Sometimes it’s hard to know what and how much to share about my personal life. That’s especially true on a blog like this. There’s always plenty of topics or issues or experiences to write about, but it’s hard to know which stories or experiences are ready to be told. Much like a soup, sometimes you need the ingredients to stew and cook for a while before they are ready to be served.
I generally like to think that I’m an open person – that I’m vulnerable and transparent. But that’s not completely accurate. Like most people, I tend to hide the aspects about myself that I don’t want other people to know about.
I hide parts about myself so that I can be seen in a certain way. I like to think I have control over the way people see me, interpret the things I say, and decide if I’m a generally decent person worthy to be trusted and befriended.
Some people embellish themselves and their accomplishments, making themselves look better than they really are. And to a certain extent, I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this at one point or another. Thankfully, I don’t think this has been a habitual problem for me.
On the other hand, much of my adult life has been conditioned to hide certain elements about myself from others, whether it be from fear, shame, or self-preservation.
I think the main purpose of interpersonal risk and vulnerability is to create connection with others. We long for authentic connections with people, and for these people to validate how and what we feel and think.
Most of the time I simply want to be heard and not be judged, or told what to think or do. I want to feel safe when I expose the deeper parts of myself and my feelings, my doubts, and my faith.
Right now I am processing through a lot in my life. This is especially true in regards to my faith. I wouldn’t say that I’m having a faith crisis exactly, but I will say that my Audible book list begs to differ. I’m not sure exactly what to call what I’m going through. I think it’s just an important part on my faith journey.
My goal right now is to learn what it looks like to share a bit of how I’m processing changes in my faith in a public and vulnerable way. I won’t share ALL of my story because I think there’s a lot of it that still needs to sit and simmer a while before it’s ready.
Sharing about my faith feels extremely risky to me. It feels like I’m opening up about the most private and vulnerable parts of myself. But it makes up a central part of who I am, and so I’m going to lean in a bit and share parts of myself that I’ve never really talked about with many people before.
What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?
– Brené Brown
Brené Brown has impacted my life in some significant ways. Her TED Talks about vulnerability and shame have changed my life. Her book Daring Greatly put words to things I’ve known and felt for a long time. It was extremely validating reading that book.
In a few of her books she references what it means to live “wholeheartedly.” She’s created a list of “Ten Guideposts for Wholehearted Living” that I really appreciate, and I’ve made it a goal to try to use these guideposts as check-ins for myself as I continue to blog.
So I am starting a faith journey category of my blog. Most of my writing will cover the aspects of what I’m working through now, but a lot of it will reach back into my past as well.
As with all posts on this blog, I am writing this first and foremost for myself, but I am also writing this publicly because I have a hunch I’m not the only one who feels, thinks, and believes the way that I do. (At least I’m hoping so!)
Please, please, please – if any of what I write about in the future resonates with you, please contact me and let me know, either via comments or at my personal email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you, even if it’s just to say that you’re following along. It’s hard to know who is and who isn’t reading what I have to say.