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BlossomWriter Core Value #4: We believe our stories and ideas matter, and are meant to be shared.
I really don’t like to talk about myself or tell my story or share my ideas. I don’t like being asked “what’s new with you?” or “what’s your story?” or “what’s your opinion?” It makes me feel vulnerable and, as a result, anxious – my most familiar, but least favorite feeling.
Subsequently, I’ve spent years deflecting, trying to avoid the anxiety. In my early adult years, when I was asked to talk about me, I would start talking about my sister and everything good that was going on in her life. Now, I find myself talking about my husband because his life appears to be more successful, or my parents because retirement is an adventure.
And when it comes to my opinions or ideas, I often pretend not to have any or I try to phrase my thoughts in the least offensive way possible. Stay small, stay quiet, stay proper and polite, and under no circumstances say the wrong thing to the wrong person. That’s what fear has been whispering to me for years.
Then I remember this:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin
I’ve had countless experiences where I’ve spoken up and spoken my truths, and it did not go well…at all. So, I learned not to speak up. I learned, from an early age, it’s safer to keep my thoughts and most of my life held close, held tight. It’s safer to deflect. The world will be just fine without my story or my ideas.
But when I read that quote about blossoming, something strikes a chord within me. What I’ve learned, after much contemplation, is I can’t be fine. I can never be ok living in hiding.
Because it’s painful.
One can only carry around so much weight before their body and mind start to give out. There has to be a release; there has to be a telling. Your story and ideas matter because your life depends on it.
I think, though, what underlies much of the fear is the idea that our stories and ideas don’t ultimately matter – our lives don’t ultimately matter – as I thought, the world will be just fine.
But it won’t be fine, either.
The world needs our collective stories and ideas and experiences. Yes, the world would still exist without us, but as physicist Brian Cox put it:
“Life is the means by which the universe understands itself.”
We give the universe meaning. Your story and mine gives the universe its story. We are each puzzle pieces in a 13.8 billion year old picture – remove any one piece and the picture is incomplete.
But that’s on a macro level and sometimes we need the micro, sometimes we need to get personal. The reason the world won’t be fine is because we are all highly dependent upon one another. We are interpersonal creatures. Your neighbor needs your story and ideas to validate their own, not to prove or approve anything, but to establish worthiness.
In our messiness, we give others the freedom to be messy.
Yes, it’s painful to open up. Yes, it can lead to hurt and rejection, but it also leads to freedom. Freedom for all of us to be exactly who we are meant to be and to fall flat on our faces on the journey of becoming, and the freedom to get back up and share those unique experiences with the world.
This freedom is at the heart of blossoming and at the heart of BlossomWriter. I write this blog because I believe I have a responsibility to share my story and ideas. I believe that by freely sharing, I’m transferring this freedom to others. And, I truly believe, as interpersonal creatures, no one can or should blossom alone.
So, let’s come out of hiding. Let’s blossom together.
Are you comfortable sharing YOU with the world? If so, what has helped you reach this level of comfort? If not, what fears are holding you back? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.