We all have that side of us that we sometimes hide in fear of judgement.
Sometimes "bad" things happen and we don't even want to share the ugly side of our lives. I remember when I had a miscarriage. I was experiencing a huge mix of emotions and one of them was shame. What was wrong with me? What was wrong with my body? The shame was strong.
When I first started sharing my situation with close friends I was shocked how many of them had experienced a very similar story. I had never known their sorrow; they didn't let it show.
Soon people were coming out of the woodwork to comfort me and I was touched by the outpouring of sympathy. So many people knew exactly what I was feeling and had been in my shoes.
When one person shares their story, others are strengthened by the tale. Jaine Shepard is quoted, "When we share our stories, what it does is it opens up our hearts for other people to share their stories. And it gives us a sense that we are not alone in this journey."
The same thing happens when we are open about what we love. One person stands up and declares their love for knitting, despite the fact that he is a male. Culturally, men are not portrayed as knitters, but here is where the magic kicks in. Malcolm Gladwell aptly calls this, "the tipping point". The tipping point is the point of a trend in which it suddenly seems to spring up everywhere. You've see that happen, haven't you?
Of course, the starting of a change is the very hardest part. You might feel alone and isolated but all you really have to do is break through that wall of fear that surrounds you. If one person can stand up, share their story or their passion or their pain, then a whole wave of support os created around them. Think of the Me Too movement. Countless movies and books tell the story of this courageous journey.
When others have the strength to move forward with their own dream, others have the courage to tell their truth and we support each other. Why shouldn't men and boys knit if they enjoy it? Knitting isn't just for women and girls. The tipping point has past. Now the cultural norm has been stretched and changed.
The concept in Zen of Knitting goes further than that. Luis's mother wisey advised him to "love what you do no matter what". That is a way to see the whole world, to embrace the messy, painful stories. Don't isolate yourself. Share and dilute your sorrow. Share and multiply your joy. "Love what you do no matter what" allows people to be individuals, to express themselves fully and cast aside judgement. "Love what you do no matter what" is a wonderful, life-affirming message of empowerment.
Your can do this! You are enough!