Facade; a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation…
A question was posed to me this past week, I’m not at all surprised as how the answer to this question has unfolded and thought I’d share here. Maybe it resonates and in me exposing another part of myself to get that one little bit closer to the TRUTH of who I really am, maybe you will too…unless of course you are already there <wink wink>
Last summer I tattooed the words “Stay True” onto the inside of my forearm. I wanted those words in plain sight, so that they would always be visible. I’ve written a lot about authenticity in the past few months, it’s a theme central to where I am in my life right now. So when these questions were posed to me I found myself feeling a surge of trepidation and excitement all at the same time.
Through the years I’ve become very skilled at upholding and maintaining a façade, so much so that I actually managed to convince myself that this superficial appearance I created was actually who I was. As a result, everything became so convoluted and disconnected within myself that I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted.
I stuffed away the parts of me that I thought would make me undesirable to my mate, my friends and pretty much anyone I came into contact with. I was constantly editing myself and the good old stoic German in me projected outward calm, cool collectedness and total composure. I was in serious lockdown mode. Ruled by what I thought others would think. I needed people to know I had my shit together, I needed to prove to myself and everyone else that things were..."perfect", that I was fully in control. What a joke. I edited myself heavily, and that cost me. BIG TIME.
Thinking back to my childhood, I figured out from an early age that showing people what they wanted to see worked in my favor. My dad had an extremely volatile temper and although I never questioned his love for me, I definitely knew how to keep the peace and manage his outbursts. Shrink, hide and keep my mouth shut until he got himself back under control. That lesson served me well later in my life and without saying too much more let’s just say I prided myself being an expert in what I would like to call “disarming a human bomb ”. I knew how to behave and what to say to bring my other half back down to earth, and not “poke the bear”. I knew that I had nothing to gain in losing control (I tried that too), that this would just make matters worse. The quicker it was over the sooner we could come back to loving each other. I could avoid further conflict and anything that felt uncomfortable, by taming him, telling him the words he needed to hear and sweep any underlying conflict back under the rug.
I don’t like having conflict with others, for most of my life I lived in avoidance of it. I’d rather have sacrificed my own needs and desires, accept the blame just to keep the peace. I thought that by challenging others and owning what was really true for me that I wouldn’t be accepted, liked or loved. I became a chameleon of sorts, a "shape-shifter" changing myself to suit what I thought would be best for wherever I landed. I actually prided myself on that too. Can I say that while I was in this space that my friendships reflected where I was at? Largely superficial and unsatisfying.
There was no perceived safety for me to simply be me. At least that’s what I thought, so I acted accordingly.
How could I “be me”, when I didn't even know who that was? I was hiding behind a facade. I was trying my damndest to be what I was “supposed” to be. According to what I thought made me lovable, likable and “enough”. Can I say that constant editing is
freaking fucking exhausting? Yeah, that’s what I really wanted to say...release the f bomb.
I was "supposed" to be classy, nice, quiet, obliging, maternal, nurturing, selfless, considerate, sweet, kind, innocent, and loyal. All the
stuff shit fairy tales are made of. I set the bar so high for myself that in repressing and not owning the other side of these traits my life became very one sided, uninspiring and somewhat meaningless.
No amount of stuff could give me the feeling I was so badly craving.
To jump out of bed in the morning when it’s still dark outside and to feel so fully alive and inspired by what the day may have in store. Joy in the simplest things, goosebumps moments and to feel so much that tears randomly stream down my cheeks. There is no amount of money or stuff that can take the place of moments like these. I promise you that. Once you have a taste of what that feels like, it’s impossible to go back.
The irony being that as much as I tried to maintain the facade and false sense of control that came with it, everything I was repressing started to show up. If it wasn't people pushing my buttons to force me to see the other side of myself it was the people in my life expressing what I was repressing. Funny how that all works. All of the things I tried to sweep under the carpet, they all came at me full throttle. You've heard me say it before and I’ll say it again…there is no hiding. We cannot hide from the complete truth of who and what we are, and that is the summation of everything. The sooner we realize this, own it, integrate it and just love it, the sooner we can just drop the mask and stop pretending.
It’s the ticket to freedom and an escape from the slow death of our soul that comes from living a life that is full of expectations and judgments.
Since becoming clear about what "Staying True" really means to me, the perfect people and situations are coming into my life to help me honor that, challenging and supporting me in me being me. It looks as though the universe has sent me a handful of people, some with chisels and hammers in hand that are helping me tear down the facade, all of those self-imposed expectations and judgments. To crack the casing, shed the armor and reveal the gold inside….
I want to feel and soak in every ounce of magic this life has to offer. I want to be bad ass. I want to blurt out ridiculous things that make people laugh, cry, blush whatever... without caring what anyone thinks. I want to spend time in nature and feel the earth under my feet. I want more goose bump moments. I want to be free to express my femininity and everything that comes with that. I want the people in my life to feel free to be themselves. I want to bust out and share the essence of my being with the people I love. I want to let my light shine. I want to feel connection. I want to unapologetically, unabashedly be free to be me. I want to do meaningful, soulful, inspiring and crazy things. I want to play a part in the unfolding of humanity.
I want people to feel what it’s like to live without a facade.
There is something so real and beautiful about people allowing themselves to be vulnerable, the shed their masks and have the courage to just be REAL.