This is a beautiful day. The breeze is cool, the sun is just starting to come up, and the world is shaking off her sleepy cobwebs. This little fella (obviously I am assuming it is a he, we were not introduced) is awake and doing whatever it is squirrels do first thing in the morning.
I imagine his name is Stan. He works hard and plays harder. His squirrel buddies like to meet up at the end of a long day and share a snack. The morning is time for work though. He is taking a break up here on the pole. Just hanging out while the sun warms his fur. He has no worries. He is hidden from danger. Stan fits in.
Humans have this ability too. We are able to disguise ourselves so we can fit in. We can hide the most unique aspects of our soul to avoid drawing too much attention. This is our mistake.
I know I tried too hard for years to be the girl I thought others wanted me to be. I kept my thoughts to myself. No. Not quite. I wanted to. I never actually succeeded. I was always too much and too little all at the same time.
I don’t know what changed for me. I think I grew tired of trying to figure out the expectations others had for me. I was bored with trying to be someone else. I was frustrated with how unsettled I felt. My skin crawled over my bones. I was inauthentic to my core.
So, I allowed myself to just be me. I stepped out of the shadows and at first the sun was too much. I would dart back to the brush and cower from the light. I struggled to live this new way of life.
I did not have to rebel against authority or prove my point any longer. I had spent so long fighting both for and against myself and everyone around me until I was exhausted. I surrendered in order to save myself from an exceedingly messy battle. Perhaps this is simply growing up.
It’s amazingly difficult to allow myself to be me. It’s hard to juggle tact with being honest. I still have a tendency to overreact and I am still strident at times. Sometimes I am unsure of what I want to accomplish on a given day.
My interests tear a wide path of ideas. Expert in nothing while interested in so much. I find my brain gets overloaded by the foreign information. I can only process little bits at a time. My conversations are frequently random and hard to follow.
Every day is a new adventure for me. Every interaction is a chance to learn something new. I try to keep an open mind. I try to remain teachable above all else. I feel like I am learning more about compassion than I ever knew before. There are so many different sides to each story. I am learning to appreciate the different perspectives.
Sometimes I still hide. The good news is I very rarely find myself hiding from myself though. I am no longer ashamed of who I am. This is the most free I have ever been. I am open to new experiences and ideas.
It is new and strange to feel this content. I still have my internal motor, but it no longer leaves me feeling anxious about running out of time. Now it just allows me to feel alive.
So I don’t have to hide anymore. I get to be me. In what ways do you still find yourself hiding? What would it look like if you stepped out into the sunshine?