Permission to share what’s under the surface

From Brené Browns new book Rising Strong:

We’ve all fallen, and we have the skinned knees and bruised hearts to prove it. But scars are easier to talk about than they are to show, with all the remembered feelings laid bare. And rarely do we see wounds that are in the process of healing. (My emphasis / Simone) I’m not sure if it’s because we feel too much shame to let anyone see a process as intimate as overcoming hurt, or if it’s because even when we muster the courage to share our still-incomplete healing, people reflexively look away. We much prefer stories about falling and rising to be inspirational and sanitized.

As I read this paragraph in Brené Browns new book, it felt as if I was handed a permission slip: Permission to keep writing about my inner hurting mess. It is true, more than two years have passed since my husband had his stroke, and part of my inner mess is my inner critic beating me up for not yet having fully adjusted. For not yet having risen strong through the grief process. My gratitude for still having him by my side is immeasurable. To say it’s to the sun and back again, is far from enough. Still, I’m also coming to a place where I can be more honest about how much I miss what we had. About missing our conversations. Missing the guidance he provided for our boys. I want to honor what we have – which in many ways is amazing. And I need to give myself permission to grieve what we have lost.

The final paragraph in my recent blog post about Writer’s struggle, is about acknowledging that FEAR might get in the way of writing. As I read the part above in Rising Strong, I realized that yes, I am afraid that people, even friends, will reflexively look away when they grasp how much I am still struggling. Another fear is that someone might, accidentally or not, rub salt into my still open wound. Of course, having people feel like they need to walk on eggshells when they’re around me, would probably feel just as awful.

And yet, for those willing to meet me in those tender places, I will continue to vulnerably share my process. Just as it is my wish and hope to have the honor to meet others in their vulnerable processes. I fully believe that rising strong is something we do together.

Further on, Brené Brown continues: (…) To pretend that we can get to helping, generous, and brave without navigating through tough emotions like desperation, shame, and panic is a profoundly dangerous and misguided assumption. (…) …we’d be better off learning how to recognize the beauty in truth and tenacity.

It is my profound wish to spend more time feeling helpful, generous, and brave, and while I am getting there, I am practicing to see the beauty in truth and tenacity.

Thank you for reading. Warmest wishes to you all,



10 thoughts on “Permission to share what’s under the surface

  1. Oh Simone that touched me so much. I have tears running down my face. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing yourself. I’m going to share this on my FB page and who knows, there may be a blog in it for me too. I love you ♥♥

  2. Thank you, Simone. This helped me so much. Please keep writing about your inner hurting mess, because it gives me courage to share mine, too. It seems rare to show the wounds that are still in the process of healing. Recently an odd phrase caught my attention and struck an uncomfortable chord – someone commenting on how much people write about difficulty as “inspiration porn” – the writing that happens only after we’ve resolved our dilemma’s and can express from the safe place of “being on the other side”.

    Glad to meet you in the tender places.

    • Thank you Shelley! Yes, that’s what Brené Brown is talking about, although instead of “inspirational porn”, she calls it “gold-plating grit”. It’s an honor that you want to meet in the tender places, it warms my heart and makes my journey easier!

  3. Bravely and poetically written, Simone! While we need to to keep positive, to see reality for what it is, is to appreciate the depths and evaluate the means, + inspire tenacity to close!

    There will be those who are not ready for the naked truth e.g. the young. Time and patience may have to be afforded. Hence, difference levels of sanitation may still have to be present for different audiences different channels, but hopefully we can all graduate to appreciate truth, and live without regret.

    • Thank you for reading my post and for your reflections! I believe your are absolutely right, and I personally feel that not only am I ready to receive different types of messages at different times in life, but also where I am now – on some days I long to hear and find comfort in seeing the depth and beautiful messiness in someone else who is also struggling, on other days the inspirational, “sanitized” story of someone who has made it out on the other end of the tunnel, is all I can take. Thank you for bringing that to my awareness!

  4. Your candour opens the stuck places in others – the places we skirt around, hide under pretty phrases, assure friends they are healed. This kind of truth telling cracks open the world. A hug of thanks to you!

  5. What a true and heartfelt reflection, Simone — thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    The distance between shame and panic to generosity, helping, and brave can be a puddle jump (sometimes) or a scary suspension bridge or something that seems too big to even attempt.

    But it’s always better after we’ve made it.

    Thanks for a lovely post.

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