“I feel like I should be an open book,” she said. “You know, I want to be authentic with everyone.”
“I get it,” I replied. “You don’t want to be fake.”
“Right,” she murmured through the tears. “But people have used what I’ve told them against me. Thrown it back in my face. I don’t think I can tell everybody everything.”
“Correct. And you don’t have to Sweetheart.”
Wanting to be authentic is honorable. But can one be authentic and maintain her privacy?
Yeah. Of course.
If you ask me what the inside of my house looks like, I will give you a few details. But I won’t give you the key to my front door.
If you want to read my writing I’ll direct you to my blog. But I won’t hand you my journal.
If you ask me if I have demons I’ll say, “Of course I do.” But I won’t introduce them to you.
The front door key, the journal, the vivid descriptions of deeply personal struggles – those are not for everyone. Those are for a select few. Would you hand a child a fragile piece of pottery? Would you give a stranger at the bar your bank account password? Would you ask your next door neighbor for a pelvic exam?
There is something to be said for keeping the fragile parts of you sacred. For revealing certain aspects only to those who have shown you that they can handle them with care.
See, some people will see your darkness and react with disgust or shaming or gossip or indifference or confusion. They simply aren’t ready for your story. They’re likely not yet comfortable with their own.
But. There are those who will see your darkness and react with compassion and empathy and understanding and openness and love. You won’t regret showing these people all of you. In fact, you will feel lighter when you do. Take time and care in finding these souls. They’ll be revealed to you when you need them.
Darling, you don’t owe the whole world a look through your living room window. Keeping your blinds closed at night doesn’t mean you’re fake. It means you have solid boundaries around what is precious.
This post is dedicated to my select few.