The idea of opening up is often used to refer to situations where perhaps you’re going through something. You’re advised to open up to allow people to do things like support, help and care for you.
But I like to apply the idea of opening up to those that are closed off, in general. Perhaps you don’t open up because you have a fear of being seen. Sometimes, the truth is that you’ve allow yourself to be so consumed by the potential opinion of others that you’ve taught yourself to be as neutral as possible.
This can show up as being someone who finds it hard to say what they do and don’t like. Perhaps you’re used to saying things like ‘it’s fine’ when it’s not or ‘I don’t mind’ when you really do.
Maybe you think that no one will listen, maybe you don’t value your voice. It could even be that you’re just trying to avoid attention.
But the game of life is that by choosing not to open up you end up in situations where you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t feel heard and you’re accepting things you don’t want. Meanwhile you think that by being closed off and essentially hiding you’re making things easier for yourself.
Opening up not only gives you space to be yourself, it gives others the chance to see you as you are.
Hiding who you are is an easy way to find yourself misunderstood.
If you focus on only being a small fragment of your true self then that is what people will take you as.
That small fragment could be serious and hardworking but deep down you have a silly side.
Maybe you’re embarrassed about the silly side or worried about judged so you hold back.
You don’t join in with certain conversations even when you have something to contribute, as though you’re not allowed to speak.
Yet you walk around feeling misunderstood totally unaware that you’re in a web of your own making.
Reflecting on the part you play in your own life circumstances is a useful exercise.
It turns out I’ve been hiding.
I’ve been hiding from the kind of writing that challenges me. I used to think that that meant being more personal and baring my soul.
But I was wrong.
I think there is beauty in being able to write something that not only moves the reader but also the writer.
Not the painful, tortured writer but instead the kind of writing with feeling behind it instead of just words.
It’s hard to find the time to push myself with what I share on The Daily Gemm in-between everything I have going on (and everything I distract myself with). And sometimes I allow myself to be bare minimum because I know I can get away with it.
But I read something beautiful this morning and it moved me. It made me remember just what I love about writing. It got me thinking about how I used to write and how I haven’t pushed myself to explore my writing enough.
I don’t even remember the last time I just sat and wrote without thinking about what I would do with it once it was finished.
I haven’t written a poem in months.
I daydreamed about writing these personal essays about my life yet I rarely write more than a couple hundred words at a time and never get round to even planning the essays.
I’ve been hiding and I didn’t even know it.
Sometimes the problem is not that their is no one like us but that we’re not aware.
Many of us will go around thinking ‘there is no one like me’ whilst hiding ourselves away from the world. If that’s what we’re all doing, how are we supposed to find each other.
With age you’ll find that there are others in your city, country, continent and across the earth that are like you in whatever way you feel you are different.
But you’ll never find them if you aren’t willing to show that part of yourself.
You might be scared but it’ll always be worth it in the long run.