The last months have been interesting to say the least. I don’t know for how many years, I have already been fighting an internal war. The one side is contained by the belief of who I need to be in order to be respected and seen in our society, the other side is the “flawed” person I am and love.
Although I sat out a year ago to strip away all the layers that I thought I needed to wear, but that didn’t serve me any longer, I avoided one necessary step.
I avoided to look at the person I naturally am and all the “flaws” I carry around with me, and find a way to confidently step into them and claim them as my own. Walking away from things has always been easier for me than accepting imperfection.
Yet, I am coming to realize that all those crazy things I do and say are part of who I have always been. Many of them have come out of the result of my past and might not serve me to the best of their abilities any longer. But instead of despising them, like I have done for so long, it is time to accept them for what they are and give myself a break, if I am not able to change them at this time.
One of them is the fact that I have a hard time admitting them out loud. My life has always been around secrecy and when you learn that it is not appropriate to share what is really going on with you, it automatically translates into not sharing anything that could be putting you (or others) in a bad light.
This has led me to always put my best food forward, not seem too loud, too goofy, too unprofessional, not show, when I didn’t get it, and many other self-imposed beliefs.
The only way, I can think of changing my non-trusting, secretive behavior is by allowing myself to put all my “quirks” and “leftover trauma behaviors” in writing. And maybe some of you will look at them and think, well I do that, too. Or maybe you look at someone, who surrounds you, who is always straight-faced and a bit uptight about their life and wonder, if they have similar flaws and are afraid that being themselves would drive people away.
In this post, I start off with two images. The first one was taken off me at a wonderful retreat for childhood sexual abuse survivors last year. It was done to demonstrate that I am beautiful, even if I might not see the beauty inside myself. And the image is beautiful. For a short period of time though, it made me try to imitate the person in the picture, because they seemed so much more flawless than me.
I have been secretly keeping a daily online journal, which includes a daily picture of myself. Those pictures, that I don’t share publicly (except sometimes with my daughter), are of the goofy me. The person that I would love to display more publicly, but am afraid wouldn’t be accepted. Yet, I love this version of myself so much more than the perfected image, because I know that’s who I am on the inside.
Can you relate to the feeling of keeping certain quirks of yourself a secret out of fear that others might not accept you?