How to Become a Flasher

nude signThis month’s synchroblog theme is ordinary courage. Not to be confused with heroics, ordinary courage is the act of revealing our true heart. We usually call it vulnerability. The links to other posts on the topic are located at the end of this article.

The most courageous thing we will ever do is not some selfless act on behalf of another, but rather, simply revealing our own true self.

That takes guts because there is some weird, dark stuff inside of me. A lot of people would probably judge me based on that stuff. That’s why you don’t know more about the weird, dark gunk in my life. That’s why we know so little about each other.

I will flash a little underwear your way every now and then, while some people never even loosen their tie. There are a few gutsy souls who are ready to reveal the full monty at the drop of the hat.

It’s great to have a friend who is straight with you and doesn’t ever pretend to be something she is not, but it can be overdone if it is a compulsive behavior detached from good judgment. Nobody wants to see naked people (or their every emotion, thought and experience) all the time. But generally, vulnerability is rare because we think it is so dangerous.

Yet, there is joy in self-revelation. It takes away the power of our secrets and opens the door for others to feel normal again. Great writers know that. They can take you deep inside their head and heart. That’s why great writing is a lot like bleeding.

I have a friend who refers to himself as emotional flasher. A childhood filled with moves and frequently changing schools led him to take a “Here is who I am. Take it or leave it.” attitude. It was his honesty that led me to reach out to him. Eventually, we worked on an ongoing project together. He is unorthodox, funny, off-the-wall, incredibly insightful, and generally a fun dude to be around.

Our survival instinct leads us to protect ourselves, rather than to be open about who we really are. People who act like they are perfect really worry me and they are anything but encouraging, but people who reveal their issues bring hope to others who struggle with the same things.

I can’t wait for the Google searches to roll in on this title.


Here are the links to all of the other great posts on the topic:

This Is Courage by Jen Bradbury

Being Vulnerable by Phil Lancaster

Everyday Bravery: Overcoming the Fear of Being Wrong by Jessica

Moving Forward Takes Courage by Paul W. Meier

Ordinary Courage by Elaine Hansen

Courage, Hope, Generosity by Carol Kuniholm

The Courage to Fail by Wendy McCaig

The Greatest Act of Courage by Jeremy Myers

Sharing One’s Heart by K. W. Leslie

All I See Is Rocks by Tim Nichols

I Wonder What Would Happen by Liz Dyer

What is Ordinary Courage? by Jennifer Stahl

Loving Courageously by Doreen A. Mannion

Heart Cry: The Courage to Confess by Elizabeth Chapin

The Act to the Miraculous by VisionHub

the spiritual practice of showing up & telling the truth by Kathy Escobar

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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  1. I always love your stuff Glenn and you are quickly becoming the King of unique and quirky titles! LOL

    I’m actually in the process of trying to learn to take off some of my coverings and I’m flashing more and more often these days. It’s always scary and at the same time brings a “big sigh, that feels good” kind of experience with it.

  2. Pingback: I Wonder What Would Happen | Grace Rules Weblog

  3. Pingback: Loving Courageously | Religious Refuse

  4. Thanks for flashing by, Glenn!

  5. Pingback: The Greatest Act of Courage | Till He Comes

  6. I enjoyed this post and love to the point of probably theft the idea of emotional flashing!

  7. Pingback: Moving Forward Takes Courage | Praying the Gospels

  8. Pingback: Courage – The Act To The Miraculous - VisionHub : VisionHub

  9. Pingback: The Courage to Fail | Wendy McCaig

  10. “That’s why great writing is a lot like bleeding.” I think it is always hard to know how much is too much bleeding. Like you I find people who only share all the things they have done correctly to be annoying. I like to read writers who are real and who are willing to share thier mistakes as well as thier successes. Great post and like everyone else, I love the title.

  11. Great post Glenn. I’m assuming that you believe that the church should be the worlds greatest flash mob? Sorry, but your title is just to good to leave alone.

  12. “people who reveal their issues bring hope to others who struggle with the same things” – Perfection is hard to believe, so showing vulnerability makes you appear real and makes what you say more believable. And if you have the courage to be real, others will feel like they can be real, too. Thanks for bearing your soul.

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  15. I love this post, Glenn! So funny, so insightful, so true!

    Writing is like bleeding, isn’t it? Putting ourselves out there and hoping that people don’t slam us too hard…. other days, just hoping people will actually read what we bled.

    I love your last line too. You will probably get some interesting traffic from google on this one!

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