Hiding

If you will not reveal yourself to others, you cannot reveal yourself to yourself.
Jordan B. Peterson

I have been hiding for many years. In fact, I have been hiding for so long, that I am only beginning to learn who I truly am and what I truly want from life.

I hid from everyone else because I’m ashamed of my childhood. I hid because I didn’t feel worthy of being known. I hid because I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone else. I hid because I was taught that my voice doesn’t matter. I hid because I wasn’t important.

I learned to hide at a very young age. I learned that if I hid, I wouldn’t get yelled at or blamed for this or that. I learned that if I hid, there was just a little less fighting.

Once we learn to hide, it is absolutely one of the most difficult things to learn to change. I didn’t start changing my need to hide until my husband pointed out that me putting everything aside to not inconvenience others is just ludicrous. Even with him pointing it out, change isn’t happening fast.

Why not? Because I hadn’t put a focus on trying to change. I just kept on hiding. It hurts to reveal myself. I feel like I’ve royally fucked up anytime I truly put focus on myself. I feel like I’m being selfish and inconsiderate by revealing myself and my desires.

In my case, hiding means I get to stay in a safe zone. I get to stay where it is comfortable. Hiding is the easy part. Even if it hurts that people walk all over me.

I know that  I have a lot to do to be able to fully reveal myself. I know that progress takes one step at a time. I know that as I slowly continue to reveal myself, I will have to work through the uncomfortableness that has prevented me in the past. I know that I will start to change. I know that not everybody I associate with will be understanding or accepting of me revealing who I am and becoming a louder presence. I know there will be setbacks. I know specific situations will be more challenging to get through.

Regardless of all the difficulty of learning to reveal myself and pushing through the uncomfortableness, I know that I will have a more fulfilled life on the other side. The progress I’ve made so far is laying the foundation of where I’m going. I’m going to rewrite my story. I’m going to retrain my mind and body to react differently when I make myself known. I know that I will be a better person for myself every step I take.

I know that hiding is not how I want to live my life forever. Today is the day to take another step. Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

Shame

Yesterday I posted this blurb on Instagram. And now I want to expand on it even further. You see, shame is something that we each deal with differently. We might see some of our shame journey in other people, but it is still different. No matter how different our shame is, we are not in this alone. You are not suffering through shame’s grasp alone. I am not alone in my shame.

Shame. That’s the topic of the coaching session I worked through tonight.

Shame. It’s the biggest issue I’m working through right now.
Shame. It is the first emotion I feel when looking at this video.

There are so many reasons I almost didn’t share this with you. It clearly shows the weight I’ve gained over the past 3+ years between the infertility treatments, traveling for my last job, and my inability to workout with my back/hips; I feel stupid dancing in the office for 30 seconds; and I was only confident for about a quarter of the 30 seconds.

The reason I decided to record myself doing this 30 second warm up to the coaching session is exactly all of that ⬆️. I share with you so many things from my personal growth journey, but I’ve also hidden other things.

Shame. Shame is what tells me I shouldn’t share what I struggle with.

Shame is exactly why I’m sharing it.

Shame keeps this battle raging within me every single day.
I didn’t start Failing Imperfectly because I wanted to hide behind shame. I started it to share my journey so that maybe I can inspire you to dig deep and get into the messy process of taking control of your life.

Shame is what makes me worry who reads this, making me afraid family and friends with think less of me.

Shame keeps so many of us hiding in the shadows. I don’t want to hide anymore. I want to grow to become a confident woman who loves myself for me, including ALL of my flaws, without caring about others’ opinions, spoken or unspoken.

Shame. I will take back my life.

Shame’s grip on me is slowly loosening. I will not give up.

Shame has told me for far too long that I’m not worthy or not good enough because I am different. Shame told me I was shit because I came from a rough childhood. I had no idea that there were others who struggled the same as I did, or very similarly. I was so sheltered in my shame, I was blind.

One thing Rachel Hollis said that really sticks with me is, “What if He made me this way on purpose? What if we need your weird?”.

What if He made me this way on purpose. I had never thought of it that way. I am who I am because I am who He wants me to be. I am my own kind of weird because He made me just the way I am.

Shame told me that who I am is wrong. His love tells me that who I am is who He created me to be.

No matter how many times I hear that, no matter how many times I read those quotes on Pinterest, it never sinks in. Shame overrides it.

I am here to tell you that you can overcome shame. I haven’t done it yet, but I will get there. I have seen it in so many of the coaches and influential women that I follow. I will continue to work on shame for the rest of my life if that is what it takes.

Is shame something you struggle with?

Secret

I’ve been keeping a secret for the past eight months. Only a few people know about it because of the shame I’m working through. And to fully work through the shame, I need to share the secret.

Get it out.

I took a step last week and posted a picture with my secret. I put it out there.

I’m letting myself own the change. I’m leaning in. I’m working through the shame that I feel. I shouldn’t feel shame. This is absolutely self-imposed shame. But not shame I would put on anyone else. Just myself.

So what is the secret?

After only six years, I am back in glasses/contacts.

I had lasik done in October 2012 and the immediate results were amazing. I couldn’t ever remembering seeing so well without the aid of glasses or contacts.

But in the last year or so, I’ve noticed things were blurrier. I couldn’t see across Home Depot or Costco. Low light made it extremely difficult to see as well as I thought I should. The computer words were getting more blurry.

I was in denial for a very long time. I blamed it on different things such as having had a glass of wine or font size or poor lighting. But I finally decided to get my eyes checked. I’m back to 20/30 with my right eye astigmatism.

When I picked out my glasses, I wanted to pick something different than I used to. So I chose a fully plastic frame. Once I got it, I was couldn’t stand how they fit or looked on me. It has seriously taken me eight months to get the fit almost right. But they still give me headaches. And my eyes don’t really like contacts either.

But I digress. Why was I so ashamed of my glasses? Why did I let this shame take over?

Because I felt like I would be judged for being back in glasses after such a short period of time since I had lasik. I also feel like I wasted that money on lasik since it only last six years. I felt like I did something wrong to cause my eyesight to go again. I keep blaming the IVF treatments, although I know IVF probably isn’t the cause.

I don’t want people to judge me or ridicule me because I’m back in glasses. I don’t want attention drawn to me due to people asking “didn’t you have lasik?”

So I kept the secret. But, keeping the secret has made my life more difficult in trying to hide my glasses and not being able to see as clearly as much as I should.

This is definitely a shame situation I’m working through. It isn’t easy. I can think of specific people that I feel like I’ve let down. But I haven’t. I have not let anybody down because my eyes have a mind of their own.

I know I could get a touch up. I want to wait and see if my eyes continue to change. I don’t want to waste more money on lasik if my eyes just can’t stay corrected.

I know I’m probably not the only one who has worn glasses again after lasik. But what I feel, is that I’m the only one that lasik only helped for about six years. I feel like I’ve done something wrong. That is where the shame comes in.

Shame is a cruel feeling. It takes over.

But I’m working on taking my life back from shame. I am sick and tired of feeling ashamed for everything. Here is one step towards living with less shame in my life.

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