Exposure feels yucky for some people. I, myself have never liked the feeling of vulnerability or exposure in my life, it all feels too uncomfortable to me.
I compare it to exposure on my camera..
For those of you who know about working with a fancy shmancy camera, you know that if your exposure setting is too high, then your picture is whited out and no details or even the main subject can be seen.
It’s like a whiteout in a snowstorm. Everything is blinded, except the brightness in front of you.
This is from my point of view when exposed and from my point of view when others are exposed.
Now, pretty quickly, I can start to get my vision back to normal for the other person, but for myself when exposed, I cannot seem to see or think about anything else for days! Even weeks, depending on the situation and the bigger the exposure; meaning the bigger the audience.
So, what makes exposure so nasty feeling?
Well, most of us don’t even like the feeling of vulnerability, I believe it starts with being hurt when you were naturally open to being open. After so many times of your openness being assaulted you start to connect that feeling of openness with pain, shame, regret, or any other negative, nasty feeling.
I believe there are some people who really have no ability or little ability to feel these feelings, or they are just able to bounce back from them more quickly than others.
At some point in my young life I wasn’t able to deal with the feelings of shame and embarrassment anymore. Perhaps during my teen years when I became so self-aware and felt so self-conscious that I couldn’t focus on anything else except how I “looked” to others. I never had a reassuring mother, actually quite the opposite. She was a bully, whether she knew it or not. This only deepening the wound causing more pain and the act of ostrich-ing (my definition for sticking ones head in the sand).
Now that I have analyzed the [why’s] in my situation, I’m going to think on how to break this terrible wall down!
To begin I want to clarify that I am a believer in privacy and I think privacy is a good thing, a gift actually. Like when I get to pray in private! I love that private time with God, when I feel the most like I can be myself. God knows me inside and out, so when I’m alone with HIM, I truly can be myself and sometimes it’s ugly!
I’ve had many-a-shaking-my-fist-at-God moments, yelling at Him! Giving it my all to let Him have it!!! Then falling to the floor crying and saying I’m sorry and asking for strength or just imaging His arms wrapped around me.
So.. I do believe in privacy, however, there is a difference in that and vulnerability. I have a huge problem with letting myself be vulnerable. I believe many of us do for whatever reason, it is hard for us to let others in on our issues, problems, sins, or whatever else you want to describe it as. Most of all I feel it comes from fear of judgment. Either the natural fear we are born with, or exaggerated fear from being judged so harshly before by others who were supposed to love you unconditionally.
So what does the bible say about it?
It says we are supposed to confess our sins to one another,… Yuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is absolutely terrifying for some of us! When you hear some people confess sins and it’s something along the lines of “Well I must confess that I was feeling a bit egotistical last week and I may have taken credit for some things, A. B. and C. that I shouldn’t have… and I truly ask for your forgiveness and I’m so sorry…” While for them it may be mortifying, but,
You’re listening to them and while you’re trying to remain empathetic and serious because you don’t want to demean them in any way in such a vulnerable moment, but you’re thinking, “Seriously guy?! If you only knew of the nasty words I spoke about so and so a month ago and can’t get myself to confess it!” Or “If you all only knew of my uncontrollable issue with smoking pot, or drinking!” “If you only knew that I was cheating on my wife with the lady in charge of children’s ministry!”
These are just examples of course, but it is where my mind goes when people confess, what I like to call the “safe sins”. I recently confessed to my church family that I am a smoker, and it was extremely difficult!!! This still, (to me) qualifies as a “safe sin”. It’s not as high in the red, danger zone as some other sins, although the bible says that all sin is the same in Gods’ eyes and that no one is righteous unless covered by the sacrificial blood of Jesus. So why do we humans see some sins as more awful than others??
Partly because maybe some sins affect more people directly and on a deeper level than others. For example, a smoker isn’t really emotionally destroying someone else as deep as perhaps a man who has left his wife and kids for someone else and completely deletes them from his life, leaving them feeling completely abandoned and having these issues follow them all the way into adulthood causing them to have trust issues and not being able to get close to anyone on an intimate level… and partly because of many other reasons you can think of….
So…. You see my point? Hopefully you do….
I suppose maybe these confessions of “safe sins” could be used as stepping stones for a deeper connection with opening up to others and letting them into your “dark side”… We all have one, it just becomes less embedded the longer we follow Christ….. Yet I’m still convinced that some of us have a darker side than others. A more “sinful” past, or present, than others. Intuitively (I believe) knowing this, it makes it even harder to open up.
Trusting in Jesus is pretty much the only way to break down these walls and jumping the hurdles. Following Him completely, no holding back, giving Him your all….
I know these sound like such general and generic terms, but it truly is the answer…. And believing that He will get you through the storm! And remembering that any negative outcome is a chance to grow!
Pain + Faith = Growth….