Wednesday, July 03, 2013

You Are Worth Discussing - The Fear of Revealing Ourselves

Recently I was pondering the common fear most of us have against talking about our individual self in an open and honest way with others.  We most often filter our experiences from others and hold back our deepest feelings and insights.  If we are not careful, we can end up saying, "I don't feel comfortable sharing myself."

Inside vs. Outside
I would like to challenge you to join me in exploring the critical nature of internal vs. external when talking about yourself.  In identifying the truth about what is internal and what is external, you can begin to establish boundaries with which you can secure your person from both internal and external attack. Boundaries also allow you to firmly establish for what you are responsible and for what you are not responsible.
I would like to venture out on a limb and guess that; we do not fear sharing ourselves, at all.
It is very likely that each of us have learned to blur the line between internal and external things in our lives and as a result our thoughts on why we hesitate sharing ourselves are clouded.  To explore this topic we will have to look at an analogy for our fears, as well as look at what the self really is that we would be sharing.  

One Man's Fear - The Blurring of Our Worlds

A man states, "I'm not a big fan of walking around my backyard." In presenting this fact to us he is directly implying that the acting agent that prevents him from walking around his backyard is his internal feelings on the matter.
If we stopped being curious at this point, we would be left a bit confused as to why on earth someone would have feelings against walking in a back yard. In fact, from our personal experiences walking around a back yard can be quite relaxing and refreshing.
It turns out, the man did not quite give us all of the pertinent information. When we look out his window, we notice there is a very large, very angry pack of lions living in his back yard. Now it becomes clear why he is not a fan of walking around his yard. Of course, his original statement is not quite accurate.
A more truthful description would be, "I do not like walking around my backyard because there is a large pack of lions who are easily agitated, unpredictable, and not empathetic to my desire for a nice walk around my yard." In this revised statement the man is identifying what is happening inside him (discomfort for being in the presence of lions) and what is happening outside him (there are lions out there!)
In the first statement however, the man took all of the external elements and implied they were within himself. By doing this, he discounted the existence of the lions, and took full responsibility for their behavior. His rational decision to avoid the lions was re-framed as an irrational quirk of his to avoid his backyard.

What is it We Fear Sharing?

You have had hundreds of thousands of hour of experiences being you. You have seen great beauty, and witnessed great horrors. You have dreamed peace, and chaos, adventure, and terror.
You have connected to others, and shared time with countless individuals each of whom also had a near infinite well of person-hood from which to draw. You have more intriguing, exciting, scary, and amazing things to talk about in your self than could ever be said in a hundred lifetimes.
Of all the things you could talk about, you have more expertise, authority, and confidence in talking about the topic of you than you have on any other possible topic in all of human knowledge. You are also guaranteed to be interesting, since there is no other person, alive or dead, with access to the depth and breath of knowledge on the subject of being you.
Your experience is valuable for the amazing near infinitely deep magical pool of chaos and order that it is.
Most of us have shared but a few ripples on one corner of our existence. You have more to teach others about you and the people and places you have touched than anyone could ever possibly learn. (And vice versa for them to you.)

A Proven Track Record

Myself, I am excited to learn and unabashed in my curiosity as well as my humility. For with the knowledge outlined above, and my refusal to cross boundaries, I have the electrifying ability to humbly ask questions and to explore the intrigue of being a person. I have the ability to empathize and sympathize, the ability to not just react, but to think and feel and wonder.
My journey into exploring and sharing myself has been the most life empowering processes I have ever attempted. It has launched me into a thousand honest conversations with depth and breadth I have never experienced prior in my life.
I am not unique. Every person has all they need to step out to the ledge of honesty. They have all they need to acknowledge the natural boundaries which already exist between them and the world.
What they do need are trusted partners with which they can step beyond their comfort zone and hike off into the wilderness of open honesty. A companion with which they can face the lions in their life and reveal their existence.
A person who can honestly say, "Yes I see those lions, and fear not, you are not crazy. You are rational and smart to not face them alone."
If you are interested in hiking with me for a while, or just wish to stop and chat for a spell, let me know.  You being you will make my day.

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