The power of showing up is a topic receiving a lot of attention lately – and for a good reason, as writer Rose Jane dela Cruz explains in today’s guest post. The vulnerability in her writing is truly courageous.
It isn’t easy for everyone to open up and be opened up to, especially when you have tons of personal issues you barely know how to handle.
News flash: everyone has issues
Another News Flash: everybody has moments when their perceived shortcomings suddenly zoom-in and drag them where only their insecurities are visible.
It’s reality, it’s human, and it’s okay.
On the other side of the coin, there’s this concept psychologists and life coaches are delving into: the art of showing up. It’s the act of showing vulnerability and allowing others to do the same; it’s being present for somebody and for one’s self. At times, it’s the simple act of keeping a meeting even when internal struggles try to keep you home.
As a terribly introverted person, showing up for me felt very inauthentic at the beginning. I wasn’t comfortable with “burdening” friends with my concerns, nor of being burdened by theirs.
But the more I allowed myself to open up and be opened up to – to show up for people and let them show up for me – the more that I realized its value.
The power of showing up: Lighten somebody else’s load
So your friend is depressed, and you’re afraid showing up will do her more harm than good. Totally valid. But, guess what?
Showing up can take various forms. Sometimes it’s sharing a meal over random conversations, walking with her, or just letting her know via Messenger that she can to talk to you when she wants to.
Everyone needs a space where they can be their plain selves without fear of being judged. Showing up for people gives them this space.
Showing up offers others a safe space to breathe, rant, cry, dream, or laugh their heart out. They might not recognize this space at first, but they will eventually—even if they don’t take it.
Showing up lightens your own load
I believe that we make the most sense when we’re most honest. When we drop our facade that brags self-sufficiency and an all-figured-out life, we pull the weight of pretense off our shoulders.
When we admit our brokenness to each other, we see the humans in each other. We connect better, think less of our own insecurities, and we lessen the pressure to have everything pulled together every time. After all, can anybody really have everything pulled together?
Showing up builds real friendships
No sincere friendship can be built between insincere individuals. When we show up raw and honest, it’s beautiful. Yes, it can be fearsome. Yes, you might get judged or rejected. And yes, you might get heartbroken.
But we need to show up if we want real, lasting relationships. When you gain friends whom you can be genuine with and who are genuine towards you, you’ll realize that overcoming your fear to open up and show up was worth the risk.
In the words of Kara Tippetts: “Friends. Community. It is the only way to know and be known. It’s where we see our humanity and frailty, our gifts and our weaknesses. When we show up for one another, we invade each other in love….”1
Life teaches us to fear showing up. That’s why it takes courage to try it, embrace it, and make it a way of life. But trust me on this: it gets easier – and lovelier – with practice.
Who can you show up for today?
About today’s writer on the power of showing up
Rose Jane dela Cruz writes about self-development, creativity, and anything in the world that makes her wonder. She is a poet, a teacher, and a freelance writer residing in Laguna, Philippines. Connect with her through her website.
1 Tippetts, Kara & Butelyn, Jill Lynn. Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together. 2015.
9 thoughts on “The power of showing up raw and honest”
I’m repeatedly amazed that when I go ahead and risk showing up as my true, messy, vulnerable self, I am nearly always met with great kindness and understanding. Okay, maybe that wouldn’t be true if I did it in a professional business environment. Of course I need to be wise in my selection of time, place and audience. But in appropriate settings, just like the author, I find that people really welcome the authenticity as well as the permission it gives them to be their real selves with you.
It’s nice to hear that you’ve found people to be understanding and compassionate. In a world where there’s so much turmoil, it’s comments like yours that remind us of the good still in the world xx
Thought provoking post! Having been a reserved kid myself, it took me much longer to learn this art of being vulnerable in front of loved ones, and I still am practicing regularly. What I feel is that this isn’t a marathon. It’s more like a mind-wrestling thing on a daily basis. And we all need someone cheering our name from the audience to keep fighting.
I love that metaphor about cheering our name, Shaik!
great post. very inspiring and i wish more people were comfortable with feeling vulnerable enough to “show up”
Great to have this feedback, Erin!
Great post and discussion! Thank you! In my opinion and experience being vulnerable and honest about yourself attracts the best people and the best relationships right to you. As a bonus, it either rejects or exposes the worst. I also have experience not showing up raw and have concluded that when you put nothing in, you get nothing out, so even though it’s harder, it’s well worth it.
I love what you say about putting the work in. Thanks Lahla xx
Really encouraging post. LIfe would be so much better if we didnt fear showing our true feelings with others.