Sunday, April 28, 2013

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times - Chapter 100

#100 – “Don’t tell too much about yourself. It makes you vulnerable.”

Yesterday, as my husband and I were driving the “Wildflower Trail” west of Austin, we approached a stoplight in the suburbs, and an older, beautifully maintained Lincoln stopped in front of us. In the rear window deck there was a man’s hat. I realized in a flash that I might never stop remembering more things mom taught me a million times, like “Always keep a man’s hat in the back window of your car so you don’t look like you are alone.”

But that’s not #100. I always knew what #100 would be. I remember when Mom said it, and she only said it once. We were in the kitchen. Our eyes didn’t meet. She said, “Don’t tell too much about yourself. It makes you vulnerable.”

When I was young I tended to write mom’s words off as old-fashioned ramblings. I now write her words in honor of their timeless truths. But I didn’t dismiss #100. Something about it felt too real, too dangerous, causing my mind to tumble with speculation and imaginings. Why shouldn't I tell too much about myself? What will happen? How do you know? What do you mean by “vulnerable.”  Mom must have learned this lesson the hard way.

Do we harm ourselves when we bare our souls? The burdens of regret and the weight of secrets reside in us like inoperable tumors; anguish feeding the tumor. Some of us self-medicate to postpone the pain; and we heap one sorrow onto another. Some of us give it all to a “higher power,” the omnipotent cleansing. Some of us accept our imperfections, learn from our mistakes, and live each day as a blessing.

Have I increased my vulnerability by spreading my soul on the pages of this blog? Have I been completely truthful?

Mom was right.  Don’t tell too much about yourself. It makes you vulnerable.


  1. I feel like I have learned this lesson the hard way I'm afraid to say more than once, but also have the experience of greater healing and closeness to others as a result of sharing too much. I think the key is who you share it with.

  2. The Catholics have it right on this one. Go to confessional, bare your soul, and ask forgiveness. Seems very therapeutic! And then later, after some reflection, you are free to choose what you want to share. And with whom.

    I hope this is not the last of your blogs - the number sounds so final. No, no, no. Your fan, Charlena

  3. I agree with Mommy Wade to an extent. Yes, choose who you share yourself with but know that everyone you feel you can trust can, for whatever reason, shift their loyalty. So if you share, do so knowing that what you shared is likely to be shared with others.

    I tend to share things so that they are not a secret that can be used against me. "Beat you to it!" What secrets? I'm pretty much an open book anymore. It's freeing.