On freaking out.

freakout

I shouldn’t freak out so much whenever I post something I’m embarrassed by or ashamed of or that is very personal.
I always forget how good running naked in public can feel.
The outcome is never bad, and always leads to even more self awareness.
How can that be a bad thing?

I’m not alone in freaking out over stuff like this. It seems to be universal, hardwired into the human brain.
Why is there so much shame in making yourself vulnerable, telling your secrets? Does it mean you’re weak? Is it something we should be ashamed of?
I don’t think so. I think being vulnerable and candid means we have the courage to honest even when it hurts, and that makes you stronger than 100 boxes of Wheaties.

I posted an article earlier I was certain would run off most of my readers, cause my friends to leave me, and basically kill this blog.
But that hasn’t happened.
Everyone’s been so supportive.
And I want to tell everyone thank you. I’m glad I did this now.

Running naked in public.

streaking

I have never been a risk taker.

But this week I took a big risk. I ran naked in public twice. The first time I was scared to death; the second time, my attitude was more like, “Eh, why the hell not? Let’s go streaking.”

I’m referring to two blog posts this week in which I wrote about moments in my past where I experienced intense emotions that ran so deep I felt incredibly vulnerable and naked writing about them and sharing them with the world, especially because both these posts were about very private matters I wouldn’t even tell a casual friend. I felt somewhat embarrassed reading over the first post to myself, but also realized it was something I’d want to read if someone else wrote it. I also knew it was very well written.

After several days of stewing over posting the first article publicly and re-reading and editing it about a gazillion times, I finally took a deep breath, squeezed my eyes shut, and hit that “Publish” button. After I did so, I actually felt light in the head, like I might pass out. I couldn’t believe I was crazy enough to actually take off my psychological clothes (my natural guardedness) in public.

But I was crazy enough.

For a day or two, I feared reading my comments. I was almost afraid to look at this website at all. I didn’t want to see how many people might have read it…or WHO might have read it.

At the same time, I began to feel delightfully liberated, like I was running through the streets naked–and realizing my nakedness was a beautiful thing and nothing to be ashamed of.

naked

The second time (the abortion story) wasn’t as scary to post, because nothing untoward happened after I published my first “scary” emotionally revealing article.

I gained the courage to post these deeply personal articles by remembering that all my most liked, commented, and viewed posts have always been those in which I revealed the most about myself and my emotional state.

Of course, the ability to use the anonymity of the Internet and a handle instead of your actual name helps too. 😉