March 1, 2015

sharing about myself (or not)...


I am gentle clarity, subtle harmony, magical grace, living true.

I am fire passion quiet strength intense emotions light and shadow.

I am writer and storyteller, energy alchemist, healer, priestess, wayshower.

I am truth-seer and truth-speaker, sometimes couching it in gentle ways, sometimes blunt, and sometimes knowing silently.


I stand naked at the window, vulnerable and strong, standing in my power, letting myself be seen more than ever before and caring less than ever what others think. I'm loner and introvert and reclusive, yet crave relationship and friendship and community. I struggle with fear and trust.

I'm already me but on my way to becoming my truest self, not sure yet how that will impact how I share and show up in the world but curious to see where my spiraling path will take me.

So... all of that above, all those words?

I wrote those words about myself for a prompt and I posted those words in a private group. I posted that photo too, a photo I took mostly because of the prompt, and I took the picture of myself as I stood in a doorway inside my house next to a long sun-filled window and I looked out at the sunshine melting the last of the snow that fell a few days ago. (I was topless but there was no way someone could have seen me in that window, so I didn't have any worries about that.)

Those words I wrote about myself are my truth at this time.

But...

A few hours after sharing the photo and those words in the group, I deleted the post.

I already knew - when making the original post, I'd known almost immediately in my gut, my bones - that I would share those words and the photo on my blog.

So when I decided to delete the words and photo from the group, I asked myself why did I feel more comfortable sharing on my blog, which is much more public than the group where I originally posted those words?

And did deleting the post, removing those words from the group, mean what I said about myself is not true after all? Did deleting it mean I'm still hiding? Still caring too much about what other people think?

Ultimately I decided the answer is no. The words I wrote are my truth.

But among those words, are these: I struggle with fear and trust.

And I believe fear and trust both played a part in my decision to remove my post. I felt vulnerable after some hours passed - not even as much because of the photo, I think, as with what I wrote in sharing myself.

Also, although I don't care so much about what other people think as I used to, I do still care to an extent and maybe I always will (and maybe caring to some extent is even a good thing).

I gave thought to my decision, I checked in with myself, gave myself time to decide, before I finally removed the post.

My decision came because ultimately it felt safer - and felt better to me - to delete it. Maybe later, when I've settled into the group over time, I'll share more deeply, I'll share more of myself.

What I believe is this...

It's okay to decide when and where we choose not to risk being or feeling so vulnerable, to choose not to share so openly, to choose not to push past discomfort or fear.

It might be because of timing or circumstances or surroundings or any number of reasons.

And I believe that's part of claiming personal power, and part of setting boundaries.

Sometimes doing things that don't feel safe is very good for me. If I stayed with only what felt comfortable and safe... well, I'd be stuck in many ways.

But sometimes it's okay (and sometimes even for the best) for me to follow those feelings to not push - because of boundaries or safety or trust or timing or self-care.

Or simply because sometimes I just need to give myself a break for a while from doing things that feel vulnerable or risky.

And sometimes that's okay.

There have been times - and a couple of major examples from the past 12 months - when people made assumptions and judgments about my not moving forward with something. They said I was giving into my fear. (I wasn't - I was very, very clear with myself about that... because there are times when I do give in to my fear, and it's important to me to get honest with myself and know my true reasons.)

The thing is... it's up to each one of us - not someone else - to know what's going on inside, to know what our life is like, to understand our reasons for making the decisions and choices we make, and to do what's best for us at the time.

Self-knowledge, self-awareness, self-understanding... those are key.

And someone else - who only knows what we've shown them or told them, but doesn't know the all of us, and hasn't walked in our shoes - someone else doesn't get to try to shame or guilt or blame or judge us for making the best decisions for ourselves.

People are far too quick to make assumptions. And so often, assumptions can be wrong.

And people, unfortunately, can be quick to judge.

But until someone has been there? They don't know.

For each of us, we are the one who knows what takes courage for us.

For each of us, we are the one who knows when it's best to push past something and when it's best to ease up.

No one else gets to say what courage is for you (or me.)

There are some days when the most courageous thing to do is simply breathe and make it through the day. There are other days when the greatest way to move beyond the comfort zone is looking a stranger directly in the eye and saying hello. Some days the bravest thing to do is picking up the phone and making a call that feels scary. Some days it's posting a vulnerable selfie on social media. Some days it's taking a class. Some days it's making the decision that the healthiest thing to do is to not take that class. Some days it's starting a brand new job. Some days it's quitting that job.

Courage is different for each person - what comes easily and is no-big-deal for many people might be a hair-raising-phobia-to-face for others.

And whether or not (or when, or in what way) to deal with the scary thing, or the phobia, or step outside the comfort zone - that's an individual thing too.

No one needs to be doing any shaming or assumption-making.

But it happens.

So far, shaming and making assumptions haven't happened (that I know of) about my decision to delete my post in the group. But it's been done about some other decisions I've made and I decided to discuss it in this post - because although there's no direct connection, it all ties in with knowing what is best for me and what isn't, listening to my spiritual guidance and my intuition, and following those things... even when some people might say or think I should be doing the opposite as a way to push through fear or take a risk or be (what they consider as) courageous.

No one gets to tell me what I 'should' do to be courageous - except me. (And maybe a very few people who truly know me well enough to know more of the "all" of me.)

As for why I knew I'd be sharing the photo and my words about myself on my blog but ended up deleting my post in the group, I think it's because my blog feels like my online space, my online home, and I felt ready to share in my blog-space...even though I eventually realized I didn't feel ready elsewhere.

And that's okay too.

Noticing. Being aware. Having discernment about when to push through something or give in to something or stand still about something or change something... All of this is important.


So I continue to notice what I do. I continue to ask why I do it. I continue to get to the truth about my motivations and reasons.

Among what I wrote in the post are these words: I am truth-seer and truth-speaker.

I am. And it goes for the truth about myself too. As much as I'm able to see what's true about myself, and as much as I'm able to see my truth, that's where I come from.

Living true.

Even when it might get a bit messy.



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