How courage surprised me
During the last week or so I’ve seen a lot of courage. Courage in sharing. Courage in speaking stories that haven’t seen the light of day. Courage in reaching out and saying, “I get it.”
I’ve had women write me and tell me heartbreaking stories. I’ve had conversations about Gwyneth Paltrow on
It’s been moving and powerful.
I had no idea
This morning I woke to an email in my inbox that I wasn’t expecting. It scared me. I wasn’t sure I could read it. I was worried it would be the first email I received that would say that I really was lame. The first email after so many supportive emails that would be the one to heckle.
Instead, it broke my heart. I’d received emails about how the writer had been hurt by family, friends, other photographers. I’d received emails saying they knew what my story felt like because it had happened to them, too.
This was the first email that said the writer been hurt by me.
how my hurt was instantly healed
Immediately, I was floored and heartbroken that I had done, to someone else, what had hurt me so deeply. I hadn’t called them names or sent them rude emails but I had unknowingly sent them messages, in the way I acted, that they felt I had betrayed their friendship. They had given to me and I had eventually acted like I didn’t care.
the truth was not what I expected
In reality, this was one of the people that I thought sure had been talking with the photographer who thought I was a joke. This was a person I thought sure was the one hurting me. I did distance myself from them to protect myself.
Now, I find out that I had hurt them. And it has made me so sad.
what could we be missing?
So I say to you, is there someone you distanced yourself from because you were confident that they didn’t like you? It’s difficult, but are you willing to consider the possibility that you hurt them as much as they hurt you? It’s possible you have both missed out on a beautiful friendship because of unshared hurts, misunderstood actions, or unknowing misperceptions (is that a word?).
I’ve already written back and told them how sorry I am and asked to be forgiven and expressed hope for a do-over.
I’m so hoping that this person and I can mend what has been broken. I would love to be friends with this courageous, talented, beautiful, strong, wonderful person again.
Who might you be missing out on?
Dear friend who wrote to me in the early morning hours, if you happen to be reading this…here’s to your courage. Thank you.