While this exercise in blogging feels a lot like navel gazing, when I go deeper into it, there is more … so very much more. My ability and willingness to be vulnerable and authentic makes navel gazing seem more acceptable, even if self serving and boring from outwards appearances.
Call it what you will — drama, trauma, karma — we’ve each had our share…some more than others. And while I know it’s unproductive and possibly self destructive to live in the past, I’m not so sure that excavation is totally futile either. When it comes to what we believe and how we came to experience ourselves, it has the potential of being incredibly freeing, provided we are courageous enough to fully step into it.
There’s a whole bunch of science about this available if you poke around the internet. (In case you’re curious, I’ve shared a one below to get you started.) Thankfully, science is beginning to catch up with us, because we are amazing beings when we allow ourselves to be. But there’s the rub: when we allow ourselves to be.
And that is what this is about for me.
I am struggling deeply with revealing experiences that formed my beliefs. There’s a reason I wear a mask every day, as is true for so many of us. Makeup allows me to create a different face. Who I choose to reveal is a persona I’ve carefully crafted out of my desire to be accepted — even loved — because for as long as I can remember, I have never felt I’ve been “enough” in my natural state or otherwise.
But I’m no fool. I know cosmetics cover only the surface layer of my skin; beliefs run much deeper. They are rooted in the furthest recesses of my childhood, forged from the pain and darkness of those I loved and trusted most — beliefs that have a will of their own, bowing to no one, especially me. Mercy is not in their vocabulary and they are ruthless in their tyranny.
In spite of common wisdom, there is no comfort knowing I hold the key to my own prison.
It’s challenging to discern how to be vulnerable and honest while respecting the privacy of others who are bound to me in this darkness, yet absent from my life. Boundaries are still blurred when I engage the elusive presence of their shadow along with my own. My first tenet is to do no harm; enough has already been done.
So while not wearing makeup may seem like small stuff, it’s all small stuff.
Have you hidden in plain sight? I invite you to share how you navigate this in the comments below.
Gregg Braden on our true potential: