One of the reasons I think people find counseling so helpful is that they find acceptance even when revealing the parts of themselves they may feel ashamed of. Most of us are not very honest about our struggles because we don't want to be rejected or judged. It is a brave and difficult thing to open up, so most people choose to just keep their problems to themselves as long as they can.
But, struggle and brokenness are a basic part of being human. When we keep our struggles to ourselves, our problems feel like a secret, or even a defining character flaw. The result is often isolation and shame. If you never have the courage to share your struggles with someone you trust, you will never have closeness. True intimacy comes through honesty. One of the wonderful things about my job is being able to see the lightness people feel when they share their struggles, at first with me and then with someone one else in their lives.
This type of courage about personal struggle was exhibited by one of my friends and colleagues, Caryn Honig. Caryn is a dietitian, and an eating disorder professional. She has devoted much of her career to helping other people who struggle with eating disorders, but she speaks in the video below about her personal struggle with anorexia and bulimia. I know it was very emotional for Caryn to get up and speak about herself, but her courage became an inspiration for many other women in the audience to share their stories. After she gave the talk, people came up and told her, "Your story is my story." They found a voice in her, and it allowed them to accept themselves just a little bit more. It gave them a point of hope.
You may not be dealing with an eating disorder, but I bet there are things that weigh on your heart and mind. This could be anything from problems in your marriage, to an addiction, to depression or anxiety. I encourage you to find someone you trust, and share your struggles. You don't have to carry your burdens alone. If you are not sure who you can talk to, I recommend you start by talking to a therapist. Find your point of hope today!
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