We need to stop pretending. Pretending we are different from, better than, separate from; pretending that we’ve never lived through raw jagged pain; never felt bone shattering loss; never been sickened by extraordinary guilt; never been shamed down to the core of our essence, never been rattled by all consuming rage.

Wake up people! We are all the same here; at the core; at the deep down bottom of our souls. And when we share our stories; our raw true authentic selves with each other we finally understand our bond; our shared human experience; our core of pain and guilt and grief and shame that we try so hard to bury, ignore, delete, in our haste to appear better than; different from. We wrap our core selves in heart breaking isolation.

This is the sickness that we need to heal. Today. Not tomorrow. Now. Yes I mean you. Yes I mean me. Yes I mean them. “The bad guys.” The ones we love to blame; to point fingers at.

When we tell it raw, write it raw, down to the grieving, abused, guilty, shameful edges of ourselves we wake up. We realize that we all carry the heavy weight of jagged stories in our core; and when we share these stories we understand our sameness. We are lifted from a burden of pretending.

When we ignore our pain; bury it underneath alcohol or drugs or gambling or sex or rage or prejudice we become sick; sick of mind and heart and soul. Healing occurs when we realize that my pain is no greater than yours; and yours is no greater than mine. Our pain only carries different details; has a different flavor.

And imagine this; our pain is our fuel for waking up; for living up to our greatest potential; for doing our great work in the world; but only when we bring it up into the light of understanding. When we pull it up for examination; hold it in the light of day; reveal our darkness; then great healing occurs for ourselves and for those we share our story with. Then our darkness no longer holds power over us. No longer poisons us; sends us out into the world to hate and blame and kill and abuse. We’re able to forgive. To reach across the room and take an enemy’s hand and love them. Reach across the room and heal each other.

This is our way forward. The old way of living in our ideas, our minds; comforting ourselves with money; separating our stories; of hiding behind our clever personalities- is crumbling. Who can you reach out to today? But only with your truest raw jagged authentic self. It’s time to show up ragged and real. Are you ready?

From my new book: Write it Raw! Tell it Raw!