I have been pondering this question ever since an old memory of a warning my father had given me long ago came up during my meditation time. His words of caution were thus;
“Never reveal who you are to others for they will use that information against you.”
From the paranoia my father fostered in me, I adhered to this advice for decades. It was important to keep hidden the things churning inside of me. This also meant never asking for help, for revealing problems and my inability to deal with them alone showed weakness. My father predicted others would use my weakness against me, so it was better to tough things out on my own.
Keeping yourself hidden from others leads to loneliness
Fatigue and loneliness may have been the biggest factors in dismantling the wall I had built around my true self. As I reflect on my life, I see how I spent years projecting to others a false image of myself. Although I was not projecting a bad person, the truth was that no one around me, including my romantic partners, ever knew who I truly was. I want true and meaningful relationships in my life so I had to make changes. This had to start with me not being afraid to reveal my true self.
Thinking about my father’s words today makes me sad. Someone must have badly hurt him to cause him to take on such a self-defeating attitude. I saw some of this occurring between him and my mother. Their horrendous marriage lasted forty-seven years, but they had learned to hate each other’s guts long before that. They laced their daily interactions with colossal efforts to pry under each other’s skin. It was obviously dangerous for them to reveal their true selves to one another, for it was certain the other would use it to cause pain. Since I witnessed this so often, it added credibility to my father’s warning.
It all depends
Should you reveal your true self to others? Well, it all depends! With that answer, you probably think I am indecisive, but I am not so sure. It all does depend. A requirement before you open up to another must be that you feel safe and trust that person to have your back. You must ensure you are not putting yourself in danger or undermining your own interest. For example, you may not want to share with the boss who just promoted you the self-doubt you are experiencing about having the ability to do the job. Transitions cause self-doubt, and you don’t want to be in denial about that, but you want to share it with someone who helps you restore confidence.
Being careful about who you trust doesn’t mean you have to be an impenetrable shell to others. Follow your heart by being an example of kindness, generosity, courage, encouragement, and open-mindedness. This is a way to show a true part of yourself without revealing things at a deeper level. You may find showing these characteristics will encourage people to confide in you and ask for your help and support. That is not a bad thing.
Answering the call to become an example for other souls
Everything changes when your Higher Consciousness calls you to be an example to others. This can be difficult to do, for you may lose the admiration of people you care for. But when you are called to do this, you cannot hide from it.
I have often questioned if I should reveal myself as I do in my blogs, but I have learned that you cannot teach another unless you reveal how you came about learning the life lesson you want them to learn. Having lived presenting a caricature rather than the real me, this is difficult to do, for I get concerned that I will not seem recognizable to my family and friends because most of them have never seen the true me. I also worry that dad may be right, maybe some people may hurt me with what I reveal.
I am also tempted to succumb to my doubts about being a good enough writer or that I have anything of substance to teach anybody, but my Higher Self seems to be winning out so far.
Now, at my age, and with my formal career behind me, I have no other way to help create a greater good than by revealing myself so others can learn the lessons I learned. That is what my higher power is telling me, so I must follow his call.
The thing to remember when you have been given this call is to know there are those who will benefit from following your example, so it is important to show them who you are, blemishes and all. This gives hope that being human does not stop you from accomplishing significant things. You can show them that one can attain greatness without having to be perfect.
As always, wishing you a life filled with joy, love, and serenity.
Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.
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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2X7kCsf