I know some people wonder why I’m so open and why I “over-share”. This is why; I do it for myself. If I’ve done something awful, something I feel terrible about, I tell as many people as I can. When I have a cut or a bruise or a sore spot I push it or press it and keep pressing it until it doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s the same thing.
This is a very personal to me and I appreciate and respect that this approach isn’t right for everybody. I know some people are very private and the thought of hanging it all out to dry in public makes some people go cold. For me when people know the awful things and you’re the one who told them, it can’t hurt you. They know the worst, it’s out there. It has no power over you. Blackmailers lose their power if you out yourself. Abusers lose their power and hold over you if you tell the secret. For years I’ve found comfort in telling everyone everything whether they wanted to hear it or not. If I’ve had a problem I’ve talked it over with as many people as possible. If something awful has happened I tell everyone I know. For me, it really is a problem shared. The big awful thing loses its power as it is spread about. Like a reverse snowball it gets smaller and smaller as it’s divvied up and shared around.
I wrote a post the other day about how I’d behaved badly on my birthday. I knew I didn’t come over very well in it. It’s not about coming over well though. It’s about owning the behaviour. I did something bad and I accepted the behaviour. I did that and I’m not proud of it. I will learn from it hopefully. But by being open and honest about it, it loses its negative power over me and I can move on.
What if people use it against me? What if people throw it back in my face? Who would do that and why? If you’ve already owned it it can’t hurt you again anyway and you have nothing to fear from it. You don’t lose your power by being open and honest, it actually makes you stronger. My foundation doesn’t lose its strength just because people can see each brick. I’ve yet to meet someone who has lived a completely blameless life or has made no mistakes. I’ve certainly never met anyone who hasn’t done something they are ashamed of or that makes them cringe when they think back on it.
I used to drag a big bag of shame shit around with me everywhere and it was hard living my life when I had to take that bag everywhere. It got in the way. I decided to unpack the bag. I took a good look at everything inside it and worked hard to leave it where it was, in the past. I’m getting better at this and talking about stuff and being open is one of the ways that helps me cope.
I still have the bag but its much smaller these days and it’s not bursting at the seams. I’m much kinder to myself.