I, like most women, was brought up to be a nice and pleasant girl, which was hard for such a moody child. Thing is, this is still my first reaction when someone approaches me, even if I’m upset or hurting, my first response is almost always cheerful, fine, upbeat, especially if I”m in public. The authentic reaction, the true response, always comes secondary. And there are still people in my life who reinforce this, who prefer the social veneer to authenticity.
I have two issues with this, the first is that the social veneer is never truly joyful, it is only repressed. The other issue is that I end up lying to people who care about me, who come to see if I’m OK, knowing I’m not, and my ability to connect with those I care about is diminished. This knee-jerk-I’m-fine, reaction is one I am working on letting go of so that I can be more real, more present. It’s a work in progress though and not a finished product.I am learning that I need to wait for the second reaction, the one where I see you and you see me, the one where we are gentle with one another, where being vulnerable, scared and frightened is OK. Because there’s space for all of these feelings and it’s OK not to be fine. I am learning to be more accepting of my humanity and to accept the care and the love of others, but I admit it’s a struggle. I am never quite what I ‘should be.’ I feel my inadequacies daily and often I want to protect others from them, save them from seeing me, the real me.
Today I want to be brave. I want to trust that if I am real, if I let people see me, that it will be OK, that I will still have a place at the table, that I will still belong. I’m not very good at trusting though and I go back and forth, whispering my truths and hiding. Revealing how much I need others, need people like you dear reader, and then being aloof so you won’t feel oppressed by my need. Today I only pray for your patience, your continuing presence in my life, that you won’t give up on me, because this is a work in progress and I’m not finished yet. And I don’t want you worry if you see me struggling with this because I am fine, really.