He shifted a bit, and looked down at his shoes, suddenly realizing how much he had shared. “I can’t believe I just told you all that.”

A look flashed across his face – what was it?

Surprise, and then…

Relief? 

Yes, I think so.

Ease.

He smiled and said, “This must happen to you all the time. You share so much, I bet people feel comfortable talking to you.”

It’s true, since I began this blog, many people have openly shared with me their very personal experiences of pain, loss, anxiety, depression…darkness.

I have found these are things people ache to talk about, but seldom do. When we see someone else doing it – sharing it all – telling the truth about their feelings – we are eager to add our voice to the conversation.

It is such a relief when people are honest and admit that they don’t have it all figured out…because let me tell you something –

NO ONE DOES.

Still, saying so is scary as hell. It’s hard to imagine revealing your darkness to someone who seems to have their shit together all the time.

BUT AGAIN…NO ONE DOES.

Some of us just fake it better than others.

Case in point – a friend of mine from high school told me that when I sent her a friend request a few years ago on Facebook, she didn’t accept it right away. She said she looked at the pictures of my family and me, and she imagined I had a perfect life. She said, “You looked so good, and you were happily married with a beautiful family…”

She had been in a low place. She wasn’t sure she wanted to witness my perceived “perfection.”

When in fact, at that point my husband and I were incredibly unhappy in our marriage. I had lost myself. He had yet to discover who he was. We were drowning, and we didn’t know how to save each other. Yet, I didn’t even reveal this to some of my closest friends…let alone to the masses on Facebook.

Back then I thought, why would I ever want anyone to know my pain? My failure?

I didn’t want to be judged.

Speaking of it out loud might have made it true.

I didn’t want it to be true.

(Spoiler – It was true.)

Fast forward three years…

In the wake of my dad’s death, I’m learning it is the ultimate gift to reveal our true humanness…including the darkness. It frees us all.

When we open the doors to our souls and allow the light to pour into those deep, dark corners, we often find out they aren’t so scary after all. Though, let’s be honest – sometimes what hides in those corners is scary – but, wouldn’t you rather see it in the light?

I practice yoga (twice a year counts as practicing it, right?).  They always end the class by putting hands to chest, bowing and saying, “Namaste.”

I was told the meaning of this is “The light in me honors the light in you.”

Perhaps we should honor the dark in each other as well – it’s pure, and raw, and in it’s own way, it is beautiful.

{Editor’s Note – I looked it up, and actually, Namaste literally means, “I bow to you,” which at first I thought was less poetic and didn’t lend itself as well to my point, but you know what? It actually does, because…

The point is, in order to honor each other, we must begin to honor all of what makes us whole…

The light and the dark.

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