Can we talk?

Like, just talk?

You know, the way we would in person? See, I actually LOVE to write (and read - oh do I love to read! - but that seems less relevant to the point I'm trying to make here) but every time I would sit down to write this blog to you I'd freeze. It's not really that I didn't know what to say, more so that I didn't like the parameters I had placed on myself regarding how to say it.

Some weird version of my college student self was emerging with strict guidelines like third person objectivity - as if I were reporting the findings of some massive study, or synthesizing information for a research paper, instead of writing to you from my heart. I guess even for a self-proclaimed non-conformist old habits die hard. 

Okay fine, that's not the whole story. The "research paper" writing style is just so much more neutral... and this? Well, this is me.

And me is vulnerable.  But it's also honest.

I want to talk with you, not just to you. But that means I have to show up, as myself. So here I am: 

1. Writing this way terrifies me

2. I'm going to do it anyway

Thoughts running through my head right now: What if I make a mistake, or don't say something exactly the right way? What if people think I'm stupid? or weird? or don't like me? What if no one cares what I have to say? What if people don't get it? What if I'm misunderstood? 

Ever let thoughts like that hold you back? Yea, me too.

Thoughts also running through my head right now: Communication and connection are gifts of mine. Words and ideas make my heart sing. What I have to say matters. What would you say to someone else about this? We've got to stop pretending that being human is a flaw. 

We've got to stop pretending that being human is a flaw. 

We've got to drop the expectation that we always "get it right" or look a certain way. We've got to abandon the facade that "I've got it all together" because it just makes everyone feel more alone.

And that couldn't be further from the truth. Everyone faces hard things. Internally and externally.

In fact, our needs and fears are probably the thing we have most in common. I have talked to so many people - some days one right after the other - who longed for love or feared rejection, and their pain was magnified by feelings of isolation. The feeling of "I'm the only one."

And I get it, because in many ways we've stopped being real. We compartmentalize. We smile. We say we're fine when we're not to someone who is doing the same. We hide. I do it too.

It's heartbreaking. It's tragic. We can change it.

We think to ourselves "they don't want to know how I really feel" and you know what? Maybe they don't. But what if they do? What if they feel exactly the same way? Or have? What if your willingness to speak your own truths gives someone else the courage to speak theirs?

When we are brave enough to speak our hearts and our truths, others have the opportunity to recognize it and see that they - and you - are not alone. We connect. Really connect - in our humanity. We are so much more alike than we are different.We are meant to move toward each other, not away.

Humanity is a magnificent spectrum of expression. It is going to get messy. We've got to stop expecting it not to. But that doesn't mean we're meant to bottle it up.

Because when we don't share ourselves - our gifts - our soul suffers. The world suffers. 

So I'm choosing to show up. To play fully knowing sometimes I'll fall, but sometimes I'll fly.

And most of all, that I am not alone. I am so not alone. And neither are you.

This is me.

I hope you'll join me.

From my Heart to yours, 

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