“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.” -Andre’ Malraux
This quote on facebook struck a cord with me this morning and I asked myself, “What do I hide from people?”
For a long time I hid my fear and insecurity, then I found a friend who provided a safe place for me to show this part of my Self. Lately, I find that I’m living without fear and doing things I never would have done before.
For most of my life, I showed the world a face of confidence. I was outspoken and opinionated, often too much so. At times I alienated people who disagreed with me, costing friendships and weakening relationships with family. The insecurity I held inside prevented me from opening my mind and hearing anything different than what I believed was true. I was on such shaky footing emotionally that I didn’t have the capacity to consider another point of view. After years of impersonating confidence, I was exhausted.
Thankfully, the Universe provides exactly what we need at all times. At that time, what I needed was a safe place. I found that place in the eyes of a friend who knew where I was coming from. Her open vulnerability and raw emotion were a mirror for me and I began to see my true Self in her. Removing the mask of confidence was the most liberating thing I have ever experienced. Learning to trust someone to be there, to support me, to love me, even with my ugliest parts showing, gave me strength and I embraced this new feeling with gusto. From that first moment of living in truth, I have never looked back.
Today I find myself speaking from the heart without first analyzing the reactions of others. I see myself doing things that before would not have been possible for me. Instead of saying, “No way,” I’m saying, “Why not?”
Most recently, I found myself standing in front of a camera being interviewed for a promotional video that would be used by a $200mil company. Now for some people, this would not be such a huge ordeal, but for me, I was standing so far out of my comfort zone that I might as well have been on another planet. While I was being mic’ed up, I waited for my palms to start sweating, for my knees to get shaky, for my chest to blush red. Amazingly enough, none of these things happened. I remained calm and as the interview began, I was extremely happy to be standing there. I spoke from the heart and genuinely enjoyed myself.
Now to say that I no longer hide a part of my Self from the world would not be true. But more and more I’m finding that the part of me that I hold back is a feeling of joy and confidence. I temper the expression of these feelings for fear of overwhelming people. Sometimes I hear myself talking and think, “Whoa sister, back off! They’re gonna think you’re crazy. Nobody is this happy.”
But I am. And for that, I am so grateful. ❤