When revealing more information than you intended sparks inward discomfort, is it time to lay low, hidden from one’s truth that leaked out unexpectedly in a moment of daring greatly? Although empathy enables camaraderie in a world of judgment, isolation, and disconnection, it also heals wounds in the listener and the sharing soul. Yet not everyone is ready for authenticity too soon out of the gate. Perhaps a space of earning the right to hear one’s story necessitates restraint before catapulting deep dark secrets to the masses. Yet how does one know acceptable timing to get naked in front of listeners?

Does a society of excessive information create shock value sharing, where revealing truth purely entertains, draws reaction, and denies authentic connection? How does one draw the line or know the difference? There are no reliable rules that warrant a definitive answer to this quandary. Yet look in the hearts of the speakers and listeners, and truth is revealed. Vulnerability sparks various reactions. Discomfort shows up in the form of silence, rejection, and sometimes detachment. When making real connection, empathy, trust, and bonds form.

Courage is necessary to be the first to reveal one’s truth, feeling vulnerable, stripping oneself of shield and armor. Whether the response is one of empathy or detachment, the brave soul takes the risk. In a brief moment waiting for connection or rejection, intrepidation hangs in the balance. Either way to lay one’s truth into the world seems a first step in healing, revealing, and letting go of challenging emotions that dangle in midair. This shout out to listeners is about gathering support, empathy, and compassion that may lead to healing, acceptance, and releasing emotions from one’s past transgressions and emotional scars.

We are all worthy of healing and therefore, worthy of risking the potential rejection of a despondent listener. When offered sympathy, the result is disconnection; when offered empathy both listener and sharer draw human connection, the heartbeat of an interweb of human need. Regret of placing oneself into the vulnerable space must be replaced by courage to take risks for healing and connection, the cornerstone of growth and the human spirit.