Recently I reread a piece by a poet I follow called “Open Book.” I remembered at the rereading the awe I felt on my first pass. I admired the degree of honesty he displayed in giving the readers a look at himself. He even invited questions from the reader if they so desired. It was mentioned that this view of him of a man is not frequently given. On second pass, I began to question “would I ever have the guts to expose myself in such a way? Do people really care? Wouldn’t they rather find out on their own?”
Despite the doubts I took the plunge and engaged in the exercise giving my friends and relatives on Facebook a little glimpse of the me I know me to be. Now I do say “little” glimpse because I was fully aware that I was not exposing…well…everything. What I was attempting to do, however, was to give people a glimpse into what makes me who I am.
To say that the exercise felt a little scary was an understatement. Often I am the one to whom others come to tell all of “their business.” Most often that has not involved me sharing a lot of myself in return. I kind of had the mindset of “I didn’t ask them to tell me. If they want to tell me their business that’s on them.” But things have been changing lately. For at least the past year I have been opening myself up more. It started with my closest friends and the circle has been gradually increasing. So while there has been a gradual lessening of the internal stronghold, it was more than a notion to consider opening myself up to such a degree on a vehicle such as Facebook even if it was only to my “friends.”
Interestingly to me, perhaps of no surprise to you, I was met with support and encouragement. People shared what the Cup of Cheer updates and blogs have meant to them and how they’ve made a difference in their lives. I was encouraged. I learned to hide many parts of myself in childhood- not because I didn’t want people to know me but because of my great sensitivity. I was hurt easily and I noticed that when people (especially children) hurt you they didn’t really care. My answer to this was to harden my exterior and keep myself to myself.
The peeling back of the layers of me has served many purposes. It has caused me to take an even greater look at myself (I have always been introspective). As opposed to opening me to pain, as I was afraid of, letting others see me better has allowed others to understand, relate better to, and commiserate with me.
I encourage you to take a stab at the exercise. Take a look at yourself in the mirror, admit who you truly are, and share that with others. I hope that you, like I , find the exercise to be enlightening, fulfilling, and worth the effort.
Spread love…peace and blessings.