‘I have no idea what that feels like. Tell me everything.’ True friends will still be there when you drop your guard.’: Woman says friendship is ‘the silent permission to tell your truth’

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“Sometimes, I think I need reminding more than I need teaching.

Most of what I need, I already have…I just need it dusted off and set where I can see it.

So here we go.

If you can be brave with your story, when you are brave with your truth, you silently, and probably unintentionally, permit others to do the same.

When you tell the truth, when you unearth the parts you never thought you had the strength to say aloud, you give everyone who hears permission to do the same.

I’ve seen it happen repeatedly.

The moment you hear a chapter you recognize, your heart leaps–‘I thought I was the only one!’ Suddenly, you are not closed and alone, wondering why your life experienced such hardship or such confusion.

You are among your people–and they know how you feel.

In the circle of friends, time can easily pass without anything of consequence being discussed (and that’s fine–we all need some levity). But here is the secret: when a friend drops her guard and admits to a particular struggle in marriage, family, work, or in relation to herself, the dominoes begin to fall as the entire circle nods.

‘I know how you feel.’ ‘I’ve been there.’ ‘I’m there now.’ ‘My best friend went through this.’ ‘My sister, my mother, myself.’ When you share your truth, you are not only unburdening yourself, you are unburdening the listeners from the need to show up as perfect.

That one act of bravery–the courage to give voice to your truth, even if it’s hard, gives everyone within hearing distance a glimpse of authenticity, vulnerability, and strength of self.

Suddenly, the identity crisis, the marital friction, the parenting anxiety doesn’t seem so limiting. It feels communal. Universal. Fixable. Sometimes, it’s even if it’s not fixable…now you have hands to hold while you bear what you must.

Even if your situation feels or is unique, those lucky enough to be your true friends can still be there for you.

‘I have no idea what that feels like. Tell me everything.’ No competition for who has it better (or an even stranger race–who has it worse). You be you, and I’ll be me.

It all begins with telling your truth and the silent permission that I can tell mine.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Emily Kasper of Intentional-ish. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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