Withholding stories

When I read this, it resounded so strongly with me I think I felt the walls vibrate. Here, have a read:


Of course, that was my first reaction. Once I marinated on what I read for a while, I realized even more why I knew it to be true. The message is along the lines of one I shared when I wrote this post. What is that untapped potential we all have in our very beings that doesn’t get shared? What about the other 6/7th’s?

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But more importantly, I liked this article for sharing the doors that honesty can open, so they bear some repeating, for effect.

  1. Honesty and openness prove we are trustworthy.
  2. They display our humanity.
  3. They highlight the importance of hard work and personal development.
  4. They allow others to know us and themselves better.
  5. Honesty and openness challenge others to share their stories.

I rewatched an episode of SNL when Christoph Waltz was the guest host. There was a skit of a game show, with a set up similar to Wheel of Fortune, but instead, it was a show called “What Have You Become?” It had really sad, pathetic people as contestants, and the game was simply the host of that show asking the contestants the question: “What Have You Become?” If the contestant didn’t have a mental breakdown and realize how pathetic his or her life was, they won the round.

When you ask yourself the question, “What Have I Become?”, honesty and openness are of utmost importance. This creates self awareness to step away, look at the facts and observe the situation with an outsider’s perspective. You shouldn’t lie to yourself.

What I love about my interactions with people in the past 3 years, is the brutal honesty with which I attacked conversations. I put my humanity on display. By asking myself questions about the kind of person I was and wanted to be, I navigated some very tough decisions and remained as true to myself as I could be. I lived 1. – 5. above everyday.

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It can be confronting when someone with whom you interact is brutally honest. “How are you?” garners a response that requires eye contact, nodding, involvement, listening, and offering some kind of response. You can either match their honesty, or shy away.

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I think of how I can come across when I answer questions. I offer funny stories that happened that day, as I see a lot of humor in my collection of moments. Sometimes I’m not fine and I don’t feel like lying about it to make someone more comfortable. Whether I respond with an emotion or a story, I make it personal. It’s me. I’m sharing me with you. Sometimes people don’t know how to handle honesty, simply because they are not used to it. Rules get bent, truth gets stretched, and a distorted mangled remnant of the truth can remain. Not to sound cliché, but some people can’t handle the truth…

I cherish those honest moments. They have an integrity to me. They’re important for me to connect with someone, and for someone to connect with me. Maybe it’s over a shitty morning commute or a funny bus character story, but I’d rather have that moment of truth than a hundred moments of dishonest imitation.

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I started this blog to tell my stories. You might be surprised what will come back to you if you do the same. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the responses I’ve received from people when I’m real with them. I’m connecting with people in a real way. In response, they are real with me and relate to me, almost immediately (or I get to them over time.) It doesn’t feel fake. Sometimes it feels forced, only if I’m just not in the mood for interaction or company. But that occurs rarely.

Share your stories in return, or pass them forward, but get them into the great wide open. Don’t withhold your stories. You know why.