Friends make us laugh, they drive us crazy, and they give wise advice. If we choose to follow the wise advice we can be rewarded at times. This post is about one of those times.
I was encouraged for awhile to share my family struggles with you, my readers. Encouraged by a dear friend to be more real and that is what led to my “Real” posts recently. I was touched by the responses I received and some of the emails of those who had been struggling as well. How it helped them to see that they weren’t alone. I felt my purpose for writing the posts had been achieved, not only did it touch others, but it was a good release for my heart to.
This week-end the unexpected happened from sharing my story, from learning how to be more open. I wanted to share about it. I feel there is an important message in it for all of us. One that I am still learning.
I have a dear childhood friend. Over the years we have stayed in touch ,but due to distance we haven’t seen each other in quite awhile.We didn’t really share the deep things about our life anymore with each other. We still cared about each other, but we weren’t sharing from the heart. A few days ago she messaged me, wanted to know how life was going. I didn’t reply right away, I didn’t know how. Before I would have just given a typical,vague kind of answer, but this time I felt different. I felt I couldn’t do that anymore. My friend’s advice kept shouting in my ear.
I had openly shared with you, my readers the struggles in the past couple years and I have shared with many of my friends that live close by. But there were still those that didn’t know. Ones that I just wasn’t as close to anymore. Yes you don’t have to share your struggles with everyone, but.. with this friend I still felt a connection. There was a large part of me that felt compelled to share my heart. The question was how, and do I dare?
Her life seemed to be going so well, why should I burden her with my problems? Then again, she asked, why shouldn’t I be honest? The words of my friend were shouting in my ear again. Saying how do you know who may need to hear your story, and who may be helped by it if you don’t share it. You don’t know who out there may feel alone in their struggles. Who you could be helping by opening up about your struggles.
How did I go about it though? I felt like I was dropping a bombshell on her. Another wise friend suggested this. Let her know that your story has a lot to it and its not all roses. That if she still wants to hear it though, that you are willing to share.
I liked that and it is what I messaged back to her. Well my friends, here is where the goose bump part of the story comes in. She messaged me back that she is so sorry that I have had to deal with some hard things apparently, but she wants to hear it. She cares about me and if I am willing to share, her heart is ready. She added that if it would make me feel better, and be easier to share that she would start by being more honest as well. Her life hasn’t been as great as she has let on. They have been through struggles. The most recent one she had been dealing with, was their dear child facing the battle of anorexia! It has been over the past 2 years! Is your jaw dropping like mine? Are you seeing the reason for my post now?
Not only did my jaw drop but yes the tears came. You all know that I shared that I am an emotional person. I cry over books, so you can understand what this did! Here my friend was sharing about a struggle that she had dealt with that I could so identify with! Here we had been going through not only the same struggle but over the same time! Our Mom’s hearts were torn up over our precious children and the battle they were going through and we could have sooo leaned on each other. If we would have only been open and honest, if we would have only known.
Instead we were up in the wee hours of the morning messaging each other. Now pouring out our hearts to someone that we knew understood. I sent her the anorexic story that I had blogged.The REAL Story! Her reaction was the same as mine, jaw dropped, tears came. The words, ” I could so identify with how you said that in your story, I so remember feeling that way” came from both of us as we shared our stories. Distance may still separate but we have bonded once again, over shared pain.
Humans were created to need and help each other.By shutting out parts of our lives which we think are too painful to share we don’t know what things we may be missing. By putting a wall around our hearts, we aren’t protecting ourselves like we think. We are possibly keeping ourselves from being touched in a special way by someone.
I am not saying to go unload your pain on everyone you see, the grocer, the post office man,etc No, use some judgement. What I am saying is that we need to get over feeling like we need to hide our pain. Feeling like we are going to be judged. That everyone else’s life is so much better and that they couldn’t possibly understand. Yes, there may be people that don’t understand, but we can’t help that. That is not our fault. What about the people that would understand if they only knew? What about the people that not only can help you, but that you can help simply by sharing your story. Simply by letting them know. By saying. “Hey, want to know a secret.. my life isn’t perfect either. Maybe we can be each others wings.”