We live in a very weird time, I think now more than ever in human history people are forced to look at themselves all the time. In one form or another, whether that means actually looking at themselves via mirror, pictures or video. We look at ourselves all the time, Ill never forget the first time I sat down to edit a video I was in, to actually see myself on camera. What a weird and horrific experience that was. Up until then I really had no idea what i looked like on video, how different it seemed to me. I felt like I was watching a complete stranger, do any of us actually know what we look or sound like everyday to other people? That moment was a very pivotal moment in my life, it changed my entire outlook on myself. What did I look like when I was angry? When I was jealous or envious of someone else? What did I look like when I laughed? When I lied?
One of my favorite scriptures is in the book of proverbs, it goes like this “Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.” How I can relate to that so well. I’ve always been the “comedian” of whatever group I find myself in, which I dont mind since I love making people laugh. What a lie though, I always kept things lighthearted. Not because that’s how I was feeling in the moment, but out of a fear that I would be found out. That people would find out that below the laughter, that I was person. A person whose felt pain, sorrow and loss. A person who could connect with you on more then just being funny. That I was indeed just that. A Person.
Why would anyone want to talk to me if they knew who I really was? If they knew the things that I had been through. They wouldn’t talk to me, they wouldn’t understand me. So I joked and I laughed. Once the laughter ended though, that grief was still with me. I couldn’t let it show though, that would scare people away. There was a reoccurring pattern in my life, whenever I allowed someone in, someone to see who I really was. They would say the same thing “I never knew you were like this, I always thought of you as the funny guy.” That always broke my heart, this entire time they just looked at me as this “funny” guy. Their was so much more to me as a person, but i wouldn’t let it slip. I wouldn’t let the secret out. It was much better to look the other way than to look at myself in the mirror.
Then a funny thing happened, I let it go. I showed myself for who I actually was. Not to just a couple people, but to everyone. You know what happened? They related to me, they related to this other side of me. They understood me. Not just this guy who was funny and light hearted, but to the other person. The broken one, the one who was hurt and vulnerable. I was able to see another side of people, they opened up to me. Everyone knows that any good relationship requires being vulnerable, what a terrifying thought. There’s something so beautiful and tragic about human vulnerability and frailty. We think of vulnerability as a weakness, as something we should hide and never talk about. The thing is, that’s what connects us as people.
That somehow on this planet overflowing with billions of different human beings, that somehow deep down in the center of it all, we connect to each other. We understand each other, on a deep level that were scared to admit. You just have to be willing to let go, to open up first. You may get hurt, you may end up regretting it. At least you did it, dont hide from the person you really are. Embrace it, the good, the bad and the ugly. Just know that everyone out there is going through the same things you are or much worse. Sometimes the thing people need during the hard seasons of their life is for a friend to just be open and vulnerable with them.