When I first moved to Denmark, I very quickly learned the lesson that I shouldn't share myself too much.
I never dawn to me that as someone from the Cantonese culture, I'm very prone to sharing what I have done, what I am proud of, what I am in pain for.
I remember distinctly comments from my husband, about conversations I would have with my mother-in-law. And he was almost a little embarrassed that I was telling her how I was in the singing team and was a pretty decent singer. He thought that I was bragging, and it was embarrassing for him.
For a long time I took his advice and became very hyper aware of this behaviour.
I was becoming so afraid of showing my pride, and along with it, showing my weaknesses.
When I came clean to family and friends about my depression, what people said to me was, why didn't you come to me, or, you know you could always talk with me, right?
But I was ashamed of it.
I was deeply, agonisingly worried about how I would then be seen.
Worried about how I would draw too much attention to myself, how I would become a baggage to others, particularly to the people I love.
I believe we have a problem in this society. I have seen, with my own eyes, students in a restorative class, lying and twitching in discomfort, and say not a single word. Despite me having said it specifically, and distantly that it is the point of the practice to ask for help.
I have witness my own husband, friend, family who tried as hard to hide and conceal their sadness, their pain instead of venting it out.
I have this talk with my dear friend about how we need to make this a practice for her to stop brushing it off as "I'm okay, I'll prow through it".
One of the greatest TedTalk I have ever seen is from Brene Brown, and that of vulnerability:
It strikes me so hard that without being able to see my friend, my family, my husband's vulnerability, I do not know how to connect with them. Without showing my own flaws in all its glory, I do not know how to wholeheartedly believe they love me.
Yet we are living in a place where people are so used to going into hiding. So used to "not bothering someone else", "not to draw attention to myself", or feeling guilty just to ask for help.
But like Brene Brown says, with numbing just the selected negative emotions, how are we ever going to feel alright?
How can we truly connect, and truly be seen?
Practice your vulnerability, and practice it with passion and conviction. For it is then, we can truly embrace our own perfect little flaws, for it is then, we can truly and unapologetically be happy.
Sending you lots of love,