People who know me probably would never believe that in the last many years, I have been in hiding.
How can that be? They ask, knowing I am out onstage singing and playing music, giving seminars, writing and pretty much acting in an uninhibited manner sometimes to the embarrassment of conservative family members.
“Hiding?” they ask in astonishment. And to that I say “Yes”.
Although I have not been going around with my hoodie over my face and my eyes averted, I nevertheless was hiding my true self. I tended to markedly tone down my thoughts, enthusiasm and optimism for those who were unfortunate and unwilling strangers to happier emotions.
The one thing I can tell you about hiding is that when you do it long enough, you start feeling down deep in your core that you have something to hide.
From there it is a short hop to hoodies and averted eyes, not to mention vague illnesses with garbage pail diagnoses like “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” which, I believe can have many legitimate causes but for me it was hiding.
A few months ago, my good friend Sally Nutter approached me and asked if I would do a radio segment with her. My first reaction was to jump up and shout “YES!” but then I started thinking to myself about which people close to me would be upset and embarrassed by my getting on the air and saying what I REALLY thought about things.
Once I started thinking this, the most amazing thing occurred. I realized that I had been hiding! Up to then I had no idea, other than a vague dissatisfaction with life and a crushing case of chronic fatigue.
The very next step then was to decide whether I wanted to continue hiding or to just fully embrace and take responsibility for what I am, for my thoughts and the things I say and to just be me in the face of those who want me to be quiet.
Hiding is like lying. One is always afraid of being found out. One is unstable and one has to remember what he thought yesterday so that today will be consistent.
Hiding entails telling some people some things and others something else. Hiding is never rocking the boat or looking too closely at wrong situations which when questioned, would upset the status quo.
Looking back, I saw that hiding had bought me nothing and in fact, I had had my pink little tushie handed to me more times than I could count this lifetime and most of the time it was horrendously painful only because I was living my life in a desperate attempt to avoid shame.
There have been times in my life that I was starting to come out of hiding. I am still smarting from those. The only reason I was affected was because I did not come out of hiding whole heartedly. I stuck my head up a little bit and it got blown off. That was a wrong action.
I figured that if I embraced my true self, at least I would be right in my own view and that is really the most important thing. If we are not right in our own estimation, we hide, even if we are almost completely right. One must dive face first into truth and I really believe that doing so will protect me. It has so far and the slings and arrows of outrageous trolls have passed me by unscathed. I laugh as they zing by, completely missing my heart and soul and landing harmlessly nearby.
I have decided that the only way forward is with truth and truth entails being who I am and saying what I believe in.
When one communicates what he or she truly believes, there is no waffling or backing down. You can change your mind if presented with new information but you cannot go back on what you believe because it is unpopular. You have to stay the course. But it is easy when you do and say what you know in your heart to be right.
In life, one must make wise choices. We make them daily and I don’t remember when I made the decision that hiding was best. I do know that I was completely mistaken with that idea and will not make that mistake again.
There are those who will attack, who are afraid now that I am genie out of my bottle. Lucky for them I am a good and honest person who doesn’t seek vengeance or pain to others. I figured out a long time ago that that would take me down with it even if I wanted to engage in those kinds of activities.
I believe that in life, truth, real truth, fully embraced will not only set you free but be an impenetrable shield against adversity. I also believe that this is only the case if one fully trusts himself or herself. It is only when one is tempted to hide to protect self or others dear to them that bad things happen. It is the seeds of doubt that do us in.
Do you have areas in your life where you are hiding? Look over the things you really want to say and see if there are those around you who would stop you from saying it. If so, you may be wearing a hoodie without knowing it.
What I have also found is that when I have gone ahead pig headedly with an idea and brought it to fruition no matter what, most of the doubting Thomases changed their tune. Some did not but what of it? I don’t live for them. And tomorrow they may be singing along with me.
To listen to my radio segment with Sally Nutter click here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sallynutter/2014/01/25/two-great-minds–chris-and-sally–about-the-high-road
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