday parties for my kids. I wasn’t horrible for feeding my kids what I fed them. I wasn’t a mom that didn’t care about her kids because she found her 18mth old walking in the street pulling his horsie.
I WAS NOT ALONE.
And the best part was that I realized that some people ARE good at lots of things I’m not and THAT’S OKAY. It doesn’t make me less of a person. I have my strengths and I have my weaknesses and I know I’m not the ONLY one to EVER experience ANY of what I go through. And how did I come to know that? (Besides my belief in My Savior Jesus Christ who suffered EVERY thing possible) I knew that because other people shared their struggles! Other people talked about what was hard for them. And they weren’t scared. They weren’t scared of judgment. They just wanted to share in hopes that it would GIVE someone else HOPE that it’s going to be okay. That you have a knowledge that someone knows how you feel and that you can confide in them and work through it together. That you have support and someone to talk you through it or about it.
I honestly thought a lot of what I was going through was specific to just me and that NO ONE else surely didn’t have those same struggles, fears, or thoughts that I had.
Until I started opening up. Until I started mentioning here and there my daily battles. Then I would hear, “Oh my gosh, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I’m so glad you shared that because now I know I’m not alone.” And then we would be able to talk about it, through it and come up with ways to help each other.
I don’t want anyone to suffer in silence. I’ve been there. I’ve hid all my stuff, even from my husband until it just came bursting out like a volcano and I thought no one loved me because they couldn’t see I was struggling or even ask to help, so what was my purpose anymore? No one would care if I was gone.
I used to feel like I had to put on this facade of some kind of perfection so that people would like me. If I showed any weakness then the less and less people would like me or talk to me.
After having experiences with others sharing some of their deepest struggles with me and to others, it inspired me. It inspired me to not be so closed off. Who was it helping? No one. It wasn’t even helping me. OTHERS opening up to me, helped me!
I decided from then on that I wasn’t going to hide and stuff away secretly. I want to be authentic to who I really am, I want to share in hopes that I could help just one person and if it was just meant for that person only, then that would mean the world to me.
I want to pay it forward how others helped me. Being real, raw, authentic. Sharing my struggles and triumphs.
How are we supposed to help and support others when we all hide from each other?
I’m not saying you HAVE to open up;)…just food for thought of something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.