Embraced Exposure

People talk. Some more than others (ok…they can be downright nosy!). There was a time in my life that I didn’t want things to be exposed. You know those little things you try to keep hidden down in your soul? We’re all human. And what I have found in my journey is that the fear of exposure comes from the feeling of needing to be loved, appreciated, or even soul-seen. Who will love you once it’s revealed? Do you really want to be exposed? It’s a gamble.

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

There’s no lack of exposure on T.V. and social media. The career I chose for the first part of my life really had me exposed. The odd thing is that I felt most like me in a school environment or in nature. It did bother me that I was the “face” of a place. There was unnecessary exposure at times. I did feel pressure at times to look and act a certain way and give in to any action that was normal for the group. Thank goodness for kids, teachers, and friends who walked their individual walks like I strived to do. Towards the end of the school years, when my head seemed to begin halting due to some happenings, my heart kept going. Due to my journey I could FEEL what the kids (and adults) felt. I could look into faces of others and SEE their pain and UNDERSTAND. If you’ve been divorced, you understand those going through it. If you’ve moved, you understand those doing the same. If you’ve lost a loved one, you understand those going through loss. If you suffer from illness, you understand others that suffer. IF YOU’RE JUST BEING HUMAN YOU UNDERSTAND THOSE BEING HUMAN. Right? Or I hope.

Saturated in the news and media, particularly in the last two years, are the words “mental health” (more than I’ve heard my entire life). In addition to any physical issues one may have there can also be emotional tolls. Were you raised in an era where feelings were not discussed? If you have read my “Shake it Off” story you’re aware that I received great advice from my Dad to persevere (Mom, too)! Physically speaking I want to be tough. Mentally? I work on it daily with my spiritual AND mental workouts. But that determination, or grit, came from somewhere inside me (between my heart and stomach? My innards?). But being tough isn’t all it’s cracked up to be at times (especially if a “crack” is exposed). I never understood the source; or appreciated it like I do now.

I understand the source now. And I'm never letting it go--I'm going to let it GROW. 

How do I feel about being exposed? I actually hesitated putting a new picture of myself here in the WordPress world-it’s exposure! Oh my goodness–she’s blonde (we all know what that means!😉), “Hmmm, I never expected that look!”, or “She’s a picture of health and vitality!”(I actually heard that when in fact there are days I can hardly function). I’d prefer to walk around in a hat with my writing sweats and flannel on 100% of the time. What’s wrong with me? 😉

Our world today is so exposed that we want to be and look the best at all times. Now to be on social media it pays to be a good dancer?! Or if you’re raising children you can become the #1 TikTok Mom or maybe even be a girl guru for good looks with anti-aging products and makeup tips. I know that everyone is just being human– I’m not judging-be you! I’m just not participating in that manner; it doesn’t make it right or wrong-it’s just peace for me. Which leads me to the hardest part of my new journey–marketing myself. It scares me to “get out there” again. But with faith I will continue to forge ahead. I’m a middle-aged empty nester with cracks in my crust, scars on my skin, strength in my soul, and hope in my heart. I’m just me. I’m human. I don’t care to share I cry at times missing my kids and grandkids (who doesn’t?), I don’t care to share I’ve made mistakes (who doesn’t?), I don’t care if others may not understand my pain or my gain (don’t we all have that?),…but see, I DO CARE–NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK OF ME, but how you THINK ABOUT YOURSELF. It always feels good if people like you, I get that. But when someone is feeling down it could be due to feeling rejected, mistreated, or misunderstood. There was a time I could have given up. I didn’t really want to–I just got tired of feeling rejected or that I had TO BE WHAT SOMEONE ELSE WANTED ME TO BE. And that someone was not God. So I would gear up for the battle between my ego and soul. Don’t get lost feeling like there’s a “normal” checklist you must complete to be a human. When pursuing perfection you may experience being paralyzed.

There’s one gift left under my tree for our gift exchange at my parents’ house. All the other gifts have been mailed to Alaska and Washington (my heart is wrapped in them). The one gift that matters the most to me is the gift of a Savior. The one who has never let me down. The one to whom I’m fully exposed, examined, and exempt from guilt. HE knows my heart. He KNOWS yours. I don’t have to justify any decision; he KNOWS your intent. Do you know him? Maybe you don’t know or believe. We’re only human. But please know this–you are loved. No matter what.

K.L. Hale

I have an exposure story that I was given permission to share. It was a beautiful and unexpectedly warm day in S.W. MO last week (we had a string of spring-like days). I mustered up the courage to load up the car (and Finn) to head to the Grand Village in Branson for another book-signing. A lady walked up to Finn and I and broke down in tears. I immediately jumped up to console her. “May I hug you?” (I know, I know there’s a virus going around BUT STILL…). She shared that she had JUST lost her dog that looked EXACTLY like Finley (she showed me the pic and I cried with her). She felt bad that she had “exposed” her feelings-it was as if she was ashamed. I offered her comfort and a prayer (Finley gave her kisses, too). Before I left the village she walked towards me calling my name. She handed me a bag that contained an ornament that she BOUGHT FOR ME. It made me cry. She told me that God had put Finley and I there to give her comfort. You see, it’s not about a book to me. It’s about a journey. A journey of learning and growing. Another young lady shared that she would like to self-publish. I told her I would help her just as I was helped. I spend HOURS doing what may take someone else ONE hour to do. The learning can be overwhelming. But what is the option? To do nothing. To learn nothing. To sit and pity the pain. That is NOT the life God intended! Here are the pics that I hope make you smile. Several writing friends have shared about “being the light!”…now that’s full exposure!


On a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SUBJECT (because this is how my brain works sometimes) I want to dedicate this post in memory of the WWII Veterans that lost their lives at Pearl Harbor 80 years ago yesterday. I dedicate this post to my own loved ones that have gone on to heaven and to the ones that no longer remember. These are whom I call the greatest generation. Can we work together to make our generation great? I sure hope so. Perhaps we can start exposing more of the exceptional–it’s out there. ❤

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54 thoughts on “Embraced Exposure

  1. jpayne98

    That’s just beautiful sweetheart. I know your heart and your challenges. I know how difficult it is to put yourself out there again. I’m so proud of you. He knows your heart ❤️ 🙏🙏🙏♾💚. Love always J.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the picture is lovely! It shows a woman looking and seeing nature and that is something we should all do. This was a touching post. Full exposure is not easy, physically as well as psychologically. In the back of my psyche is a six-year-old child who is terrified of everything and every now and then she pops forward. I do my best to keep her down and safe but it does not always work. Getting friends through the Internet, through my blog, has helped me grow immensely and I thank you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam, your support and words are touching as well. Knowing you as I’ve come to learn I had a feeling you’d understand this post so much. The support means everything. In our ways of life, such as jobs, people come and go ~and when you find the ones that support you in every walk of life, in every situation ~that peanut gallery that’s always standing around you ~it’s as if you can’t fail. And I know who leads in my arena now. I thank you for being a friend and inspiration. It would be easy for me to be like the girl in the photo, just taking the pictures. But without sharing them-and the experiences that go with them-they don’t benefit others who need to see the beauty in the journey because they can’t or don’t want to. Hugs and peace my friend. 💛🙏🏻🤗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, thank you so much. What a humbling comment❣️😭 When I began writing I found your poems. You helped me find my inner voice. On social media you helped me find my niche and my tribe. I thank you for that and your friendship. ❤️

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      1. You provide the same wonderful support for me Karla. One candle sheds light but it’s flame can also light another and another. In this way an entire world can become enlightened. Shame we don’t always remember this, so many people go around blowing candles out instead of nurturing other flames – you are a protector and propellant of sparks around you, that’s why it’s important to keep your own shining brightly my friend 💕💥

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  3. Rita Hobbs

    Loved reading this one. As you know I don’t read them all but they are tucked in a safe place for when I do want to. Was going to comment on the sight but didn’t know how to sign up. Here’s what I was going to say. I loved this so much. No more words necessary from me except F&A ♥️🧡💛💚💙💜🤍🤎❤️

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To the one that stood by me in friendship and is still an emergency contact~ thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and love. Forever and always! ❤️💛💚❣️💕🥰 it means so much.

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  4. Ah dear Karla, those moments are just for us and God…but…once I finally saw through my fear and understood it, I realized it was only the fear that kept me afraid, embarrassed, lack of confidence, mask wearing, and on and on it goes. I had stepped through my fear and could finally see me, understand ‘why’ to it all, and in doing so I had defeated and dis empowered that holding pattern that fear is. And allowed me to finally believe in me and in doing so also allowed me to finally love myself. In that understanding it showed me that fear is ever that doubt of ourselves, and in meeting it in truth, it can be seen for the lie that it is, and release us of its bonds forever so that we can finally live with an unconditional love, not the conditional love of fear we had been wrapped in. Have a beautiful, unconditional loving Merry Christmas dear lady, may it ever be in your heart 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋 🎅🏽 🕊 🎄 🎁 ⛄️

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    1. Mark, your responses are like beautiful posts! Fear is not a good thing for the soul! And I know the source of the unconditional love that erases the fear and gives the confidence we all need! I hope you have a beautiful and blessed Christmas too! I’m sure I’ll see you again before then. I hope the weather and things are cooperating on your side of the world! 🦋🍃⭐️🙏🏻🙏🏻🥰🎶🙌🏻💚🎄⭐️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Australia is doing what Australia does best, everything, all at once. Years of drought, then bush fires and now tropical monsoonal rain. All Spring has had flooding everywhere, as in houses going under, and for the first week of summer one poor town has just had cyclone winds with 150mm (6 inches), of rain in the last 24hrs. Washed roads away, flooded everything. But that is what change does, out with the old, in with the new. Maybe a little more gently though would be nice. It is a tough country but that allows for much beauty in between…like us 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

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      2. Oh my, Mark! I can’t imagine all the monsoonal rains although our areas here and around the country experience flooding. Currently we are in a basic drought. About 1 1/2 inches at my house in the last two weeks. It’s windy and warmer than average too. I pray gentle is headed your way! I love your last line. Aww! Yes! 🦋🦋🍃🥰⭐️🎶🌸🙌🏻

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  5. The life journey has brought you to a fantastic place, Karla. I relate. Back in my former job life, my column had my little face photo next to it. (Yeah sort of like blogs and social media nowadays but this was decades ago and delivered to a community’s doorstep in the morning.) Anyway this seemed to give some people the feeling they could walk up and say hello (or much more) anyplace or any time the thought struck them. Interesting way to live, that was. To this day I still must face some people thinking quickly ‘How do I know them, really?’

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    1. Thank you, Mark. You get it. It’s not been an easy journey for most! I understand that. I see faces and can remember many of them. And I walk away from other faces wondering where and when did I know them? I can imagine your situation as a writer/columnist and the opinions given to you from seeing you! Thank you for your support and encouragement!

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  6. Karla— I think exposure is just another word, a synonym, for the word vulnerable — now whether or not the grammar gods see it that way, I’m not sure— but when we expose anything about ourselves.. be it an image, a written word, or simply our presence.. we open up our entire being— be that good or be that bad or be that both.
    Like you, I could really see that when I taught as it was a daily exposure on all sorts of levels — be it intellectually, physically or emotionally— and if we were honest about it, our kids were the better for it. I think we called it lead/ teach by example…
    Yet sadly we are finding ourselves living in a strange time where exposure has become linked to an odd mix of judgment and voyeurism— our exposure becomes staged or even reckless — yet if we are wanting, willing to ‘minister’ or share the Gospel then we must risk that exposure- and vulnerability— God demands nothing less— and then enters humility — not bravado or bragging but a resigned state of relinquishing and humility.

    And I agree with Kathy— a beautiful image Karla— blond and all!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Julie, your last paragraph is perfectly written and understood by me. I’ve been vulnerable (and add gullible too) and I believe we all experience that feeling of judgment. Humility–how you described it, “resigned state of relinquishing”…how beautiful. Thank you for the kind compliments (I tease about the blonde; but you know exactly what I mean as we are a society that still judges based on looks–that’s what I love about writing versus personal engagement). Speaking of exposure–I’m saddened that the social media giants are interfering with the mental well-being of our young people. But I will not digress and go down this rabbit hole. I just have to pray and give it all to God. May we all find worth from the ONE most worthy! Peace and hugs my friend!

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      1. kriddy70

        First, your cover photo is absolutely beautiful and it is one of my most favorites❤ it captures your outer glow of beauty. Being behind the so-called lens while seeing your giggles and sharing that moment with you, well.. it is forever stamped as one of my most favorite days of my life. I’m so proud of you and your Faith to step out and be “exposed”. You wear vulnerability in the most Christ-like way. It is not easy, but I see God using you! You truly are a light in a pretty dark world right now. I love you more than words I could ever type. I have little writing skills, but I can read and see love in the biggest way and that is inspired by YOU!! … MY Mousie..keep exposing and growing. It’s beautiful to see…. I love you❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I want to thank you for that photo. I’ll never forget it either. I promise. Everyone, this is my wombmate, Kristy. She captured that pic near the Finley River~a place of many memories. You’re support has encouraged me. You have a heart of gold and those around you are blessed by your light. You have beautiful skills and I’m so proud of you and how God is using YOU, too. I’ll keep exposing and growing…thank you. I love you more than steak and potatoes. ❤️🥰❤️

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  7. Karla, I am so happy this post came out. I was always afraid of exposure and even choose a career where I worked in the shadows. You were in my mind all day yesterday and I do feel a connection with you. Your post will help many others as it helped me. Scott

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Scott! I’m so glad that it was helpful! I understand about working in the shadows. I enjoy that about writing~I like being able to market and read in small chunks~it makes it much easier to manage! Thank you for your support and encouragement!

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  8. Lovely post! Exposure is difficult. I can deal with it only if I can retreat to the Big Empty (tomorrow). Finley, you are a beautiful, sweet soul. Teddy would tease you, Bear would play with you then you could sleep beside her on the floor. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Martha. Your encouragement means so much to me. You’ve really helped me out of my writing shell and seeing things in new perspectives. When I retreat and return I’m a bit geared up to manage miles better. And then there are those days….I read your note to Finley ;)! She loves you all and she’s sure she’d love that time with Teddy and Bear! What’s better than play and sleep with buddies? ❤️🐶🤗

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  9. Karla, when I was younger I was always concerned with what others though about me. It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that it dawned on me that the opinions of strangers had no weight or bearing on how I should see myself. With that revelation, a switch was flipped and I started living authentically. It also was at the height of some work place bullying and I realized that I needed to turn it all over to God. Once that happened I no longer felt exposed. I was not afraid and I found a resolve that had eluded me before. Namaste – I see you.

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    1. Val, this is a beautiful response. Your experience sounds familiar to mine and I appreciate authenticity. Turning it over to God is truly the best way to move forward isn’t it? “I was not afraid and I found a resolve that had eluded me before.”~spectacular! Thank you for seeing me. Peace and light to you. ❤️

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, Dwight. Beginning this blog was daunting and I’m still learning all the time. It’s been a wonderful time of growing and connecting with others just like you. Your poetry and stories inspire me too.

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  10. HI Karla,

    Such great pictures and so glad to hear your inspirations always!.
    I love seeing your blog expanding and your connections my friend reaching out and caring and sharing from your heart always!
    💖
    Thanks for reaching back out .. it’s been awhile!
    💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy, thank you so much for your kind words. I was glad to see you today! I hadn’t been seeing you on my feed much. I appreciate your support so much! I’m not for sure what to think about the WP reader at times. When I even filter my followings, when reading on my iPhone app, it doesn’t show everyone I’m following? And sometimes I have to click follow again? I guess with any technology there will be gremlins! It’s great to see you! ❤️❤️❤️

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  11. I can SOOO relate to this post, Karla. A management consultant I once read called this phenomenon “CEO Syndrome.” This is when everyone in the organization gets feedback on how they are doing EXCEPT for the one at the top. Sometimes good, honest feedback stings a little, but it is really the only thing that keeps us humble, on track, and honest. Thanks for your excellent writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russell, thank you for your feedback and support! I’m happy you enjoyed it (and find it relatable!). I agree 💯 on the honest feedback. I can go back to my evaluations, as far back as student teaching, and appreciate every specific piece of feedback. Thank you again!

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  12. I love the you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes (and every blonde hair in between. 🤣 Your vulnerability to share yourself in so many ways, but especially through your blog is what inspires so many of us to do the same. How others view it is a mute point when we are being fully authentic. One of my newest life motos has become: “I am done trying/wanting to be with people who do not desire to be with me.” I know it may sound quite crass but it’s meant with the most loving heart. I no longer wish to bother those who do not enjoy my company, nor to make myself feel poorly trying to force a relationship not mutually respected of me. Hugs to you for the kind encouragement to continue on this path.

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    1. Dawn, thank you so much for your support and words of wisdom. Vulnerability used to be a weakness; now I see it as a strong partner to humility. I appreciate and admire your motto~I don’t see it as crass; I see it as loving yourself enough to still BE a light to others while not allowing someone to continually try to extinguish it. Authenticity is absent when you allow others to define your own depth. I hear you and understand! I also love you from the top to the toes! Knowing that my blog is meaningful for you makes me think, “My job was done!” You have affirmed why I write my heart out now. And I’m so happy to be in this family with you. ❤️💚❣️🥰🤗

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