Monday, May 5, 2014

Let It Go

"What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly." ~Carl Rogers

Maybe you're sick of this Frozen and "Let It Go" craze, or maybe you're still dancing in the streets trying to shoot ice from your fingertips. Either way, at least admit that the ultra popular song has a pretty good message.

It's a message that everyone already knows but needs to be said again and again. People should be more honest about their reality. It's such a simple concept. Seriously. Instead of putting on fake smiles and telling half-truths, we could just say what we're feeling. No need for hiding behind a made-up persona or pretending we have it all together. (Before I go any further, I admit that there are times when not letting people see everything is the better decision.) What I'm talking about is times when we are struggling or angry or embarrassed. Are you depressed? Don't keep that in. Are you mad? Tell someone. Are you afraid? Admit it.

None of us are rocks. We all have feelings, and we hurt. We have our insecurities and our shame. But we are pros at acting.

I feel like I do a fairly good job at times of appearing confident, but my reality is filled with second-guessing myself, running through various scenarios and conversations, and putting myself down for my mistakes. As much as I try to be open, I am also incredibly poor at letting people in. I bottle up all of my fears and anxieties until an outlet appears - good or bad. So, if I know that everyone else is most likely just as self-conscious or as insecure as I am, why do I still keep it to myself? Because we are supposed to be whole! No one is supposed to show weakness. We swallow our own insecurities and judge others for theirs because when we look at others, we almost always see the perfect life they allow us to see. It's only now-and-then that we catch glimpses of the real people around us. Social media certainly hasn't helped matters. Facebook makes it 1000x easier to filter what other people see and think of us, but that's an entire issue by itself.

The spotlight effect is real. We walk into a room full of people and totally overestimate how much they notice aspects of our appearance and behavior or even if they are aware of us at all. What we think others are thinking of us is most likely what we think of ourselves. I like the way Emma Brooke, another blogger, reacts to this. "If we can start to accept and be who we are, we just may realize not only that it’s okay, but that most other people think it’s okay too."

Back to the question. Why don't we open up and let others in? We don't have to share everything all the time, but if I admit my own insecurity/fear/anxiety, you might decide to share a word of wisdom with me because of a similar experience you've had.

We have a lot to share with each other. We just don't know that it needs to be shared.

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