Being Purposefully Public Rather than Protectively Private

About two years ago as I was creating the Virtual Video Coach Program this new distinction came to me, so I added it to the VVC workbook. Now, I want to share it with you, and I invite you to try on the distinction of being “purposefully public” rather than being “protectively private.”

I would like you to stretch into this one just a bit by considering that being private often arises from the Inherited Purpose. After all, the Inherited Purpose is all about keeping us safe and secure and protecting us…often unnecessarily.  Not wanting to be embarrassed, we’re afraid if people knew all of our foibles and the skeletons in our closet, they won’t like or respect us, so we protect ourselves by hiding behind a cloak of privacy.

But what if you had nothing to hide? What if you had the freedom to make those issues you’ve spent so much time and energy hiding public? What if there might actually be a time, place and way to share about these previously private issues in such a way that they could actually be a significant part of what you’re here to contribute to others?

Now, I’m not talking about just dumping your ‘garbage’ on anyone and everyone. There’s a level of responsibility with this distinction. If what you’ve been hiding would simply hurt others if it became public and there’s no upside to sharing it, then perhaps it’s best to just let it go, but watch out that the Inherited Purpose doesn’t use this to rationalize keeping things private that could actually provide you with a renewed level of freedom to be yourself if it weren’t hidden.

Many years ago I took part in a transformational program that had as one of it’s exercises the opportunity to share publicly all the “withholds” that we’d been so carefully guarding for fear what others would think of us. Now, this part of the process was introduced after we’d been together doing a lot of other transformational work so the group was closely connected and experiencing a deep level of safety. Even so, things started off rather slowly with people sharing small issues at first.  But as the process continued and the level of safety increased, more and more folks came forth revealing some pretty earth shattering items, including crimes they’d committed, sexual fantasies they had for years but hadn’t shared with anyone, and actual sexual acts they’d participated in but had kept closely guarded from their friends and loved ones.

And you know what happened?  It started to become downright comical…and oh so freeing because people began to realize that they weren’t the only ones who had a bunch of stuff they’d been afraid to share for years — stuff that when offered to the light of day really weren’t all that big a deal.

So, it’s possible to be purposefully public and to share your life – all of your life – “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in a mature, responsible way, not as a whining victim of the circumstances.  And when you take this on, you’ll be taking some major ground in living your life on purpose.

Why I’m Sharing this Now

Okay, now that I’ve offered up this distinction, let me start to use it.  Ann and I have decided to share some of the challenges we’ve been facing over the last four years.  It is our intention that what we share will be a contribution to others and not to come across as victims, though if the truth be known, we have at times felt victimized by these challenges.

Ann and I have pondered, prayed and discussed this at length. We’ve both had to move through our own “Inherited Purpose attacks” as we’ve considered being purposefully public about these matters. I suspect we may not be immune from continuing to deal with these assaults, so please be patient with us and generous with your listening.

These last four years have been “interesting times” for many people. We’ve all read about the thousands of foreclosures, the lost jobs, the ruined careers, and the Swift family has certainly not been immune from it all.  But what we’ve learned along the way has been invaluable. We feel stronger as a couple and family than ever, and we realize we’re more on purpose as well.

So, here’s where we’re sharing about the last four years and why we’re choosing to vote for Obama in November.