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Developing the Courage to be Seen: Thoughts on Authenticity

Much of our realities go unnoticed, simply because they are unspoken.

Unspoken because of the social norms, that certain topics are forbidden.

So parts of ourselves stay hidden.

And in the hiding, the shame begins to creep in.

Begins to settle.

Living in the shadows becomes the norm.

To whom does it benefit that the interactions remain superficial? Saying a lot but learning very little. Entertaining subjects that are enjoyable… simply because they’re not personal. 

It is a challenge.

Holding space for the uncomfortable truths that taint each other’s realities. 

Especially, when we each take pride to ensure our own personal traumas have been buried down deep.

Deep enough to allow us to forget while we are awake, though these truths return to trouble us in our solitude and in our sleep.

And to share would be selfish, the act of unburdening ourselves.

Unless we pay by the hour, our uncomfortable realities are expected to be tabled and/or shelved.

And though our laughs sound hollow, and our smiles don’t reach our eyes, we dance in this charade, and we do not dare to compromise.

To show our cracks, our tears, and stains. 

To disclose our struggles, our fears, and pains.

Authenticity costs too much…

Though pretending leaves us brittle.

I celebrate those who dare to speak of something real, and raw and deep. To risk the chance at striking nerves by speaking up, by going first. And in that step, give others the choice, the courage still, to use their voice. 

In the off chance someone might listen, and another might connect.

And others shake off the shame, that almost began to set.

Let’s see each other, without pretence.

Learning to hold space, for the lives we’ve each experienced.

Honouring the thoughts and ideas, shared. 

Without being poked and prodded, evaluated or compared.

Conversations were meant to connect.

To inspire and be inspired, for whatever may come next.

It was never meant to be brave, to live authentically.

It was never mean to be awed, to live in transparency.

But somewhere along the line, we learned to fear the cost of our own vulnerability.

I’ll show my wounds, and scars, and marks.

I’ll share my good and ugly parts.

And hopefully, if you took the time to look and see… you’ll allow yourself the privilege of also being seen.


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