I have to walk away from my computer a lot. If you email me in response to this post, you might not hear from me for a week, though I will usually always reply. Sometimes I’m in straight “output” mode on social media and I don’t actually read or look at anything anyone posts or says in reply to me.
I do this because I have to.
Clients often express that they want to be more open and truthful in their work or relationships. They want to share like I do. They want to put it all out there, but they’re afraid. They want to know how they can be less afraid like me.
And I laugh, because I’m still so very afraid.
Which is why I have to walk away from my computer.
And why I won’t open responses to emails for up to a week.
There are many times I send out a post on Facebook and I immediately wish I hadn’t. I wish I hadn’t shared that truth. I wish I hadn’t spoken the words that tumbled out from deep inside my soul. I wish people weren’t paying attention. I wish I could just disappear. I wish my work didn’t require such transparency.
I’m learning that I’m doing it right if I wish I hadn’t.
The blog posts that keep me up all night, tossing and turning and wondering if I should hit cancel and write something different or rephrase that one part that will make someone mad. The ones that, when I sleep past 6am, have me wake up with a drop in my stomach and an, “oh gawd, that email went out.” The ones where I will see your responses come in, and I will just mark them as read, making a note to return to them later in the week.
I realize that my posts aren’t that crazy and wild. They’re not provocative and I’m not spilling secrets or insider information or anything special.
I’m simply sharing me.
My truth in the moment.
How I feel in my heart.
Whatever needs to be said.
One of the first things I tell my clients after I laugh and share with them how terrified I am, LIKEALLTHETIME, is that you have to lean into it.
This truth telling thing isn’t easy, though it’s simple. I’ll say it again: “just show up and tell the truth” is not as easy as just showing up and telling the truth. It’s hard and it’s scary and we’re not usually in the practice of doing it, especially on a grand scale. So you have to lean into it. You have to push your edges a little bit further each time you open your mouth or put words on the page.
There’s an art to truth telling.
It’s not about pretty words or positioning or sandwiching the hard pieces between fluffy niceties. It’s about grace.
Oftentimes when we first crack open and begin to speak our truths, when we commit to greater transparency and vulnerability in all the we do, it’s a little messy. Sloppy even. As my mentor described it perfectly, it’s like an over-inflated balloon… when we remove our hands the thing goes flying around all over the place spewing spit and air on anything that it comes across.
Besides the messes we can make, it’s also about self care, because truth telling is hard. It’s hard to put yourself out there, and vulnerability hangovers are a real thing that can knock you on your ass harder than all the tequila shots in the world. Vulnerability hangovers can break you, and sometimes they’re near impossible to come back from, which slows us down.
So instead of flying around like an over-inflated balloon that’s just found it’s freedom, you lean in. You ask yourself what would push your edges, just a little bit further? What would stretch you, just a little bit further? What would make you uncomfortable, just a little bit more than before?
And then you walk away when you have to. Because having pieces of your heart and soul and truth hanging out in the open air for the world to see and judge, it’s not easy. And just because it’s not easy and you wish you hadn’t, that doesn’t mean you should stop… so you take the space when you need it.
All I know is the word needs more truth telling.
People who are willing to be completely honest about their experiences, in the moment and after, so we stop feeling so alone in all that we’re going through.
Your real life friends and online acquaintances, businesses, celebrities big and small, and even the people you spend your everyday with, so many of them are hiding out behind perfectly procured facades. Sharing only what supports the vision they want others to hold about them and their life.
That doesn’t serve anyone, especially not them.
It just creates separation where there should be oneness and understanding. It creates distance where there should be connection. It creates blocks where love should flow freely. It creates isolation where there should be support.
We’re experiencing a loneliness epidemic in the world when we are more connected than ever… because so few people are willing to tell the truth. And far too many people land somewhere in the middle, in the land of self-professed vulnerability, hiding behind half truths and polished fragments that don’t tell the whole story… when all we really need is for one another to just show up and tell the truth, even when it’s hard. Especially when you wish you hadn’t.
So if you’re willing, just show up and lean in a little bit more today, okay?