When you share your story, you bring your heart out of your chest and show the other person.
You say, “Hey, this is me, this is what I’m about,and this is what I’ve been through,” and you say this not for sympathy or validation, but simply to be heard and possibly connected with.
Sometimes your heart gets flung back in your face along with insults or judgement calls on how you “should” have your shit together.
Sometimes you’re met with indifference, apathy, or outright cruelty.
And sometimes, some magical times, your heart is cradled by the respect it deserves. The other person cherishes your honesty and respects you for it even when she cannot truly relate to or fully understand it.
It’s a conversation that flows both ways, that says, “Hey, I see you. I’m here with you. You’re not alone, you’re not broken, and you don’t need fixing. I may not understand what you’ve been through, but I see you. I see you. I see you.”
It’s a conversation between 2 or more beings who’re able to accept themselves where they’re at, not where they think they ought to be or should be by now.
Can you relate?
There’re time times when you just need to connect, to know that you matter, to know that someone else cares. Times when your burden gets too heavy to bear or life gets you down or you just can’t seem to find the bright sky for all the rain.
You reach out in search of comfort, healing, and understanding.
Reaching out to the wrong people can be deadly. Reaching out to the wrong people can seriously fuck you up inside if you’re unguarded or unwary.
Who’re the people who do earn the right to hear your story?
The ones who lift you up. Who cheer you on. Who listen with open hearts without trying to fix you or tell you how to live your life. The ones who take you as you are because they see the deeper truth of who you’re born to be.
The ones who can witness your drama or trauma without deriding or dissing you for it. The ones who let you find your way home when you’re lost and confused, who hold up the light to guide your path when the world goes dark.
Who hasn’t earned the right to hear your story?
Anyone who calls you weak or judges you for how you feel. Anyone who’s unable or unwilling to empathise and believe that you can be stronger, are stronger than you seem to be at that moment.
Anyone who makes light of your past or present because they can’t understand it. Anyone who feels they know what you need better than you do. Anyone who doesn’t care, doesn’t wanna care, and can’t be bothered to understand you.
Needless to say, the second group’s a heck of a lot larger than the first one, but that’s what makes the first ones so precious.
How do you know who’s worthy of your story?
1.) Watch their attitude towards you.
Is he dismissive? Does she roll her eyes when you try to confide in her? Do they tell you you’re too sensitive?
The little things are symptomatic of the bigger things, and if you’re feeling uncomfortable or put down, CEASE AND DESIST!
Wrap up the conversation and keep it moving. There’s succour to be found but not in those quarters. Onward.
2.) Listen to what they say to you when they’re upset.
I’ve found there’s a different quality of talk that comes through when someone feels I’m not reacting the way they want me to or the way I “ought” to.
If I’m really in the wrong and the person’s coming from a place of love, there’s no blaming or shaming involved.
It’s usually like,
“Hey, this is how you made me feel and I’m unhappy/worried/irate because I believe you can do better if you choose to try. I know it’s hard but you have to do something,”
as opposed to,
“Why can’t you get it right, what’s wrong with you, you won’t be happy until I . . .”
See the difference? One’s from love, the other isn’t.
Like Danielle LaPorte once said, “Go where the love is.”
3.) If something just feels off or doesn’t feel right.
If you’re even the slightest bit worried that your alarm bells are going off but you don’t know why, oh honey please walk away like you’ve got no time to waste, ’cause you don’t.
Why share your heart if you’re not sure?
There may not be anything wrong with that person, but if they’re not right for you, then they’re not right for you.
Save yourself the heartache and keep your shit to yourself (and I say that with all the love in the world).
Listen to your gut instincts; they’re never wrong on these things.
At the end of the day, people only have what power we give them.
Have less jerks and more Angel Souls share your story, and you’ll be well on your way to getting the support you need.
You don’t have to listen to anyone telling you how to live your life, but it helps to have the right folks in your corner.
Get on it.
Photo credit: Creative Commons via Flickr