Monday, October 12, 2009

On Vulnerability

Telling the truth is hard. Mostly, I think, because we don't know the full extent of the truth about ourselves. It's easier to go through life tending to the daily necessities than to sit down and confront ourselves. It's easier to go to work, get the groceries, do the laundry, clean the house and then fall into bed, than it is to be still and honest with ourselves.

I thought I was pretty good at telling the truth. I love conversation and have shared many evenings talking with friends about life and purpose and meaning.

Then I went to an all day writing workshop and discovered there are many levels of truth, and I was living in the top few. I wasn't strictly a surface dweller, but there were things I discovered that surprised me. We did several free-writing exercises, where you're given a topic and you start writing and don't stop until your allotted time is up. It would often start out completely innocuous, as I wrote about the minutiae of the day, sometimes just writing about the sound of the other writers scratching away in their journals. Then my mind would take a dive and go somewhere unexpected. Sometimes I kept writing, and sometimes I just didn't have the courage. Afterwards, we would share what we'd written, and I would be completely blown away by the truth that had found it's way out. And I respected and admired those that broke open their souls and shared their true selves. And I wanted to share just a little bit more, but wasn't quite ready.

I don't mean to suggest I have some dark, hidden secret that needs confessing. It's more pedestrian than that. It's the little disappointments that turn into big deals and bother us more than we let on. It's the fears that keep us from growing and trying new things, although we have another explanation for not being involved.

I'm drawn to those writers that embrace vulnerability; that share the good, the bad, and the things hoped for but not yet seen. I will get there, in time, but it's definitely going to be a process. If I were writing anonymously it would be so much easier! I know,though, that there are friends and family and co-workers who happen by this blog every now and then. And some of those very wonderful people have a habit of commenting about what I've written, and I need to be able to own up to my confessions in real life.

I don't think I'll ever write some big tell-all post (mostly because there's no big "tell-all" secret) but I am going to try to continue growing in the area of truth-telling, one blog post at a time.

So I think I'm good for today then.

If you're looking for more, may I suggest visiting one of the following blogs: - I laughed, I cried, and then I went through a lot of kleenex. Seriously? Don't read this one in a public place, because sooner or later you'll get to a post about her son Matthew, and then you may fall apart a little. She is a woman who went through hell, managed to find her way back, and now has the courage to write about it. - Beautiful writing and photography. Not quite as raw as the one above.