By: Alyssa Gagnon, Regular Contributor
I just arrived home from one of the rawest, most emotionally beautiful talks with my friends that I’ve ever experienced. At a very uncomfortable time in my own life, I was asked about my greatest fear. Most of my life I have felt impervious to fear, but it recently hit me like a Mac truck. For the first time in a long time, I am afraid.
Sharing tonight was cathartic. Regardless of the fear, or even regardless of the emotion, speaking your truth aloud, to a room of truly listening ears and hearts has a way of sorting you out, if even just a little bit.
So tonight I opened up, and I can only begin to describe the flood of love that I felt.
When I am feeling lost or afraid (or both…) all I really want is for someone to lay out the steps for me: This is what you do in order to feel better. This is what you need to do so that you feel good again. This is how you get out of your fear/ sadness/ confusion.
None of these things happened; none of this was said. Instead, what was said was something much more powerful: Me too.
I have never so profoundly understood the power of these two tiny words until just now, tonight. My heart aches for those who told me that, yes, they too were feeling what I am feeling. They too feel confused and uncertain when before they always thought they had life figured out. They too know the turmoil.
So often we listen without truly listening. It’s a trite notion, but true. We find ourselves in the mindset of a “conversation” in which thoughts and words and ideas build upon each other and move forward toward a type of conclusion.
A “me too” does something different though. A “me too” is empathy that you immediately feel in your core. You know that you are not alone, and while the conversation may stop moving forward, it does so because you are now sitting in a moment with someone whom you share something incredibly intimate. Me. Too.
“Me too” gives you pause in the most precious way: It gives you pause to share with someone who understands you on a visceral level.
I said “me too” to another writer a couple weeks back, only to discover now that the act of saying those words is as much a gift to yourself as it is a gift to hear them. We invite connection and love when we are open to giving and receiving vulnerability.
“Me too” are my two new favorite words.
Can you relate to Alyssa's experience? When was the last time you took a risk and opened up to someone and felt that "me too" effect? When have you showed up for someone else in a "me too" capacity? Tell us about it here!
Alyssa grew up on a diet of grilled cheese, books, and ice cream with books predominating. She recently graduated with a Master’s degree in English and lives in her favorite place with her favorite husband (she only has one). Post-graduation, her plans are to start a new women’s magazine that leaves women feeling GREAT about who they are, and to open a publishing house for untapped talent.
image via minestronesoul.com