Why is everyone so afraid to be exposed? In American culture, we act like we tell everyone everything about our lives, but we don’t. We post about our daily activities, what we ate for lunch, and what the next celebrity has going on in their love life. We put out this aurora that everything is good, life is swell, and this steak is absolutely amazing. Nobody’s life is swell, and everyone has secrets, stories, parts of their past that they’d rather not share. I get it. You don’t want people to judge you, and you care about your reputation. Telling people your dad’s abusive isn’t fun and it doesn’t bring good feelings. I promise putting it out there is so much better.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really close with a group of 24 kids I’ve gone through school with, and we recently did a poetry slam project. We had to pick a poem that really hit us in the feels and share it with the class. I searched for a couple weeks, and I couldn’t find a single poem that really hit me hard. So, being me, I whipped one out in about 5 minutes and asked my professor if I could use it instead of one written by somebody else. She read it, gave me a hug, and said yes. You can check out the poem here. (Please read it or the rest of this post won’t make sense).
I read that to a class of 24 people. I shared my soul, some of the worst parts of my past, and I’m still alive. For the next 2 days after I shared my poem, I felt a heavy flood of emotion that was like walking through a bog. I felt relief, but sharing everything out loud also lead me to realize how much my past weighed on me every single day without me even noticing. By exposing myself, weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I felt like I could finally move on from something I didn’t know was holding me back. Yeah, people started to look at me differently. I got a lot of shocked stares and suspecting glances, like they thought none of that could possibly be real. In the long run, I got a lot of love, supportive text messages, and quite a few hugs and compliments for being brave enough to tell a part of my story.
What people think about your life matters. I get it. You want people to like you. I’m a 90’s kid, I know what it’s like to go through middle and high school trying to look good and be impressive, even if it’s in subtle ways. You don’t want people to know you’re flawed or broken or crumbling. People who tell you they’re broken are the strongest people there are. Some of the most admired people in American history were broken people, because nothing is beautiful if it’s perfect. It’s flaws that make us who we are. So take me advice. Go out on a limb and expose yourself. Maybe you’ll start small, telling a close friend or anonymously blogging about it. Go big! Share a poem in front of a crowd, go to an open mic night and share your story. The good people in our world can’t rise up and lift you higher if we don’t know you need it.
Don’t forget, God is with you too. He already knows what you’ve been through and what you struggle with now. Pray about it. He loves you. Also feel free to contact me. I’d be more than happy, honored even, to help through any situation you’re going through. I promise, I’ve been through just about everything the world can possibly throw at a person. Never forget why you’re here, and you have at least 4 people that love you: God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, a local pastor, and me. Hopefully you’re Momma and Papa are included in that list, but I understand not everybody has that.
My advice: Expose yourself. You’ll never regret it.