To celebrate Daylight Savings, I spend Saturday night at a new friend’s home meeting a few of his close friends and chatting until the wee hours of the morning. I’ve been craving a chance to meet people with whom I can make deep, meaningful friendships again, and in spending time with these wonderful people, I could tell that this was no “scratch-the-surface” opportunity.
One topic brought up was that of sharing our weaknesses. Z, a social worker by profession, told of the healing experience he has had through sharing his weaknesses with people he loves. After thoughtfully making a list of his weaknesses, he called up a family member to share the list. It was so freeing that he continued calling various family and friends to share the load. At first it was hard for me to believe that this sweet man had any note-worthy weaknesses; he genuinely radiated gentleness and compassion with every word he spoke. But he sold me on the subject. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Over the course of my life there have been a few topics I’ve been very open about, and those things that would normally be struggles for some have not been able to tie me down with weight of shame or fear.
I’ve rolled around this idea in my mind all weekend. Adding to this thought of sharing weaknesses, I’ve often considered myself a “raw” person: unfiltered, fearless emotion. I think this may be a false perception that will be later addressed in my weaknesses. Additionally, today I heard a couple brilliant covers of “Demons” by Imagine Dragons. To be honest, I’ve loved the tune, but today was the first time I really caught the lyrics. I loved them. The line that really stuck to my ribs was “don’t get too close, it’s dark inside.”
Even those overflowing with light and joy have little “secrets” or “things” that bog them down – have a darkness inside. This has been a really eye-opening realization I’ve had as I grow older. I’ve often projected the image of what I’d like to be and how I think of myself, and strive to live as closely to that as possible. I experience friction in my heart when I’m praised for my goodness, but I am self-aware of all the little “things” that the outside world doesn’t know about me. Whether it is political incorrectness, judgment, jealousy, fallacies, or goals I simply cannot grasp, there are many weaknesses.
Combining all these thoughts together, I’m calling these weaknesses “demons” (though I don’t think of the weaknesses as demons, but rather as facets that can completely overwhelm and take over me at times – or completely “possess” my thoughts), and I’m entitling all related writings as “The Demon Series.” It’s a series where I’d like to address my weaknesses and bring them to light in a contemplative, analytical, healing, and real manner. I was once told that my writing voice doesn’t sound like my voice (I don’t agree). I was also told that sometimes raw is terrifying. These two statements will hold no authority here. It’s hard to be yourself when you constantly filter for prospective audiences. I spent the better part of my lifetime in search of acceptance, trying to appease the tastes of others. It made me lose bits of myself along the way, and only in the past few years have I gathered up the shards and glued them together. That sort of oppression is not me. I want to help others see the beauty of themselves, to see beyond the judgments of others and the self-inflicted standards that never allow them to be kind to their own self. Life is beautiful! – and it’s more beautiful with you actively in it, loving it, and sharing your perfect, wonderful self with the world.
Hopefully by openly sharing weaknesses, we can get over our fears of imperfection, rejection, and inadequacy, and begin to share in open, honest, beautiful relationships supported by honest to goodness love and an understanding that we are all in our perceived inadequacies together – and that we are enough. Together we can strive to be “better” people. Together we can endure the hard parts and experience more joyful moments, until the moments are perpetual.