Why are we hiding? Or— What is it we try to hide? Too many of us exert a lot of energy trying to hide, or trying to hide something about ourselves that, if revealed, would expose us.
The artistry of Bev Doolitle (1947- ) depicts objects hidden to the casual observer. We are so much like the horses in her paintings. If people were to look intently at our life, what is it we would try to hide? I’ve worked with some people whose biggest fear in getting married was being known. I tried to assure them that being known, and still loved, was the best part of being married; I’m not sure they bought it.
What drives us to hide things? Insecurity, fear, shame, dishonesty? Or worse, why do we hide ourselves? Of course, if you’ve been betrayed or used, there is some warrant for it. You don’t want to be hurt that deeply again.
The issue, basically, is one of safety. We ALL want to feel safe. So we hide the parts of us that would expose us. This is wise…, to a point. But our need for safety can also choke the spirit within us. It can bind us in a box with just slits through which we take in the outside world.
Would you like to escape your box and take in more of the outside world? Here are some ideas—
- Spend time with people. Reflecting off of them will give you insights into yourself. You’ll surprise them; they’ll surprise you.
- Try something that engages your soul. Doesn’t matter what. Just not too much over the line. Deeper discussion, life challenging experiences. Hold back on sky-diving.
- Build one-safe-friendship. Create a confident.
- Create a private novel about the kind of life you’d like to live. Then, slowly, start to live it.
Hiding takes a lot of energy. Think what you might be accomplishing if you didn’t have to work so hard at hiding your true self. Think of the energy you could invest in developing new dreams, new skills or new relationships. Be intentional. Remaining hidden, if pursued over a long period of time, results in further isolation; and that creates further fear of being known.
You do not need to stay hidden. Make the decision to be known.
For what it’s worth,