Vulnerability in telling your story is one of the scariest, most rewarding things any human can do. I can attest to that all day every day.
Three months ago I shared my story about my eating disorder recovery.
Talk about vulnerability at its core.
But I truly believe there is something incredibly powerful in doing that. Telling your story.
I spoke to a dear friend recently who told me that he decided to share his won personal journey with his network. Coming from a different country, a completely unique culture, in a city much smaller than my own, he shared his own personal struggles with issues I’ll refrain from sharing here. It’s not my story to tell after all.
But the fact is, he reached out to me to tell me himself. He wanted to open himself up to me personally because he knew that I too had shared my own struggles with the outside universe. He wanted to ask me how it’s been for me and how I’ve felt since sharing my story.
Because to him, he felt labeled. He felt defined.
And I did too. So much so that I even wrote about it.
The truth is, just like I told him, I was terrified of what the response would be like. I was vulnerable, exposed, and out on display for the world to see. But with vulnerability comes bravery.
It’s one of my favorite topics to write about. The journey of baring your soul, the organic type where your authentic self comes out from behind the curtains and screams, “Here I am world! Take me as I am or f*ck off!”
It’s liberating. Because like Dave Glaser reminded me:
“Those Who Mind Don’t Matter & Those Who Matter Don’t Mind.” – Dr. Seuss.
And it’s true. At the end of the day, regardless of how others view me because of the words I choose to share, the ones who I want to continue having in my inner circle, the ones who I love and adore and equally love and adore me back, will never mind. They will always want more. They will always want to support me. They will always be there for me, especially at my most vulnerable.
Not everyone is meant to share theirs. For some, it’s about telling the few people that they need or want to know. It may not be now, but when the time is right for them. And that in itself is an incredibly amazing thing. For others, they want to shout it from the roof tops to stop having to live in it alone. The latter is me.
Yesterday was the very first time I shared a part of my novel with anyone. They heard it, they read it, they absorbed it for what it was.
So. I sat and twiddled my thumbs and waited.
The anxiety continued to fill my body. “What will they think of it? Is it terrible? They probably hate it. You’ve wasted so much time Lauren.”
That’s when the negative thoughts started to come in. Then I took a few deep breaths and remembered that the best thing I can do is continue sharing. Because as I become more exposed, I remove another layer I would normally hide behind when I really should be embracing my bare skin; my open soul.
Like floating weightless in a tub. At your most vulnerable, but yet, you feel like you are free to float. You are calm. You are safe, wrapped in the arms of the water.
“Where the body floats, she feels weightless. She is terrified of seeing her body exposed. But once she immerses herself, she finally feels free. Free of shame, free of fear, free of the boulders she carries on her shoulders. She is free, unapologetically free.”
– Lauren Dow
I’ll continue to float, I’ll continue to share, I’ll continue to tell my story. Because it is indeed a story worth sharing, just like yours is.