I struggle with it. I’m afraid more often than people know. Earlier in my life, I had extensive training in being insecure but fronting well to make sure people were pleased. I learned that being who people wanted me to be instead of being who I was (and being willing to lose those who didn’t like it) was how to be including all the terrible dynamics of “not making people mad, not disappointing people, not saying the wrong things.”
But that meant compartmentalizing, and that meant hiding, even when I was on stage, even with people I should have been able to trust. It made me lose my voice, my real voice. I’ve been hesitant, or downright unwilling, to let people really see me, who I am, what I believe in.
I feel grief over that.
And it’s too much work to feel hidden.
The work of Brene Brown deals with exactly that. So I’m grateful I’ve found her. And I’ve got a lot of work to do unlearning some things and being willing to be seen. I need to be grateful that I know what I know and I know what needs to happen next, even if the gratitude itself means feeling more of that vulnerability.