Monday, October 14, 2013

Find the People Who Have Earned the Right to Hear Your Story

photo by hotblack
Desert times are hard, aching, lonely, vulnerable times. They are times where you question who you are and what you’re doing here on this planet; times where you examine every decisions you’ve made over the last decade and toy – however dangerously – with the “what ifs;” times when your very soul is exposed because of the searching and seeking you’re doing to heal and move forward.

One of the most critical components of this healing and moving is having the right friends surrounding you: lifting you up, praying for you, carrying for you, being there for you. But finding those right people can sometimes be a tough call.

Not everyone in your life is going to be the one to walk in and through the desert with you. Dr. Brene Brown, a wonderful author and speaker, remarks on the importance of sharing your story with people who have earned the right to hear your story. This isn’t just anyone.

In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, she talks about the six types of friends who can make difficult situations worse, not better:
  1. The friend who actually feels shame for you, gasps and confirms how horrified you should be.
  2. The friend who responds with sympathy ("I feel so sorry for you.") rather than empathy ("I get it, I feel with you and I've been there.")
  3. The friend who needs you to be the pillar of worthiness and authenticity, who can't help because she's too disappointed in your imperfections.
  4. The friend who is so uncomfortable with vulnerability that she scolds, "How did you let this happen?"
  5. The friend who is all about making it better and, out of her own discomfort, refuses to acknowledge that you can actually make terrible choices ("You're exaggerating. It wasn't that bad.")
  6. The friend who confuses connection with the opportunity to one-up you. ("Well, that's nothing. Listen what happened to me...")
Instead of these friendships, Dr. Brown focuses on what she calls "move-the-body" friendships. In the video excerpt below with Oprah Winfrey, she defines these devoted friends and shares why you actually only need one of them in your life.


As you walk through your desert or reflect on your time there, ask yourself, “Who am I in a relationship with who can bear the weight of this story?”

If you are in the midst of a desert time now, pray and ask the Lord to bring the right friend alongside you. That person who will be there with empathy and who will show up for you to wade through the “almost anything” is one of the most valuable blessings you can have. If you have the opportunity to be that person for someone in your life, consider it carefully and with all seriousness. What you do and say can change their lives in the best possible way if you follow Christ’s leading.

I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. During the 31 Days Challenge, I'll be using the hashtags #desertjourney and #inspirationalandfaith80 if you'd like to join in or follow along. Let's continue the conversation!

1 comment :

  1. Girl... you know how I love me some Brene Brown and all that wisdom! I love this!


Thank you for the kindess of your comment. I pray your patience with the word verification. I've had such troubles with spammers lately. Thank you for grace. I look forward to reading all the comments and responding. I appreciate you!