Weight is something you carry with you, it enters a room with you, and there is no hiding it. It is a pain some live with, that everyone around them can see, and for which many people will judge them for. However virtually everyone has something they want to hide. In most cases the only difference between the person carrying the weight, and everyone else is, everyone else can mask their pain, their vice, their struggle. The difference between those with the weight and those judging is usually found in how obvious their struggle is.
I remember one occasion were there was 12 people brought together, many of whom did not know each other. As the night progressed everyone projected the image of success, they all drove nice cars, had nice things and implied in the conversation they were doing well. I had seen the finances of many in the group and was aware of the stress, the frustration and shame they felt around their finances. This was an enormous weight in many of there lives. I was struck in that moment of the impact of being authentic. What if instead of pretending to have money, a draining act no doubt, they were honest? What if instead of continuing to feed the money image they were all trying to keep up, they opened up and expressed what they were really going through? Would they all turn on each other, or would this group of people realize they were all struggling under the weight of the same issue? Could they support each other, instead of pushing the money based image? Could they really connect, and have a real and meaning full conversation?
In contrast a few months ago I attended a local meeting, open to anyone, where most of us knew each other, but not all. This was a small business group and in sharing about our businesses one person started to open up about a very personal and stressful time they were currently going through. His eyes watered as he spoke and shared his very personal story. There was the expected immediate support and then the attention of the group continued to the next person. I was amazed by what happened next, as others shared, instead of sharing simply about there businesses they also opened up. A few more people came to tears as they shared. What seemed to happen when the first person courageously opened up, he gave permission to everyone else do the same. It was amazing and inspiring to watch. As a result the group has become closer, with much stronger relationships.
It takes great courage to make yourself vulnerable and share at this level. I also believe it is an amazing gift to others, as through someone’s vulnerability we can relate, connect and most importantly move closer to sharing ourselves. People that lead in this way can inspire us all and should be celebrated.
Conversations About Money