Lucky bought me this cuff/bracelet from a local artisan market. The inscription says, "Tell Your Story." I wear it as a reminder that we all have raw, rich, layered stories that make up the tapestry of our lives. I love (meaning I have an addiction to) women's autobiographies. I have enough of one that my daughter claims I read too much depressing material. However, it is in these complex stories I find the beauty of vulnerability, transparency and often, redemption. In my past I experienced friendships where the person absolutely refused to go below the surface, even after years of knowing one another. I began to grow weary of it because after that long it just became plain awkward to only speak in trivialities, despite my attempts to go deeper in conversation. It ultimately resulted in coming to the conclusion that I could no longer participate in the friendship and therefore had to remove myself from it. Then there were friends where I thrived from their involvement in my life because their honesty was so rich, heartfelt, and yes painful. I felt true connection because they were real. Now, I do understand that if we openly share our pasts, especially if they are hurtful, it can cause us to get stuck in the memories of it rather than living in the present. However, for those who have never felt free in doing so this could provide the catalyst to do just the opposite, to be released from painful shackles of holding everything back. Sometimes that requires professional involvement I'm sure, other times maybe not. I'm not going to lie. A lot of my past is full of immorality and the embarrassment that comes from poor choices and the consequences of it. I experienced a very dysfunctional childhood which seems easier to explain than the pain of adulthood because I should have had the wherewithal to be stronger and more committed to healthier decisions. But what if we were brave enough to let our guards down, even at the risk of judgment? What if we were willing to take that risk and be real with each other rather than some cliche Facebook post? I can only imagine the community and encouragment such acts could potentially bring. We are memoirs in the making and we have the opportunity to influence for the good. Will we take the leap of vulnerability? I think we could find we are not alone.