Meet our newesT contribuor Ellie Burrows, an expert on sex, relationships, and everything in between – particularly that inexplicable spiritual connection we feel with others and within ourselves. We’ll be sharing from Ellie regularly, beginning with this piece that’s all about the over-share…
They say we teach what we need to learn. And right now, I really need to learn something.
I’m not a private person by nature – never have been. I write about sex, relationships and the heart, the space of infinite mystery and intrigue. My heartbreak is on the Internet for all to see.
When it comes to the written word, my policy is this: I’ll share anything about myself if it changes one person’s consciousness. If it helps someone communicate more effectively with his or her beloved then I can’t imagine a greater cause to be in service to.
I grew up in a house where we talked about everything. We shared and that’s how we demonstrated that we cared. But lately, I feel like my mouth is killing my vibe. Writing is one thing, it’s my creative outlet, but running my mouth for the sake of conversation is entirely another. From articles that might be published to men that might be boyfriends, I’ve watched my mouth make like a leaky gas tank and compromise my pole position. And as the words fly out of me, so does a bunch of sacred potential energy.
See, I can make the mistake of talking about things in their nascent stages. I’m the girl that wants to eat the cake before the batter sets. We could lovingly call this impatient, but the truth is that waiting can be unbearable and talking about it provides some sense of relief. I get so excited about what’s growing in my garden that I feel deeply compelled to tell my friends and neighbors about it. I want them to peek over the fence and marvel at my buds with me. But sometimes when it’s time for the garden party, the flowerbeds are flooded.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to explore the world of restraint. I made a conscious effort to scale back on discussing (not writing) details about my personal life, particularly when it comes to men. I’m the single chick with prospects and everyone wants to know which horse to bet on. However, the most challenging aspect of this experiment came as a surprise. I encountered an interpersonal glitch which was revelatory to say the least:
Friend: How was your date? Who is he? Did you hook up?
Ellie: It was good. Trying not to talk about it until I figure out what’s going on. The last time I ran my mouth about a dude, it ended up being a big disappointment for me and everyone else.
Friend: Not even with me? Are you serious? It’s me. C’mon.
And just like that, my desire to keep something private became a betrayal of friendship. Somehow what I was willing to share or withhold became a measure of how I felt about the person I was sharing with or withholding from. As if I had to pay an information tax to prove my love or their value as a friend.
We all know that communication is currency in any relationship, but I’d like to be more mindful about my conversation content. I find myself tired of telling the same story over and over again to placate curiosity or help me analyze something that’s not ready to be analyzed. It de-magnetizes and disperses the romance. And, I’d really like my tribe of loved ones to support me in this endeavor. As much as I would like to say, “It’s not personal,” it is, because it’s personal to me.
Discovering my filter has been an interesting experiment. It sounds silly, but it doesn’t come naturally. I’m a highly articulate lady and sharing is my default mode. Words really turn me on and I like to use them all the time. Maybe I can blame it on the stars because I’m a Gemini, but there’s something to be said for silence.
The art of holding one’s tongue is not an easy one. Especially when it’s such a fun muscle to flex. And, I just looked in my garden and it made me smile. Something is growing, but I can’t tell you what it is.