Come Out, Come Out, Whereverrrrrrr You Arrrrrrr...
October 16, 2017
Think back to when you were a kid playing a game of Hide-and-Seek with your friends or siblings. If, by chance, you’ve never played Hide-and-Seek then just imagine this: You search out this amazing hiding place where you just know no one will find you. I mean this is possibly the best spot you've ever found to hide. At first, you giggle with delight because it's such a brilliant choice. You can hardly wait for your seeker to find you.
Five...four...three...two...one…ready or not, here I come!
Your heart is pounding in your chest as you listen for clues of your seeker's curious arrival.
Come out, come out whereverrrrrrr you arrrrrrr…
In the distance, you hear others shriek with a mix of joy and mild displeasure as their hiding spots are discovered. And then it gets sorta quiet. Too quiet actually. But you stay put because this really is a fantastic hiding place and you're sure your seeker will track you down soon.
After a while disappointment sets in and it starts to get kinda lonely cuz it seems as though no one is looking for you. At some point, you can't take the solitude anymore so you come out of hiding and go join the others.
Well when you're hiding your authentic self, it's sorta like that. You've found this really fantastic place to tuck yourself away where you'll feel safe and no one will find you. You most likely don't even realize you're hiding cuz you're busy enjoying the comfort it provides.
Now imagine that instead of giving up this temporary paradise and joining the others, you make it your permanent home. Over time you get so accustomed to feeling safe you don't even notice how much pain is collecting inside you. And when any discomfort comes knock’n at the door you ignore the call—no visitors allowed. So every time you feel something gnawing at you inside, you just swallow it, or reject it, or distract yourself, or justify it away.
The years go by and before long you’re into adulthood and your status as a hider is now at expert level. Well, at least we’re experts at something, right? Hee hee.
So anyway, you keep livin’ your “life”, but your life isn't really full of life because you're not really living. You're hiding.
And what’s really sad is no one is looking for you because they don’t even know you’re missing. It's kinda like playing Hide-and-Seek with just yourself. Now take a moment and let that really register deep down.
No one is looking for you.
Wanna hear the real kicker?
Most likely, you’re not looking for you either.
That's what happened to me. You see for much of my life, I thought I was being me. I mean, how can you be anybody BUT yourself, right?
What I discovered was the real me on the inside wasn’t filtering through to the outside. All the good stuff was locked up and not allowed to come out and play unless deemed appropriate and safe—which was almost never. Can’t you just hear the adult voice ringing in those words “appropriate” and “safe”? I mean, kids don’t use those words. Only adults use those words when the joy has left their bodies and they’ve stopped living from the inside out.
So for most of my years, I didn’t even realize I was screening my “self”. I just grew into it in some way. And so the real me on the inside manifested on the outside as a watered down version of the real thing.
It's kinda like pressing your lips up against a cold window and blowing warm air until the window goes all foggy. And then squinting and straining to see through it. That’s what it's like trying to see your real inner being after it's gone through all the filters.
So what are these filters that I speak of? Here's a few familiar to me:
You can't say that.
(You'll make him mad; you'll make her feel bad; you'll make them uncomfortable.)
You can't wear that.
(It makes you look fat; everyone else will be wearing...)
You can't go out in public without your makeup.
(You're too ugly without it; you have to hide your blemishes.)
You can't pull off that haircut.
(It shows too much of your face; it'll make you look ugly.)
Don't sing out loud.
(You don't have a good voice; others might hear you.)
Just be quiet.
(You don't have anything important to share; you'll just sound dumb.)
It doesn't matter that you feel unwell.
(You'll let others down; just get up, get dressed, pull yourself together, and paste a smile on your face)
Don't make a scene.
(Others might hear you; you'll just embarrass yourself.)
You can't make a living doing that.
(It's not practical; it's too competitive; you're not good enough)
Don't let on you know the answer.
(You'll make them feel stupid; you'll make them angry.)
Don't say what makes your body feel good
(your boyfriend/spouse will think you're a slut.)
You can't draw, paint, write, play the piano...
(you're not good enough; you'll never be paid to do it professionally.)
I could go on and on but the message is the same. Don't say what you really think. Don't express how you really feel. Don't be who you really are. You're not enough. Not good enough. Not perfect enough. Not pretty enough. Not valuable enough. Not funny enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. You're here to care more about others because they're more "enough" than you are.
In other words, just go about living your life from the outside in. Care more about how you look externally than how you feel internally. Care more about what other people think and feel than how you think and feel. Be more aware of what suits their wants and needs than your own. Stay out of their way, and for goodness sake, don't upset them.
Garbage! Hogwash, I say.
But after living a lifetime with those damaging thoughts, they became second nature to me. I thought that was the only way to be. The real me was buried deep inside, wrung out, strained, and pieced together so I was “presentable” for worldly consumption—which means all the good authentic stuff was abandoned and just the impersonal, sanitized stuff was left to share with others and live life with.
Quite simply, I was holding my inner being in bondage—just not the fun kind! [Did I say that???]
In other words, I was hiding. Three little words that explain and encapsulate my whole life lived thus far. That's my truth. There's no denying it.
Living life on empty doesn't exactly produce the raw materials needed to lead a happy, fulfilling life. And forget about having a positive impact on humanity. This world needs more people who are letting their light shine through—not more cookie cutter smiles from people with clogged up filters.
So that's my work. I'm cleaning up my filters and girl, does it feel good.
And that, my lovelies, is the end of today's post. Meanwhile, If you’d like a glimpse of my very young self in hiding, check out Grab your Juice Box and Carpet Square... It's Show’n Tell.
For now, this chickie bids you a farewell with this little reminder:
You are love, you are loved, and you are lovable.
Disclaimer: This is a personal blog and I’m not a mental health professional. Obviously. I can’t possibly know your full situation so please consult a professional before acting upon information from yourpurpleswan.com. Should you decide to act of your own accord, you do so at your own risk. Kinda like skydiving.
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