Sharing But Not Embarrassing

Arthur Miller

I have had several friends tell me lately they are surprised I share as much of myself as I do through my writing. They know me to be a fiercely private person with firm boundaries and trust issues. So the raw moments of my life that I share so publicly through my writing is a stark contrast to the friend they know. I take great care not to disclose parts of myself and my life without first processing through the events and emotions and implications. I take great care to share only the stories that I believe unite us all and hopefully lift one or two hearts and souls. I do not overshare to be provocative or for attention. I share because storytelling is powerful.

I used to think my thoughts and lessons learned were good and smart and had value, and that others could use my sage wisdom. Now I realize my thoughts and lessons aren’t right, per se, or extraordinarily brilliant and life changing. I understand now my words are powerful because it is my voice that I share. I understand now the power of showing people that one voice matters, and that it takes courage to speak up, and that we can all do this, and we ought to. Because this is how we take care of ourselves and each other, by owning our soft spots, and showing them without shame. I want to show people that if I can be brave, you can be brave too, because I am no different than you.

I am not the only one…the only one who has felt like a failure. The only one who was afraid of looking like a fool. The only one who felt like a fraud in a new job. The only one who was scared he would leave me when he discovered all my flaws and quirks. The only one who didn’t really enjoy reading Goodnight Moon for the 379th night in a row to my son. The only one who believed if I had the right skirt or weight or haircut, then I’d be invited to sit at the cool lunch table. The only one who was insecure or frightened or broken-hearted, or just plain tired and grumpy, or mean or bad-tempered. The only one who has made some very unwise decisions. The only one who has hurt others, both on purpose and inadvertently.

It is in the collective Nodding of Our Heads, and the “Oh Yes, that totally resonates” and “Ah-ha!”s that we realize we have all been a bit scared and feeling not enough and a bit broken and bruised. It is this collection of battered souls sitting together that is powerful. And we can all be brave in showing up to sit in this crate of broken beings. And these pieces of us create a lovely mosaic as we help each other patch up and take turns hopping in and out of the crate. Knowing all the while someone is keeping our space there, and we’ll each be back at some point to rest amongst kindred spirits. Knowing that we can, and have, survived difficult moments, and painful hurts, and long, drawn-out moments of discomfort.

So I share because this is my current contribution to the world at large. I used to give voice to my psychotherapy clients in various ways. I helped them sort through their stories, taught them skills to tell their stories in their own words and craft different endings to their stories, sat with them as they found their courage to face their demons, and sat with still more of them when they decided now was not the time to do so. These days I share my stories using my voice and courage because I know the power of process and connection through honesty and authenticity.

I know the power of telling your truth. And I want to help someone else come out from the dark and isolating Cave of Shame and Not Enoughness so that he or she can own his or her truth. Even if for a few moments at first, and realize we had been sitting together in that crate in the cave. Once you know, you can’t un-know. So I know once you read, and connect, and walk away from the shame, even if for a moment, you’ll do it again later. And each time, you’ll spend more time away from shame.  So I give each of you pieces of me to hold on to, in the hopes you’ll join me out here in the open for longer periods of time. What is your truth?

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27 Responses to Sharing But Not Embarrassing

  1. Love reading your truths. And I love this post. Me? I’ve shared pieces of truths for almost 10 years. Sometimes more, sometimes less.


  2. Beautiful. Love your self-awareness and the I am not the only one paragraph. Wonderfully articulate.

    As you likely know, I don’t write haphazardly or hurriedly. Yes, keep on with the great care.



  3. ♡eM says:

    Yes, our vulnerable connections are the gifts we share with one another. Oh, how I appreciate this post. Thank you.


  4. ♡eM says:

    May I share this at my blog? Also, I always wondered what happened to your blogging buddy and just now read about her parting on your “about” page. I’m glad I noticed the comment, as it has explained a mystery to me. I think I was reticent to ask about your friend’s retirement from writing. Do you have a contact link somewhere here?


    • Oh my, I am so behind in my replies, I am so sorry–I just saw this!!! Yes, please do share this on your blog, I am so honored–thank you!
      Yes, my co-blogger and I remain colleagues and close, dear friends. Turns out we’ve discovered this is my passion and calling, and not hers. So the tone and content changed when it turned into my blog, and I’ve noticed even then my style and direction continue to evolve.
      Hm, contact link–no, I am a blogging newbie and don’t have one…is there a way I can send you my personal email address without broadcasting it publicly? If not, I’ll post the email address I have set up for the blog, and we can redirect through that to my personal address–


      • ♡eM says:

        You can reach me at my contact page. I will reblog this post, and thank you for sharing. I don’t know if I’ve ever reblogged a post yet so I hope it works. Smiles!


  5. ♡eM says:

    Reblogged this on A Wild One Within and commented:
    Thank you, BonneVivanteLife, for Sharing But Not Embarrassing.


  6. Thank you for these words of encouragement. I needed this reminder. My blog has alienated some in my life, even though I weigh each piece as you have so eloquently put here:I take great care not to disclose parts of myself and my life without first processing through the events and emotions and implications. Great insights!!


    • Thank you so much! I’m sorry to hear your words have alienated some–that is never pleasant nor easy. But if you are being respectful and kind in putting yourself out there, there’s not much you can do, nor your responsibility to do otherwise, in living your life truthfully. I can’t wait to read your insights and your carefully chosen words. Thank you again for your kind words and support!


  7. JunkChuck says:

    I find it difficult to write–particularly to write original work for my blog–impersonally, despite the steps I’ve taken (pseudonym, etc) to maintain a boundary between junk.chuck and Charles.


    • Yes, I feel your pain! I found it very difficult in the beginning to write authentically while maintaining strict boundaries and privacy. In my evolution as a writer, I’ve found my writing is better when I open myself up more, and seem to connect better with readers as well. I try really hard not to include details whereupon my identity is obvious, as I am aware of the perils and permanency of the web. I also know it’s not too hard to figure it out, especially for all my friends who read my work 🙂 I am curious–how do you write authentically and maintain your boundaries in this delicate balance? Also, thank you so much for stopping by!!


  8. Very nice post. I’ve been going the same direction with my writing. I started thinking I was wise and clever sharing lessons for others to learn from. Now, I realize the lessons are more my own, if others benefit, then great. The power and joy is in connecting by willing to be real, open, and even vulnerable and imperfect. I’ve been practicing that more and more. Blessings, Brad


    • Brad, thank you so much for stopping by, taking the time to comment, and honoring me with your desire to follow me and read more of my musings! Yes, the joy–such joy in connecting by being vulnerable and open and imperfect! There’s great strength and peace to be gained in such. I agree also with your sentiment–I write for me, because it’s my passion and encoded in my DNA. I am tickled pink if others enjoy it or get something out of it, but that is not my primary reason for writing. Yet I do think our willingness to be authentic, appropriately, does make a difference in the world and to our readers. Continued good blessings with your writing!!


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  10. I hope I don’t seem like a blog-stalker, as this is my 3rd comment here today, but seriously…I feel like I found my blog-sister. Lol. I have a super similar post about the purpose of my writing; I don’t share with the intention of being attention-seeking but rather inspiring and helping others feel not alone and connected. I struggle with feelings of over-sharing, but at the same time, I have nothing to be ashamed of in sharing my truth. Thanks for being an inspiration to me. I feel like I’m on the right path knowing there are others like me.


    • My very first blog-stalker! 🙂 I’m tickle dpink that you are a kindred spirit! Absolutely you’re on the right path so long as you keep doing the next right thing! I know you’re a fan of Brene. Have you read Glennon Doyle Melton’s work? After soaking up Brene’s work, I soaked up Glennon’s. Both are such life changers and I think you, my blog-sis, would appreciate her work too! Keep writing, sister!


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