Sunday, March 25, 2012

Self Awareness ... Self Loathing?

So, I'm putting aside my list of blog requests one more time to post something a bit more personal to me. The last few days I've been feeling really down on myself. Just kinda "blah" ... not myself. Lower than usual self esteem, can't seem to find my inner smile, something just ... off. So when I woke up this morning (after a really interesting dream) I did a longer than usual meditation session ... hoping to figure out why I'm in this funk. Unfortunately, I found it.

Usually when I have a self discovery I'm pretty happy about it. Even when it's a discovery that's not completely positive. If we can't look within ourselves and find the areas of improvement we need most, we can never aspire to improve ourselves. However, sometimes those self revelations are painful; and sometimes the truth you find isn't even yours to change.

So, you may be asking yourself "what is this self discovery"? Then again, you might not be asking that -- but since this is my site, I'm going to tell you anyways. If you don't want to know, I highly suggest you stop reading now. :)

So here it is .. and it's not pretty. I've realized that sometime in the past year or so (could be more than that.. maybe a little less) that I've become a "dirty little secret" to a whole lot of people. It seems like everywhere I turn, I'm being asked to hide a major part of myself to make others happy. I'm constantly facing one (or several) of the following scenarios:

"I really want to go out with you, but I don't wanna tell a lot of people, it's really none of their business" (seriously ... who are you hiding me from)?

"I'd love for you to be in my wedding, but you'll have to figure out a way to hide all those tattoos.. my mother-in-law will never understand why you do that to yourself" (cause it's how I express myself, and I'm here to make you happy - -not your mother-in-law)

"My (xx = insert a friend or relative here) can't wait to finally meet you. But don't talk about the fact that you're Wiccan ... they will have a fit" (So, I'm supposed to lie about what I believe in if they ask me directly?)

"(xx) says you're really cool and can't wait to hang out with you again.. but next time don't talk about your work at the haunted house, it creeps them out." (so if they ask me how the "scaring people" is going .. how am I supposed to respond?)

"When you meet (xx) don't flirt with other girls and don't mention your bi. They aren't comfortable with it, and it will make things harder for me" (OK . . A I don't announce it during my introduction. B .. why can't I flirt with whom I want to? Just because it's easier for you?)

"At next week's party don't talk about your cancer. (xx) gets really upset when it's brought up." (So if someone asks me about it, I'm just supposed to say "Oh it's nothing really"?)

"You're really pretty and I'd love to take you out sometime.. just make sure my girlfriend doesn't find out" (umm... just umm)

Don't mention your sexuality, don't mention your alternate lifestyle, don't mention your illness, don't mention you're divorced, don't mention your passion for haunting, don't mention your spirituality, don't mention the fact that you counsel people. All of these things say the same thing to me... "Whatever you do DO NOT BE YOURSELF'.

Now, let me set a couple things straight while I have the opportunity. Most aspects of my life I don't talk "openly" about... like being bi or even my spirituality. I usually side-step a conversation if I know it will be controversial and I'm with people I don't know that well. I realize not everyone is comfortable with certain topics, so it's not like I intentionally start conversations about things. But if someone asks me about my illness, I'm going to talk about it. Same thing with other things that I'm passionate about. I will certainly not lie to people if I'm asked a direct question.

However, when people in my life continually point out things about me that I'm supposed to hide or I hear comments like the following it really starts to wear on me:
"I wish I could tell (xx) about the time you taught me this. But every time I mention you they get upset" (that makes me feel wonderful...the fact that you won't even bring me up in casual conversation with someone)

"Sometimes I catch myself starting to tell (xx) about you and I stop because of (insert lame excuse about such-and-such not liking me or something I do)." So, since they don't like a certain aspect of my life you can't tell them about me at all?
"Someone asked me why I've been so level-headed lately. I was going to tell them about our counselling session and how you showed me how to meditate, but they would think it's stupid, so I just said I was happier about stuff". Embarrassed about me?

I feel like I'm being stuffed into a closet and labeled "not worth the effort of explaining to others" or, more simply "freak who must stay hidden".

So, in a nutshell, I'm OK to hang out with on a one-on-one basis; and even alright in small group settings. However, when it comes to being more in anyone's life it seems to be out of the question. I'm the "dirty little secret" ....because they aren't comfortable enough with me to stand up to the people in their lives so I'm trapped in a cage pretending to be someone less than I am.

Now, where does this leave us, dearest reader? I really don't know. There's nothing I can do to change the thoughts and behaviors of others; so I can only focus on myself in this situation. I've spent a lot of time in meditation and self awareness to be happy and comfortable with who I am. I will not change to make others more comfortable with who I am; because then I wouldn't be true to myself. What I need is to find the path that takes me to a place where the statements I've discussed with you don't bother me. A place where I'm secure enough with myself that when others want to push me into that closet, I can rest comfortably there. A place where being everyone's "second" is OK .. because I know I am my first.

So, I guess that's it then. That's where I am right now, little kittens. As always, thank you for taking the time to read this, and learn more about me. Hopefully my little ramblings give you the change to look inside yourself and find a way to make the world a better place.

Be at peace with yourself and you'll be at peace with the world.

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