Sean and I first met at the Ben Gurion International Air Port in Tel Aviv. He had already arrived with his brother, sister-in-law, and sister-in-law’s-brother. They were awaiting the arrival of me and three other friends. Sean and I had not yet met, but we both knew all the other people involved in this trip. So at something like 6:00 am, we arrived in Israel from our layover in London and I hugged Sean for the first time.
(Here’s a video blog Sean made while picking us up from the airport in 2009!)
While traveling for those 7 months (six of us), we decided that though most of us already knew each other, we would occasionally take time to individually tell each other our stories. Our journeys- how we have grown and changed, and how God has grown and changed us. A thread that was carried throughout these stories and our time traveling together was openness. To share with each other, without fear and without shame.
There are very few people I trust enough to completely be myself around. And something that I’ve come to realize is that, it’s selfish to hide myself. I mean, it is completely normal and appropriate to not go around sharing your deepest secrets with people you just met. However, I know that I often refrain from speaking, or sharing myself, out of fear of what people will think of my ideas or jokes, or of me. (…I do realize the irony of posting this on the internet.) Oh how I would love to be free to say what I think- and to do it gracefully!
When Sean shared his story with us in India, he recounted things in his life that had been secret for a while- things he had never wanted to share. Through that experience of saying out loud, we got to know Sean better and he also was able to heal from those things. I think it’s a recurring theme of my life to realize and re-remember that I want to share myself with others. Because I am beautifully created, and am meant to live freely and to be known. Because I can allow others in and learn from them. Because I can encourage and build others up from my own experiences.
There’s nothing in particular that I feel the need to open up to people in my life. I think I’m just appreciating again others who are open to let me in, and want to do the same.
(Just for fun… here’s Sean and me at the top of a Bhuddist stupa in northern India.)