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Hide or Be Seen

hide or be seenNothing creates a bigger tug-o-war in my psyche more than the desire to be seen arguing with the desire to hide.

I’ve done my share of hiding in life – it has usually felt safer and more secure to stay tucked neatly on the sidelines or under the covers, metaphorically speaking. Part of me would like to stay safely there in the shadows, unnoticed and unseen.

Except that I’m also rather ambitious. I have plans for my life and my work. Lots of big and ambitious plans. And in order for those plans to blossom and grow, I’m gonna have to get used to being in the light.

Plus, there’s that whole life purpose thing.

See, a big part of my Why in life, my reason for being here is to help others feel seen and heard and valued. To empower others to be seen and heard and valued (by themselves, mostly) for who they are so they can live the life they desire.

Since my ONE hard-and-fast rule for being a counselor is to never ask my clients to do something that I am not willing to do myself – hiding has lost the argument on being visible. To be in integrity with myself, I can’t ask my clients to be seen and heard and valued (aka, visible) if I’m not willing to do it myself.

This dilemma really hit home for me this past weekend on Mother’s Day. I’ve written on the challenge of this day for me and have been much more open about the pain of it for me in recent years.

And still, my pattern has mostly been to hide that day. To withdraw from people and to avoid the day. To take my wildly mixed emotions and sadness and keep it all to myself at home.

I had planned to do that this weekend.

Then I remembered all the inner work I’ve been doing on visibility and bringing my professional work into the world. I remembered my hard-and-fast rule. And I remembered the work I’m doing with “invisible mothers” to give acknowledgement and voice to them and their experiences.

Damn.

After mentally cursing myself for a while, I got up and left the sidelines and the covers behind. I wrote a blog post about it. I went to my spiritual center and cried when the pain rose up. I laughed when I felt like laughing and cried when I needed to cry.

Nothing was really different in my emotional state that day than in previous years. I just didn’t hide those feelings. I acknowledged the difficulty of that day and didn’t try to pretend otherwise.
I let myself be seen.

And, surprise surprise – I survived!! And I’m still safe.

Where do you hide – for others or yourself? What would happen if you stepped into the light? Something to ponder 🙂

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