I start each class I teach with a question. Some are silly, others are deep. One day, one of my clients asked me why it matters to me to know the answers to these questions. I told her: We all want to be known, acknowledged, seen. We all also need to know that we are not alone.
My most profound experience in learning that I am not alone took place in a circle at a retreat. Twenty women sat together and for 3 minutes we wrote all of the negative things we tell ourselves on little strips of paper. The leaders collected the strips and then redistributed them so each of us had a few to read. Tears welled in my eyes as I heard how similar the negative voices in our heads are.
The most amazing thing to me was that I was not alone in having the types of negative thoughts I do. There was a deep sense of relief that came in knowing that each of us struggles.
I continue to see this play out. Times when someone is brave and says the thing that I am thinking but am afraid to bring up or when someone brings up an insecurity that I also have renew my sense that I am not alone.
Why do I care? Why do I do what I do? It’s because we need someone to help us see that we are not the only one. We need brave people to step up and name our challenges so that those of us who are hiding can see that we aren’t alone.
I do it because I have felt alone and lived in that pain. I want you to know that even though you might feel like the only one in the pain you are in, you are not alone. A lot of other people feel that way, maybe even about the same thing.
You can also find this post on my Facebook page Stoking Radiance
How would you live differently if you knew that you are not alone in your struggles, your experience, your perception? What if we are more similar than we think?