This past weekend, I met up with a girlfriend for lunch. We talked life, dreams, faith, men, careers, and lots of other things. The time flew and before we knew it, we were both needing to head our separate ways.
During the course of our lunch though, this woman encouraged me more than she might ever know. We’re relatively new friends. We met only a couple months ago at the conference I spoke at and this was our first get together. Yet, we talked about life like we had known each other for years, both being honest about our thoughts and encouraging one another the way women should. There was no comparing of our lives or wishing we could be the other person. It was, instead, a beautiful depiction to me of what real friendship between women ought to be.
I left that lunch feeling as though I had been walking in a desert and had finally been given a glass of cold water. I was refreshed, encouraged, and inspired.
All too often, we compare ourselves to other people, wishing we had what they had or assuming they’re better off in some way than we are. We lie to ourselves and wonder why would that person want to be friends…with me?
Reader, I have news for you. No one (and I mean no one) has it all together. It may look that way on the outside, but each and every one of us has our doubts about our dreams becoming reality or fears about what the future holds.
For the first time, in a long time, I watched a young woman be completely herself, not trying to impress or hold back her thoughts for fear of saying the wrong thing. And in the process, it freed me to be myself in return.
During our lunch, she made a statement that stuck with me. She said, “When we’re vulnerable, we allow others to be vulnerable in return.” By saying that we have our doubts or fears about things, we inevitably give freedom to those around us to open up and share their very same doubts and fears.
It takes incredible courage to be vulnerable and raw. I shy away from it at times, but I’m learning that being vulnerable is sometimes the most beautiful side of a person. It allows others in and gives people an opportunity to see us for who we are, not just who we want people to see. It might not always be pretty, but it’s real.
And the truth is, that’s all anyone can ever ask for.