It isn’t easy for everyone to open up and be opened up to, especially when you have tons of personal issues you barely know how to handle.
News Flash: everybody has issues.
Another News Flash: everybody has moments when their perceived shortcomings suddenly zoom in and drag them where only their insecurities are visible.
It’s reality, it’s human, and it’s okay.
On the other side of the coin, there’s this concept psychologists and life coaches are delving into: the art of showing up.
It’s the act of showing vulnerability and allowing others to do the same; it’s being present for somebody and for one’s self. At times, it’s the simple act of keeping a meeting even when internal struggles try to keep you home.
As a terribly introverted person, showing up for me felt very inauthentic at the beginning. I wasn’t comfortable with ‘burdening’ friends with my concerns, nor of being burdened by theirs. But the more I allowed myself to open up and be opened up to—to show up for people and let them show up for me—the more that I realized its value.
Showing up lightens somebody’s load
So your friend is depressed, and you’re afraid showing up will do her more harm than good. Totally valid.
But guess what? Showing up can take various forms. Sometimes, it’s sharing a meal over random conversations, walking with her, or just letting her know via a messaging app that she can to talk to you when she wants to.
Everyone needs a space where they can be their plain selves without fear of being judged. Showing up for people gives them this space. Showing up offers others a safe room to breathe, rant, cry, dream, or laugh their heart out. They might not recognize this space at first, but they will eventually—even if they don’t take it.
Showing up lightens your own load
I believe that we make the most sense when we’re most honest.
When we drop our facade that brags self-sufficiency and an all-figured-out life, we pull the weight of pretense off our shoulders.
When we admit our brokenness to each other, we see the humans in each other. We connect better, think less of our own insecurities, and we lessen the pressure to have everything pulled together every time.
After all, can anybody really have everything pulled together?
Showing up builds real friendships
No sincere friendship can be built between insincere individuals. When we show up raw and honest, it’s beautiful.
Yes, it can be fearsome. Yes, you might get judged or rejected. And yes, you might get heartbroken. But we need to show up if we want real, lasting relationships.
When you gain friends whom you can be genuine with and who are genuine towards you, you’ll realize that overcoming your fear to open up and show up was worth the risk.
In the words of Kara Tippetts: “Friends. Community. It is the only way to know and be known. It’s where we see our humanity and frailty, our gifts and our weaknesses. When we show up for one another, we invade each other in love….”
Life teaches us to fear showing up. That’s why it takes courage to try it, embrace it, and make it a way of life. But trust me on this: it gets easier— and lovelier—with practice.
Who can you show up for today?
Editor’s Note: This blog post was first published on When Women Inspire.