Why is it so hard to be ourselves?
Have you ever thought, what if so and so knew that about me, what would they think? What if they knew I was judging them, or didn’t like them?
Letting down our guard is risky. It takes vulnerability. How do we respond when we are in a funk but someone asks us, “How are you?”
“Fine. Doing fantastic. Never Better.” We smile our best smile, hoping they don’t see through our facade.
“How about you?” We may ask, merely out of politeness, really not giving a rip about the other person because deep inside, we’re really not fine. We may be struggling to make ends meet. The car might have just broke down. Or, while rushing to get to work on time, we spilled coffee on our shirt when we slammed on the brakes not seeing the back up in front of us. Then, we do our best not to get more angry, even though we want to scream, ( Sometimes I do – It’s safe in the car with the windows up and the stereo blasting!) as we crawl along the 101, stuck in traffic for an hour and a half to drive a mere eighteen miles!
To protect ourselves we don masks. Sometimes, they are necessary. After all it’s probably not a good idea to waltz into the office and dump our crappy day on everyone else. Instead, we arrive at the office with a painted Monday morning smile, “We’re fine.”
We pretend to be OK even when we had a lousy day. I get it. If we really aren’t doing fine, we don’t want to bring everyone else down especially if we are having a really shitty day.
Now I am making an assumption that we have all had to put on a happy face from time to time even if we really didn’t want to. But somehow we have to deal with that stuff inside that gnaws at us.
That’s why I am grateful that I have a couple close friends and a community that I can go to when I am walking through some challenges.
My struggles today are gold-plated compared to what they were 30 years ago. Nonetheless, I find it incredibly helpful to talk with others whom I trust to walk through some of the stuff I am going through. Case in point, I am in the midst of putting together my next book on goal setting. Yet I keep getting stuck. My friend suggested I map it out. How ironic that the book I am writing is about planning and walking through fear, change, and setting goals, and that I have to apply what I am trying to write about BEFORE I can write about it.
So yeah, when I’m going through change and out of my comfort zone, I get cranky. Today is one of those days. It will pass.
As Oscar Wilde said, “Creativity Takes Courage.”
So does vulnerability. For now, I’ll keep on keeping on.
Hope you days are good and filled with joy.
More to come soon.