Many years ago, my mother gave me a wall sculpture from the Brian Andres Story People collection. I love Brian Andres’ art because it just makes me happy. It’s art combined with words. On the piece she gave me, it said, “Impossible yoga position but she likes to have goals that no one else can imagine, so they’ll shut up about how they understand exactly what she’s going through.” And I loved it! I felt it captured my essence perfectly. I’ve felt that way a long time, like no one really knew what I was going through. I may not have said it was a badge of honor but ok…maybe.
The truth is, if people didn’t know me, it because I didn’t really let them. Even the ones who really wanted to. I kept parts of myself hidden. I wouldn’t really share what I thought, or what I felt. That seemed scary. I mean, if they really knew me, would they still like me? Still want to be around me? So, parts of me were reserved, or were modified, were dialed down.
The problem with not letting myself be known, not letting others know what I’m going through, is that the person they became friends with, or loved, wasn’t really me. And over time, the disconnect becomes exhausting, except by then people didn’t know the ‘real’ me. Plus, I couldn’t really lean on others, because when I showed a different side of myself, maybe the real side of myself, it confused them. They didn’t know what to do with me.
Over the last year plus, I’ve been going through a process of really figuring out who that “me” is. I’d kind of lost sight of who I really was or wanted to be. That’s looked like trying her out, stretching, leaning into the gifts, talents and strengths God gave me from the beginning. Not the ones I’d thought were so important. And it’s been ok. In fact, it’s been amazing. I’ve discovered an authentic, true, whole sense of myself. And some of those close to me are seeing it, and really knowing me, and leaning in, not away.
So a couple weeks ago, I looked at that piece of art that I’d loved and thought “that doesn’t define me anymore.” And I took it down. I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet, but that’s not me. I want to be known, I want others to know what I’m going through. I wa
nt to share me and have others share themselves with me.
We should all want that. If you feel like you’re not really known, like you walk around holding a mask, or have a different version of yourself you let people see, what would it look like if you let go of that? For me, it took some coaching, someone else to push back on me with questions that made me think. Made me look at my own truths. And then one day, it finally sank in, and I had peace. So my question is, in what part of your life would you like to feel like that? What are you willing to do to get there? If you want to make a change, let me know. I’d love to help you get there.