Let’s talk about something really important: my nipples. Can you see them through my shirt? If you could would you tell me? “Hey man. Everyone is looking at your nipples and it’s awful.” This is why I don’t like wearing plain white t-shirts. I’m afraid my little chest buddies are going to be screaming through the material and no one is going to want to talk to me. No one will be able to focus. Fast food workers, traffic cops, sports mascots. No one will be able to pay attention when I’m embarrassing myself with a white t-shirt on.
I see other guys wearing white t-shirts all the time. I don’t get it. Are they not worried? Am I missing something? Am I the only one?
This is what happens when we avoid talking about certain topics. Yes, it’s weird/awkward/uncomfortable/embarrassing for me to write about this and for you to read it. I’m sure a few people didn’t get past the first few sentences because they were grossed out.
But this is something I’m struggling with and for me it’s important that conversations like this happen. I need to know I’m not alone.
Replace “nipples in a white shirt” with a more serious issue. Depression, loneliness, addiction, doubting God. Take your pick of the countless subjects we’d rather not touch with a ten foot pole. Because it’s going to be awkward talking through this. And it’s just so easy to ignore.
When we don’t talk about an issue we’re basically pretending like it doesn’t exist, which is fine except for anyone who is actually dealing with it. They’ll fell alone. They’ll feel like there’s something wrong with them. And we can’t have that because it’s not true.
There are topics that make us uncomfortable (like a man’s nipples) but we can’t ignore them. Not just for our own sake but for the sake of others.
When we talk about our own fears, doubts, and struggles other people will feel like it’s ok for them to do the same.
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” —Billy Graham
We can be the ones who make this a safe place for us to talk about our nipples and other important issues.
Taylor Johnson is a comedian, speaker, and writer who focuses on this need for confession and honesty wherever he travels. If you'd like to learn more about booking Taylor for a service or event, click here.
If you liked this, here are other pieces you’ll enjoy:I’m a Christian and I Need to Quit Trying to be Perfect by Wade Bearden Open Up in There by TJ VonWald