I’ll be honest: there are some posts that are harder to push “publish” on than others.
The underlying fear isn’t that I’ve misspelled a word or written an awkward sentence (though I’ve cultivated a healthy fear of those things). The deepest, most paralyzing fear is that I’ve written about something that no one else understands.
It’s the fear that keeps our mouths shut and our hands folded during small groups and coffee dates. It’s the fear that makes us keep secrets and stretch the truth when someone asks, “how are you doing?” It’s the fear that hinders our closest relationships.
maybe it’s just me.
Maybe I’m the only one that’s ever thought this or felt this or believed this.
Maybe I’m the only one who’s ever experienced this or gone through this or struggled with this.
Maybe it’s just me.
I am a firm believer that this “maybe it’s just me” fear is a powerful tool of the Enemy. It keeps our mouths shut and our hearts guarded, and it is not true.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a debilitating deterrent. It’s a lie that we eat up, giving us an excuse to keep our struggles under wraps and our deepest fears locked behind closed doors.
It tells us that our feelings are illegitimate, our struggles uncommon, and our experiences abnormal.
It coaxes us into sharing with others only what looks presentable and seems “normal.” It convinces us that we’re only relatable if we’re telling half-truths.
Look, my life is normal-messy! I struggle so much with what everyone else is blogging about!
But when it comes to all the other stuff, we keep quiet. No one understands that.
This deafening silence has a solution as difficult as it is breathtakingly simple.
The only way we know that people don’t understand is by the weird looks, the shocked expressions, the body language that screams “your struggle is foreign to me.” We don’t always mean to communicate it, but we do: you’re on your own with that one.
Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is also the simplest: me too.
I’ve thought that thing you feared no one else thought. I’ve felt that feeling you worried no one else felt. I’ve struggled with that thing you’ve been terrified no one else is struggling with. Me too.
I recently saw a sign that said: “throw kindness around like confetti.”
I don’t like unfinished similes, so I added: “Throw kindness around like confetti – abundantly and with the knowledge that you might not get any of it back.”
I think the same should be said of our “me toos.”
What if we started throwing our “me toos” around like confetti? What if we were generous, even recklessly generous, with this one small kindness? What if we could be brave enough to nod our heads at hard and scary things?
That’s when we get dangerous, beloved. That’s when we get dangerous to the enemy of our souls, because we are fighting the power of silence with something even more powerful: the knowledge that you are not alone.