Last time, I blogged about not letting insecurities paralyze me into closing off to real life. It’s still hard, and I’ll be the first to admit I do not say ‘yes!’ to everything, immediately, always. But the realization that I can decide against my initial response is incredible; it creates so many possibilities!
One thing I also mentioned last time, was how saying more yes doesn’t just create fun opportunities and possibilities, it also helps establish deeper connections to others. I’d like to elaborate on this a little.
When my friend asked me what I’d do if he told me he wasn’t feeling too brilliant and how feeling like that held him back from socializing with me, he turned my answer around. If I would come see him in that case, why do I not let someone else do that for me?
Sharing my ‘not-best self’ is very confronting, but my guess is that anyone feels that way. One thing I learned over the past one/two years though, is that sharing isn’t just caring, sharing is also healing (Sounds so much better in Dutch though, doesn’t it Joosje?)
Where my first response is to turn inwards when I am not feeling brilliantly, doing the opposite (opening up about it) might be exactly what could help fix things. Over the past year or so, I got a lot better at sharing my struggles, but I mostly got a lot better at sharing my pást struggles. I did not realize I still had trouble in sharing what’s going on ‘in the now’ until my friend pointed out what I am really doing.
My friend got a little angry with me about this. He told me how unfair it is that I close off whenever I am feeling down, rather than to share it. Even though that might sound a bit harsh, he has a really valid point. It is not just through sharing good times that we create a deeper bond with others; it is through sharing our struggles. Our scars make us living beings, but it is our struggles that make us human. And beyond that; it is the sharing of those struggles that makes us connect with other human beings.
Not letting someone into your life when things are ‘a little less than perfect’ is compromising the (potential) relationship you (could) have with someone.
Hello, valid point!
Sharing our struggles with others makes us realize how human such struggles are; we all have them. It puts them into perspective; we are not alone. However unfair it seems that we, humans, are the only ones who seem to (mentally) struggle, it is a beautiful gift simultaneously, because it is exactly those struggles that enables us to connect with others.
Excerpt from a song by Train;
Sharing struggles, opening up and being vulnerable is not a weakness, it’s a strength. It doesn’t make us less perfect; it makes us better. It makes us better people, it makes us better friends and it makes us better in that it helps heal us. As I said, sharing is caring, but sharing is also healing.