In fact, maintaining strict levels of privacy has become so second nature to me now, that I’m usually not even aware that I’m doing it.
But earlier this week, when I posted 4 Secrets of My Writing Process, I got a huge response from my readers. They let me know that it was cool to get a glimpse of the “real Lauren Sapala”. They also let me know that they accepted and embraced that glimpse with their kindness, humor, and smiling encouragement.
I had kind of an odd childhood. My mom died of cancer when I was 11 and after that my grandmother raised me. My dad was around but we didn’t live in the same town and connecting was hard. My grandmother and I lived in a big farmhouse out in the country and then my grandmother died when I was 16. The farmhouse went to me and I lived there alone for my last year of high school.
So as I was growing up, I had to be very self-sufficient from a young age. And I learned to mask my emotions—and sometimes my personality—very well. It wasn’t until I hit my late 20s that I really started to work on myself. I wanted to live authentically, and I wanted to genuinely connect with others in a deep and meaningful way.
This is kind of difficult to do when you have a bunch of walls up. It’s hard for other people to get close when we either evade their attempts or push them away.
As I started to work on myself, I started writing again, and here I discovered another arena that demanded honesty, bravery, and self-acceptance. The first book I ever wrote was all about myself, and it definitely isn’t my best work. But I needed to get that book out of me and onto the page because I needed to work through those things.
During my personal journey, and my writing journey, I’ve learned something that surprised the hell out of me.
The more we share of our real being with others, the more life starts to shift and flow in a really awesome direction.
People who are right on our wavelength start to show up in our lives. Crazy beautiful stories start to show up in our heads. Life starts showing up, and for once, we are actually present to receive it.
It’s really hard to open up. It’s incredibly hard to trust people with our hearts and thoughts and dreams. But it gets easier. And if we practice and work with this energy of openness and trust enough, we even get to a point where it starts to feel like fun.
We can get to a point where we learn how to love and trust ourselves.
And if you’re participating in this whole life-on-earth thing, that works better than any fortified wall.
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