So, the CMC continues, this time I received a letter (and by letter, I mean email) from a reader, letting me know how 52 People has impacted their life and relationships. This one – from a member of a book club in Boston, Mass.
A friend and I gathered for our monthly bookclub. Bored with the selection of novels, biographies and self-help books available right now, we decided to “mix-it-up” and read your book ’52 People’. As the first meeting of the new year, the topic intrigued us – we all value our relationships and the new year is a time of thinking about what is most important to us.
Before the meeting gathered, the host of the month, sent us an email with the instructions for our meeting: “At first I thought we could each choose one of the ‘strangers’ to talk about. But then I thought, let’s all answer the questions together as a group…in celebration of getting to know each other better.” We wholeheartedly supported the idea!
It’s interesting, being fairly new to this group of brilliant, warm and fun-loving women – I was absolutely curious. I’ve wanted to get to know more about each and everyone of them. This is perfect! And then I thought - ooh…that means I have to tell them something that I’m ashamed of? Gulp. My stomache did a bit of a flip. And then I recovered by remembering, this is how we grow closer: When you share things that are deeper than the typical, surface, safe “cocktail” conversations, we let people in – see “all” of us (the good, the bad and the ugly)!
There were lots of jokes flying around the room when the ladies all finally arrived – “What are you afraid of?” “What are you ashamed of?” Some of us were clearly a bit nervous about asking to reveal something about ourselves that pushed us out of our comfort zones, our usual way of being together. We started with some easier questions, and with all of the stories, questions and laughter, it took us a while to get around the room.
Finally, someone dared go there - It was a dear friend (who introduced me to this amazing group of women). She began sharing a story that clearly, by the tears in her eyes, held some shame. But it was something that ALL – every single one of us – could relate too. I acknowledged her for sharing her story and said that it reminded me that we are all human.
This friend, in her presentation, is someone who is always put together. She’s gorgeous, successful, funny, kind - really she has it all! I adore this woman, really, and I’ve always been grateful for our friendship. But that day, I saw her in a new light. Actually, I felt more love toward her and was overcome with a feeling of gratitude for her friendship. I realized that I feel closer to her now, than I ever have. Just through sharing a just little bit more…
I will confess that I didn’t share my answer to the “what are you ashamed of” question. Yup, I chickened out. But here’s the deal – there is always another opportunity to connect. My friend and I have decided to continue to ask one of the questions during each book club meeting until we get through all 10.
I think something opened up in some of us…or unleashed a yearning for more meaningful connection that was really already there. It’s always just under the surface and 52 People has opened up the door for us to continue reaching down.
I’m grateful for those who continue to send me their updates and contribution to the CMC. Your journeys inspire me, so keep them coming! Email me, keep sharing them so you can inspire others through your challenges, growth and connections.
Join our new 52 People Facebook page!