Being vulnerable is always hard. For a lot of people, myself included, exposing your true self to others is a scary thing to have to do. You can map out in your mind exactly what you'll say, how you'll say it and then run through all the different scenarios about how the other person will react.
The only problem is, no matter how many times you mentally rehearse, there's no guarantee about how the other person will react to your truth.
And that is terrifying.
But even more terrifying-- at least in my opinion-- is the alternative. Because instead of being honest, the only other solution is to keep your mouth shut and the truth behind locked doors. It becomes a heavy secret, one that you now have to carry alone.
In the moment, that may seem easier than facing the fear of an unknown outcome. And within the first few days or weeks of hiding this secret, it can feel like you made the right choice.
But that secret continues to weigh on you.
Hiding the truth, deciding to be the only one to carry it, is like walking around with a stone strapped to your back. It can be big or small, but it's something you alone carry. And sure, in the beginning it may feel light and easy, or just something you think you'll get used to, but after a while it becomes heavier. And heavier. It starts to weigh you down. It prevents you from living fully, hindering you from being the fullest, complete version of yourself. Try going for a run or walking up the stairs with a large rock hanging between your shoulders. Doesn't sound fun, does it?
That's what it's like trying to live and form relationships with people while knowingly holding something back.
There are plenty of reasons we hide the truth. It can be to protect ourselves, protect others, or just be a futile attempt to make life easier. It can work for a while; but just like living with a rock attached to you, it's no real way to do life. Secrets and hidden truths are unnecessary, heavy burdens, and they're only worse when we alone see them and can't turn to others for help.
Unstrap the rock.
Lighten your load.
Entrust others with your burden.
It's so much more freeing when you don't have to carry the heavy truth alone.
If you have something you've been holding onto for a while now-- whether it's a little white lie you held back to prevent hurt feelings or something entirely earth-shaking-- I encourage you to trust someone else with it. Be honest with a family member, close friend, a therapist, or even a stranger on a park bench (Listen, it worked for Nick Miller).
God didn't design us to struggle through life alone. We have loving people in our lives for a reason. They will be there to help you carry your burden, just like we can trust God to help us carry it. And as to the unpredictable reaction people might have to whatever your truth may be? The people who love you will love you no matter what.
No matter what.