What Are You Hiding From the World?

What Are You Hiding From the World?

The Union Path Podcast

"What Are You Hiding From the World?"

Episode Transcript:

I have a question for you yes, you and that question is pretty simple what are you hiding? What are you hiding right now? What have you hidden today? What do you hide in your life? More specifically, in what ways do you hide parts of yourself from others, from life itself, from every interaction? What parts of yourself have you buried, submerged, subverted, avoided, neglected, suppressed?

I ask this question because I think this is really important to know, it's really important to understand, because, at the very least, it's really important to understand and know ourselves in one of the best ways, or really impactful, potent way we can know ourselves is by knowing what we hide, what parts of ourselves we hide away we don't let anyone see, we don't let anyone know about, perhaps we don't even acknowledge ourselves. It's an interesting thing to ponder what do we hide, and it's also interesting to ponder the immediate, automatic follow up question why? What's led us to believe we need to hide ourselves? What's led us to believe that there's parts of ourselves that are just unacceptable, that need to be hidden away? What created that idea, that expectation that we need to hide parts of ourselves? Well, the answer often something has happened to us and we've interpreted that as part of ourselves being unacceptable, parts of ourselves being unsafe, parts of ourselves being wrong or, at the very least, parts of ourselves too vulnerable, too fragile, too brittle to withstand the scrutiny and the awareness of the outside world. A lot of times we come to this through the experience of pain, through the experience of rejection, through the experience of grief and loss. And when we experience these things it's quite logical to believe that the solution is to just never put ourselves in that situation again. It's just to avoid that situation at all costs. But obviously, especially over the long term, avoidant behaviors aren't ideal, neither is self-rejection. To live a full and happy life, we have to live our life fully. We have to be ourselves.

Now I think when we hear this or first start to work with this, it could be a pretty simple and basic misunderstanding that we can have. That being ourselves means blasting every aspect of our personality at 100% volume constantly, whether people want it or not, whether it's appropriate or not. We just are ourselves and people have to deal with it. Obviously that's not very caring, that's not very compassionate, that's not very good behavior. Those are very good manners. And also at least it's been my experience that people who feel they need to overwhelm a situation with their personality. That response is actually fed out of insecurity or fear. That bluster, when I experience it or encounter it, is telling me something. This person is trying too hard. This person is repping something a little too hard that they may themselves not actually believe.

I'm sort of witness or participant in their own PR, in their own marketing, in their own sales of who they want themselves to be or who they desperately want to become, and are attempting to do it through brute force, and this can oftentimes be a little clumsy, because it's trying to overwhelm insides with outsides, when it's far more direct, it's far more efficient, it's far more comfortable and effective to live from the inside out, to be and then do, to not go into life. Trying to reverse that, to change our being through our doing. In a lot of ways it feels like we're trying to run the machinery of life, of existence, of expression, backwards. I'm trying to make our outsides become our insides, but I don't think it works that way. I think that's out of order. I think that's backwards. At the very least, that's artificial. That's not a true expression. And even think about that word expression X outward. It's not impression. That's a completely different thing. Impression is to draw the outside within, and of course it's a key aspect of life. But impression is not expression. These things are opposites, and they're opposites for a reason, and both of them are unnecessary. Both of them are important.

And so, if we turn back to our original question, what are we hiding? We've experienced a lot of pain, a lot of rejection, a lot of failure. The most obvious answer is our heart Is our love, is our caring, is the soft, squishy, warm part of ourselves that's gotten hurt, that's gotten damaged, sometimes it's gotten broken, and the idea of going through that hurt or damage or break again is just unbearable. We can't tolerate, we can't abide the idea of going through that kind of pain again. But here's the thing we're going to have to the point of living a heart-centered life is having our heart broken. There's no way around it.

In fact, one of the things that I think is important to have awareness of, even though it's not really that satisfying in the moment, is when we experience heartbreak. At least we were living through our heart, at least we allowed our heart to have a place in our life, to have expression, because our heart wouldn't be broken if we hadn't cared if we hadn't wanted, if we hadn't loved, if we hadn't felt with our heart in the first place. And again, it's not a lot of consolation in the moment, but I think that's important to not overlook, that there actually is a bright side, there actually is a silver lining to heartbreak Is at least our heart was present, at least our heart was involved, because oftentimes this is the first thing we can hide away when we experience pain, when we experience loss, when we experience rejection. All the things that break our heart in the first place can really encourage us, can really motivate us, can really convince us that we need to hide our heart. But of course I think we can see when we do that, especially over the longer term, that diminishes our experience, because that makes our experience far less heart-felt, because if we don't put our heart out there we can't really experience things through our heart either.

That we cut off that circuitry, we interrupt that flow, we pull our heart out of the equation and now our life has lost something, has lost a depth, has lost a richness. A lot of times our life redounds to thought, logic, and of course there's nothing wrong with thought and logic and habits. But if that's all our life is. It's a bit of a bleak experience. It's a very black and white way to live. Life has lost its color, its depth, its richness. Sometimes life has lost its best parts. Because, thinking back, the best moments of our life, how many of those were experienced through our heart? Thank you, I'd imagine quite a few, perhaps most, perhaps nearly all.

To really have a depth of experience with life, a heart has to be involved. It can't be hidden away, it can't be sequestered from the rest of our life. Or perhaps we go into our life hiding our intelligence, hiding what we know, hiding our talents, what we can do. Why, why do we need to make ourselves less? Why have we found that our full expression of our full gifts, of what we can really do, is somehow intolerable, is somehow inappropriate, is somehow dangerous? Again, I would assume this is because of interactions, because of feedback, because of ways that we've felt punished or reprimanded or had some sense of loss or pain from being ourselves, from expressing our true gifts. Or maybe we've hidden away what we need, what we want. We pretend that we want something we actually don't. We pretend we enjoy things we actually don't like. We pretend that we want to do things that we actually have no interest in doing whatsoever?

I think it's interesting to ponder these sorts of questions because at least it's been my experience that when I find myself hiding pieces of myself away, it's because of pain, it's because I felt that life has taught me a lesson that parts of myself are just too dangerous, that sharing and expressing myself fully is too vulnerable, is too scary. And part of learning to express ourselves fully is learning to acknowledge and accept ourselves fully first, because a lot of times when we get into trouble through our expression, it's because we have completely and 100% outsourced acceptance of ourselves onto other people. We're desperately trying to be validated, we're desperately trying to be made to feel full, to feel complete, to feel okay, to feel good, to feel right through the response, through the approval of someone else. But as long as we're dependent on other people's approval for our own security, for our own wholeness, for our own full expression, we're going to have a pretty rough ride. We're going to be whipped about by the whims of other people, we're going to be subject to the control of other people. Because how could we not? Dependence breeds control.

Think about it from the perspective of any addiction Addiction starts and grows and is maintained through dependence, and as that dependence develops and persists, that becomes control and we can really find freedom. We can really liberate ourselves by looking at all the unhealthy, unwanted, unnecessary control that we have in our life and finding ways to break those patterns, to take our own power back. Thank you, to provide for ourselves whatever we were getting out of, whatever we've been dependent on. In one of the ways we can liberate ourselves, one of the ways we can start is to look at aspects of ourselves that we've been hiding, the ways we've not been ourselves, the ways we've lost confidence and security with who and what we really are. Because once we have confidence and security, confidence and security is actually pretty quiet.

Again, it's the people constantly going around talking about themselves, how great they are and reading their resume to everybody they come across and just constant bluster that actually exposes some insecurity. That's not what it seems like. It seems like the opposite, because if someone were really confident, don't you think they wouldn't actually need anyone else to tell them that they're good, that they're right? That's the thing about confidence it's knowing you don't need someone else to convince you of something you already know. But if it's something you don't know, no amount of external convincing will ever be enough. That validation we seek is just going to be like drinking seawater we may think it will quench our thirst, but it actually just makes us thirst more. That's the crux of dependence, that's the crux of any addiction falling into the trap of control.

If we've found that we've been hiding ourselves, especially if we find we've been hiding our heart or hiding our talents or hiding our gifts, and we start to inquire after why and we start to question if that hiding is really valid, if that hiding is really serving us, or, conversely, if all of that hiding we just made our life smaller, made ourselves smaller, trying to please someone or something else or just trying to avoid pain, it's important to ask ourselves is this worth it? Has this even worked? Is this even good? Then, once we probe after the answers to those questions, we can start looking at ways we can liberate ourselves. We liberate ourselves by ourselves first, because no amount of any external acceptance, validation, acclaim, fame, success we'll ever be able to cover up, we'll ever be able to ameliorate the lack of those feelings on the inside. So if what we're lacking is an external acceptance and validation and approval we can decide to give that to ourselves. We can decide to give that to ourselves now.

What are we waiting for? Because, when we really break it down, if we're waiting for something external to tell us we're okay first, isn't that idea just made up? Isn't that just something we decided to believe? Is that really true? How are we being served through rejecting ourselves? Where is that really getting us? Wouldn't it be better to accept ourselves and move forward from that, rather than trying to reject ourselves into being better, into having a better life, a better experience?

It certainly seems like acceptance is a better path. At the very least, the path of positivity is far more sustainable, far easier to walk than the path of feeling like we can punish ourselves into improvement and growth. Because we get to choose. We get to choose how we treat ourselves, we get to choose what we think of ourselves, we get to choose what we believe about ourselves. And so what are we waiting for? We can decide to believe whatever we wish. We can decide to treat ourselves however we want. So why not treat ourselves well? Why not give ourselves some grace and benefit of the doubt? Why not just give ourselves some acceptance and move on? Because, of course we're not perfect, of course we have things to work on, of course we make mistakes, of course we hurt other people, of course we ourselves sometimes get hurt. That's the human experience.

And especially in a chronic state, punishing ourselves and rejecting ourselves for these behaviors, for these outcomes, doesn't really help. Because, especially if we want to create change, especially if we want to be different, we have to start with accepting how we are. Kind of like if we've gained a few pounds and we step on the scale and see that number and it's like woof, that's a lot. Well, if we want to change that number, the first step is accepting that number, accepting reality, accepting the truth. And maybe we've let ourselves go and maybe we disappointed ourselves, and that's okay Because we had to accept this. We had to acknowledge that in order to create any sort of change, as long as we're unwilling to step on that scale or believe that number, we won't really change anything. We have to have a ground to push off of. In order to create change. We have to face reality, we have to face the truth. We can't create any positive change if that change isn't based on truth. We need a firm foundation for creating whatever change we want.

So in the same way, if we find that we've been hiding ourselves, why don't we try not doing that? We'd find a way to confidently and securely not hide ourselves, not feel like we have to blast every part of ourselves onto everyone around us, but not feel like we have to hide either. Neither extreme is the ideal solution. We're looking for something in the middle. We're looking for the quiet confidence. In the middle, we're looking for the knowing.

So start to know, start to believe, start to acknowledge, start to give yourself the care and the understanding that you've wanted from the outside world, start to give yourself the care that maybe you never received and the people you needed to receive it from. But you can start to give this to yourself. You can start to look at the world as inherently safe, safe to be yourself, safe to be who and what you really are. It doesn't mean everyone will agree with you and you may not get validated hardly at all but that's not really the point. This isn't really about other people. This is about you. This is about you accepting you. This is about you being you fully, completely and, of course, growing and changing, moving to a more and more ideal version of yourself, walking the upward spiral through life, getting better and better every day, every day more and more ideal, every day more and more real, every day more and more true, more and more united with who and what you really are, deep down, fundamentally, completely.

And just try. Try to let yourself out a little bit more. Let your heart into your life, let your talents and your gifts shine. It doesn't mean any particular reward or outcome is due. It doesn't mean it's going to make anything happen. We can't control outcomes. We can't really make things happen. All we can do is be ourselves. All we can do is be our full selves. All we can do is go into our life fully Open hearts, full talents, full gifts. Letting our light shine Doesn't mean we're going to get or receive anything for it, but that's not the point. The point is full.

This is full expression of resolving the internal conflict that made us believe we had to hide in the first place, of dealing with and ameliorating and absolving in healing the pain that made us feel like we needed to hide in the first place, going into life fully, truly, confidently, securely, who and what we really are. Letting life see us allowing ourselves to be the first place. Letting life see us allowing ourselves to be seen, learning to move beyond fear, learning to move beyond reluctance, learning to move beyond reticence and being ourselves. Because in my opinion, I really think it's as simple as that that all life is really asking of us be ourselves, and if we haven't been being ourselves, it's a worthwhile thing to try. If we haven't been accepting ourselves, that's a worthwhile problem to fix. Come into alignment with who and what we really are and live our life as such fully, completely and honestly.

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