Yesterday I shared with the world of Facebook, one of my most vulnerable stories, an experience from my life that I was ashamed of, and hid for years.
When asked about the scar on my head, with most, “𝐼 ℎ𝑎𝑑 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑛 𝑎 𝑐𝑎𝑟 𝑎𝑐𝑐𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡”
With others, “𝐼 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑚𝑢𝑔𝑔𝑒𝑑”
And yet, I’ve always known the truth.
And with each made up reason for my scar, I felt more shame for it.
More shame about getting to a point where I’d rather take my own life, than live. And acting on it.
Sharing that post yesterday wasn’t easy.
My intent for sharing was clear….
𝗠𝘆 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗯𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗳𝗶𝘁 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲, 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲, 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗵𝗼𝘄
𝗜’𝗺 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗾𝘂𝗶𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗱𝗶𝗱𝗻’𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻, 𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗹𝘆𝘀𝘁
And yet, knowing my intent was of good nature, I experienced a lot of fear leading up to sharing the post. The decision had been made, and at this point, I was negotiating with myself about the potential consequences of sharing something so personal, publicly.
What was interesting were the stories I told myself about sharing the post.
𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀
𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗽𝗶𝘀𝘀 𝗼𝗳𝗳 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆
𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗺
𝗜 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗱𝗮𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗯𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀
Are all of those possible? Definitely. I’m not going to pretend that they are not.
I quickly realized, my mind was only focused on…
“𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑔𝑜 𝑤𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑔?”
And completely forgot to ask myself
“𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑔𝑜 𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡?”
𝗦𝗼 𝗜 𝗮𝘀𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝘆𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗮 𝗳𝗲𝘄 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀, 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝗺𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗲𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗮 “𝗻𝗼” 𝗼𝗿 𝗮 “𝗴𝗼”
“𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑚𝑦 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑦 𝑎𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑠𝑜 𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑔?”
“𝐷𝑜𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑦 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑦 𝑐𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑧𝑒 𝑜𝑟 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑛𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑢𝑚𝑎𝑛 𝑏𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔?”
“𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑔𝑜 𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑖𝑓 𝐼 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑦?”
“𝐴𝑚 𝐼 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑓𝑎𝑐𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑜𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑘𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐼 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑑?”
After answering these questions, I was certain that sharing the story could lead to something better, than not at all.
𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗲𝗹𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝘁𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘀𝗽𝗼𝘁
𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱
𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝘆 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗯𝘆 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝘆 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲
To me, the potential consequences, didn’t hold a lot of weight, after I really thought about it. Because I knew that I was not criticizing or disempowering someone else, which is important for me.
And truth be told, if I scared away some friends, business, or others in the process, that’s cool. So be it.
This experience yesterday had be thinking about how many of us have a tendency to live in extremes…
Either we share nothing of ourselves, play the appeasement game where we just try to get along, fit in, and not ruffle any feathers.
We inflate and over empower ourselves to
“𝐿𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑣𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒𝑠”
“𝐽𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑏𝑒 𝑚𝑒”
𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀, 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗶𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀.
Both extremes can be damaging to our health, relationships, and career, even when the intent may be noble.
That’s why, when we experience both extremes, both of which I have personally acted out, we hear people say things like…
“𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑔𝑜 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑎𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡”
“𝐽𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑏𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑚𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑚𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑏𝑙𝑒”
“𝐼’𝑚 𝑏𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓𝑓 𝑖𝑓 𝐼 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑘𝑒𝑒𝑝 𝑚𝑦 𝑚𝑜𝑢𝑡ℎ 𝑠ℎ𝑢𝑡”
“𝐵𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓 𝑖𝑠 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓𝑖𝑠ℎ”
And so on..
𝗔𝗺 𝗜 𝘀𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸, 𝗼𝗿 𝗴𝗼 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗻𝗲𝘅𝘁 𝗰𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗺𝗲𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗽𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗰𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘀?
𝗔𝗺 𝗜 𝘀𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀?
What 𝗜 𝗮𝗺 𝘀𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 is to consider 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁 for sharing or NOT sharing something.
𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑝𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑡, 𝑜𝑟 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑦
𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑜𝑛 𝐼 𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑘𝑒𝑒𝑝 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑚𝑦𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓?
𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑒𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔?
𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑒𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔?
𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑟𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑖𝑐𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑚𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑦 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒?
𝗪𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲. Whether that choice is..
𝑇𝑜 𝑠𝑎𝑦 “𝑦𝑒𝑠” 𝑜𝑟 “𝑛𝑜”.
𝑇𝑜 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘 𝑢𝑝, 𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑦 𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑒𝑡.
𝑇𝑜 𝑚𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑜𝑛, 𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑙𝑙.
𝑇𝑜 𝑘𝑒𝑒𝑝 𝑚𝑜𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑑, 𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑡
𝗜𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲.
Pushing “post” yesterday was not easy for me, but 𝗜 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 to do it after reflecting on my reasons for it.