Don’t Compare Your Insides To Other People’s Outsides
So I had a conversation at a party – what is it with me and conversations at parties? People are going to start avoiding talking to me…
Anyway, my lovely conversation partner mentioned she reads my blog and finds it amazing that I can share things so publicly. Things she can’t even bear to share with her husband – like if she shouted at her child that day. “It seems so easy for you”, she said self-deprecatingly, “I guess some people can just do that.”
First of all, when someone tells me they read my blog I immediately feel exposed. Aargh, they know things about me! Maybe they like what I write; maybe they think I’m a narcissistic misguided fraud… Breathe in, breathe out, reassure self, relax tensed shoulders…
To make it harder still, she reminds me that I share things that are potentially shameful and I want to run and hide.
Breathe in, breathe out, remind myself what it’s really about, open up and lean into the discomfort…
Maybe it looks easy for me. It’s not. It has been excruciating at times to expose myself in this way.
So why do I do it?
Because it’s SO darn good for me. (not to mention how much FUN I have writing and drawing…)
My main reason for writing this blog is that it helps me plough through, heal and release OLD fears and preconceptions that hold me back or keep me small. It helps me to stay conscious in my life and parenting and it is teaching me about keeping my self while I parent – what does that even mean?!
A second but important reason I write here is the healing for others. In my work I’ve been allowed the awesome privilege of hearing the truth about people’s lives. Not what they present to the world, but how they really feel inside the facades. It is a privilege I cherish deeply. And person after person comes to me and says, “Other people seem to have it sorted. Is it just me that struggles with this?”
Parents especially are a strangely isolated group. For all the chatting and play-dates, not many dare to speak about the real stuff. The shameful moments. The hidden smacks, shouts, rough grabs that we cringe to think about and prefer not to look at. It only takes one brave soul to stand in truth, dare to be vulnerable and speak out, for others to learn they are really NOT alone in their fears and struggles. That is why I choose to expose myself. I’m backed up by the definite knowledge that I am one of many dealing with this stuff. I know it’s normal.
So yes, I cringe when a relative stranger mentions my shouting at my child, but I have no illusions that I’m the only one who struggles with it. (Mostly past tense I can proudly say) After all, the reason she even brought it up with me is because she relates.
To those of you who read this and feel relieved; to those of you who can’t bring yourself to write a comment after the posts – I know you are out there because you write to me privately. I am grateful this is bringing you reassurance in some way.
We only see what other people present to the world – and it’s usually very convincing. I mean just look, she thought this is easy for me! If only she knew the depths I regularly have to plumb to do this.
DO NOT compare what is going on inside you – and how you feel and behave in your worst moments – to what other people are willing to show the world about themselves. Chances are, there are others who look at you and think you have it all sorted. They probably feel inadequate in comparison to you.
Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides. There is nothing wrong with you – or them. We are all dealing with our struggles.
Tell me one way you can let yourself off the hook this week?
Share, share, SHARE this post. Let’s remind and reassure as many people as possible.