Over the last three or four years, I have been more diligent than ever, to be myself in this world. To speak the truth consistently; ask questions and be curious; and dress and act in the way that feels most natural to me. And, even though it feels so freeing when I let my true self show, it is terrifying.
There are two main reasons that I find it so scary. First of all, I want people to like me; I want to look good to others, to be accepted, to keep my rank and status in good order. So, if any aspect of who I really am is not pleasing to others, I risk being rejected. I am learning more and more that looking good, and wanting to be liked is never a reason to sacrifice being my true self. It feels lousy inside when I hide my light under some bushel.
The second reason that it feels scary is because I feel vulnerable, naked, and exposed to the outside world when I am showing my true identity. One person could find my persona or actions so distasteful that they could potentially hurt me, physically, emotionally, or both. Again, to sacrifice who I really am out of that fear, is to lose out on the freedom that showing myself to the world brings.
Recently, I am getting to observe how my daughter is showing herself to the world; being her authentic self more and more freely. And, the fears feel the same; the fear that she will be rejected for who she is. Or, even more terrifying, be hurt for standing in her own truth.
Yet, I cannot discourage her from doing so. I love my daughter fiercely, and I would literally lay my life down for her. But, I can’t, and won’t, EVER encourage her to hide her light from anyone. No matter what the feared consequences could be. To me, none of those “what if” consequences compare with living a life that is a lie, that is created so that we don’t have to worry about standing alone.
In loving my daughter, and loving myself, I continue to learn, and to teach, that we never stand alone, when we stand in our light among the people in this world.