Are there situations you see ahead that cause you to literally pivot to shift course? Are there people who (you think) see right through you, past the presentable veneer we wear to shield our tender insecurities... and you avoid those folk?
HIDING. I know it well. Do you?
There's the justifiable hiding--"for the greater good." My rescue pup Ernie is not always friendly on leash to other pups & some people. So we adopted patterns of going for our strolls when most dogs were still snoozing or already walked.
Then there's the hiding we hide even from ourselves. More on this deeper-rooted hiding in a second.
With Ernie, I thought, problem minimized. Whew. BUT I walked in trepidation of meeting someone who in my mind shouldn't be out during our off-hours time. Nutty the stories we concoct, isn't it?
The thing is, when we HIDE, our intention is to avoid or retreat from something. But in HIDING, we are often, counter to our strategy, giving ENERGY to that very thing we want to avoid.
It was only when I EMBRACED our energy (I take credit for some of Ernie's anxiety on leash) & got him a caution-yellow super-hero cape that said "Dog in Training/GIVE ME SPACE" that we could walk without cringing every time we saw a dog approaching. The cape was the conversation starter. I could say to folks, "He's a rescue and he needs more of a comfort zone." Which was an opening for understanding & support from others who previously had given us the stink eye when Ernie got all stressed and snarly.
We walk at all times now. We will always be in training, but we are no longer hiding.
PERSONALLY + PROFESSIONALLY... this is where the hiding is harder to shine a light on, because we prefer to not see our own blind spots.
I walked around for most of my life feeling I wasn't as good as... fill in the blank. Constantly comparing myself to what I saw other people achieve (poisonous practice, that), was an ever-present dialogue in my thoughts. "Clearly they are doing better than I am, because look at the vacations they take." "They make it look so easy, and here I am a bundle of nerves."
Those limiting, self-doubting gremlins compressed my outlook (feeling my dream life was not attainable) and literally compressed my stature, how I carried myself in the world. My posture was that of a hider. I was subconsciously directing my body to take up less space. To diminish.
I was confronted by a mentor who told me my truth: You are hiding. Where are you in your work?
I didn't even know what that meant for the longest time. I was trying to unpack it by THINKING. But it took DOING to begin to unravel and SEE the hiding I had become so adept at.
For me, as a photographer, it took self-portraiture to explore the frustration of feeling lost and drifting, to begin to understand how I was making myself small.
I literally began standing taller. I ground myself like a totem pole each morning, rooting my energy and soul in my WHY, not in comparison. I am my own measure. I measure solely by this question: Did I share my inner light with others today so they could feel theirs glowing + growing?
Sure, I'm an introvert and I need my space, just as Ernie does, to re-energize.
But neither of us is hiding anymore. It's a liberation in living that has smiles on our faces and in our souls.
So I ask with great compassion, Where are you hiding? Where are you making yourself small? And what action will you take to OWN that avoidance, embrace it, and step into your own light?
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