Vulnerability is the intersection between, “whew, I’m glad I got that out” and “what the hell did I just do?”. It’s the crossroads of saying what needed to be said and the fear of having said too much. I’m here right now — feeling raw and exposed after sharing the “ugliest” parts of my story with not only a virtual stranger but also a work colleague. It’s a pretty scary place.
It’s the never dying haunting of “what would people think if they knew, if they knew all the details,” that shows up as much in the 5 minute 1 on 1’s in a dialogue circle as in long, unexpected conversations that you just can’t walk away from. You are invited right to the edge of authenticity and façade and are left to choose.
The question for me, often, in those moments is “can this person “handle” my story?”. But, what’s for them to handle? The real question is where, in my story, are you and I the same? I must look for that in others to build both my capacity to hear stories and to share mine.