So much of the impetus for adoption and abortion both is the sense that we are not ready. That things are set in motion and we aren’t prepared to see them through in the way that we would like, or want, or could accept. In the Magic Lessons Podcast, Elizabeth Gilbert talks a lot about being willing to be imperfect. About accepting who we are and what we do without judgement.
Elizabeth interviews Glennon Doyle Melton, the author of the New York Times bestselling memoirs Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior:The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life. She’s the creator of the online community Momastery and the founder and president of the non-profit Together Rising, which has raised millions of dollars for families in crisis all over the world.
When she asks Glennon (at 18:22), why it’s important to for to do this work that reveals so much of her shadow, she answers “I just really want to be seen”. Elizabeth wonders aloud “how many women never get known and seen?” Glennon goes on to say “The deeper and more personal you get, the more universal everything becomes.”
That really hit home with me. I recently sent a new friend a link to the public talk that I did about reuniting with my birth son. They didn’t respond and instantly in my mind, I felt as if I had been judged. No input at all from them, just emptiness for my mind to ponder. It’s so easy for our critical inner voice to work it’s way up through the cracks in our experience – even when we think we have conquered it, vanquished it or loved it into submission.
We can listen to all of the talks about vulnerability and how freeing it is, but it’s scary.
Every. Time. You. Do. It.
I have had people contact me with incredible stories of not only hardship but also joy and connection. Telling their story to me and Carol is sometimes cathartic enough and they don’t make an appointment to record an interview for the podcast.
The terrifying truth is that the more of yourself you reveal, the more rejection and pain you leave yourself open to. But it also can lead to more connection, more honest and clear connection than you could gain from years of friendship.
I would never fault someone for holding back something about themselves that they weren’t proud of. If we could only separate our feelings of self-worth and judgement so that all that was left was the retelling of our experience, we could touch others. We could re-affirm others. We could come closer together as open-hearted, connected people.