In the past few months I have learned a lot about sharing. Sharing work, sharing space and challenges and this planet, sharing your family, sharing even when no one else is doing it.
The act of giving some of our resources to someone else feels a bit uncomfortable. Unless we have a surplus of time, money, love, and cookies, sharing is always going to be about giving away something that we could benefit from hoarding. In the context of work and struggles we avoid sharing for the same reasons. When we bring someone else into the equation we are giving up control over the outcome, and power over the way we’re perceived. Sharing the way I do something opens me up to a world of criticism, correction and derision. Bringing our skills to the table can leave us feeling inadequate, or nervous that something we consider a strength may not be as impressive to someone else.
In sharing our goals and ideas we inspire others and bring attention to new areas of interest and action.
In sharing our passions we allow others to experience our joy. We open their eyes to new possibilities, new ways to be delighted.
When I share the way I understand the world, and the way I get things done, I learn from others and save myself hours of struggle. I can hear the experiences of others in my community and learn not just what I think or have experienced, but what’s real and true. Allowing others to use our strengths provides valuable practice while moving the community forward. Rising tides, raise all ships, remember?
While sharing your heartbreaks and tough challenges may feel akin to spreading misery around, the opposite is true. The amount of challenge stays the same, but it’s much easier to overcome when it’s dissipated to a few supportive friends. “Shared joy is doubled, shared sorrow is halved.”
This isn’t a call to give away all your food, donate all your money, complain to everyone you meet, or pass your tasks on to the next person. I have found great value in being vulnerable and willing to learn, and sharing my struggles, my triumphs, my creativity, my self with others.