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Adrian Engstrom

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Why share your wounds?

    I wrote the blog post below as an email newsletter.


    I’ve struggled with what to write for this edition of the newsletter. I’ve had no problem starting to write short essays… the problem is that they don’t stay short! I keep writing, seeing the flaws in what I have written, expanding the piece – and then realizing I’m at two pages and have no end in sight. I don’t think you, my lovely reader, want to read something so long, and I don’t think it would even fit well in an email.

    So I seriously thought about not writing anything at all for this newsletter and just leaving it as a “sales email” for my Honesty Salons. But I hate that thought! I do want my newsletter to reliably contain bite-sized, helpful pieces of information about personal authenticity.

    A few years ago I would have gone into an anxiety spiral about this inner conflict. I could have been down in the dumps for several days. But today I just sat down and wrote this piece. I credit that change to deep connections I’ve made with other people in Honesty Salons.

    How have my connections with other people helped?

    Over and over, when I’ve openly shared the parts of me that I find most wretched, lonely, and unlovable, I’ve received love from other people. They – which includes you, reader – have told me that it’s okay for me to feel how I feel, there’s nothing wrong with me, and you hope I feel better.

    Your simple love has helped me immensely. Now, when I’m suffering, there is a part of me that knows there’s nothing wrong with me and nothing I need to hide. There’s a part of me that remembers your forgiveness, and easily turns that same forgiveness towards myself. And then I feel free to simply describe what’s true for me, like I’m doing right now.

    So I want to say three things:

    First, thank you. Thank you all for helping me learn that the world is full of kind people. Thank you for helping me learn how to be kind to myself.

    Second, when I’ve shared, I’ve also heard a lot of, “I feel that way too and I don’t think I could’ve shared it before you.” Please know that whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone. And I’ve heard a lot of, “You sharing that helps me feel more acceptance for my own wounded parts.” Please know that you showing up as your authentic wounded self can, in the right environment, help liberate other people.

    Third, I think that learning how to share the least-loved parts of ourselves in a way that invites forgiveness – connecting with someone, getting consent, laying out the full scope of our pain and doubts, and asking for help – is an invaluable life skill. After all, couldn’t we all use a little healing?

    And I have an ask of you: please stick around. I like having you here.

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