And so when someone who reads my Facebook page or my blog approaches me in real life it can feel a bit unsettling. I always have a moment of awkwardness, like I am staring a person in the face who knows all of my secrets. But then that person hugs me, or squeezes my hand, or thanks me, or shares their own story, or tells me they love me despite mine. It is an amazing moment. Every time. It is an incredible feeling to move from the awkwardness of realizing you are an open book to the serenity of hearing that you are appreciated and accepted despite it all.
I talk about the vital importance of transparency in our lives. I believe wholeheartedly that when we stop hiding our truths we will stop being stigmatized for them. The more people know, the less they can make up. I say it all the time.
But I’m still surprised when it works. This page has allowed me to recognize a once-silent community that surrounds me; a group of women who have done their best to hide parts of themselves, thinking they were to blame, ashamed, convinced they were the only one. And I am strengthened by them, by these people who approach me and share, quietly at first and then with more boldness, their reality. I remember that they aren’t just words, that I really am not the only one.
It is an incredible feeling.
For those of you who I don’t personally know, who haven’t yet recognized their community around them, I hope you are able to discover the serenity of acceptance. It comes in moments and bursts. Sometimes lasting for days, sometimes only minutes. But it is worth the work and fear of it. It is worthwhile to embolden yourself to transparency when you feel the love that lives in the afterward.
Today, I wish you all courage. Be brave. Be well.