I’m the sort of person who wears her insecurities on her sleeve. I have attributes that I’m proud of and I have sore spots that I’m happy to share with those I’m close to.

Flaws and challenges are what make us fundamentally human. One of my favorite things in relationships is when the other person (this could be a friend or a romantic partner) feels comfortable enough with me to show me their proverbial belly. They’re exposing a vulnerable part of themselves and choosing to share it with me. That is a sign of true intimacy when your friend opens the door to their metaphorical closet and lets you inside.

I let a friend of mine inside my emotional closet. I was scared to open the door. I knew what was inside. There were boxes filled to the brim with old dusty childhood toys. There were stained sheets and snake skins. There were mysterious animal bones with flesh still on them. There were old photo albums filled with pictures of dead people.

I was so scared about what my friend would think. My closet was filthy and scary. But instead of judging me, my friend said:

“It’s okay. Don’t worry. You should see my closet.”

I cannot tell you how relieved I was to hear those words. I felt so much less alone.

We all have emotional closets.

We sometimes let other people inside them.

When their stuff looks the same as your stuff, we’re reminded that we’re not all that different from one and other. And that’s what makes us human.