Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What to Reveal, What to Hide

Is there something in your life that you'd rather not tell people about? Something that you are ashamed of, or that makes you feel like you are less than adequate? Maybe, deep in the protected parts of that heart of yours, you think telling people about yourself will cause you pain or ridicule. Or, maybe you just think the world would think less of you if they really knew--deep down--how you felt or what you hid.

I feel the same way. Which, if you have read anything I've written, you probably already realize.

You see, I reveal myself here--in this little corner of this world where it feels safe, warm and still just a bit protected. {I know, the Internet isn't safe, protected or any other word that elicits the same feeling, just stick with me here.}

What I mean to say is that we all have something--maybe it's big, perhaps it's small--that we hesitate to speak about. Or, we try to protect and hide until it is no longer an option. We make little choices to hide or big decisions to reveal each time a social interaction requires this of us. Sometimes, we do it with purpose. Other times, it just simply happens that way.

I live my life in such a way that I assume all the people that surround me know my story. They have heard me tell it or they have heard it through the adult version of The Telephone Game. Or, they have read it here. One way or another, my inability to produce children into this world has been brought to their attention---or so I believe. I operate in this world with the understanding that everyone knows, or has heard, this part of my story.

Recently, a co-worker made a comment in passing that made me realize I might be wrong. He jokingly said he would wait to retire until I was pregnant. In that moment, that split second where I needed to make a choice, I decided to say something.

"Well, I hope you're good at waiting. You got another 40 years or so in you?" I asked.

The subject was quickly and awkwardly changed, but I realized that I was assuming too much--that everyone knew my story--and I was incorrect. I think it's easy to take just about anything for granted, including that people know things we never actually tell them.

Maybe you have something to hide, maybe you don't. Whatever it is, I believe that showing people who you really are is the only way to set yourself free. Those who hate you for it don't belong in your life. Those who admire you for it only stand to show you what you already knew: you are stronger than you think.

As for me, I have decided to never hide this part of myself (trust me, there are others I'd rather not show) but at the same time I do that story injustice by taking it for granted in any way. It all means something, and I believe it's best framed as something that gives me an opportunity to stand up for myself and never waiver from what I believe. I'm not an advocate for adoption as much as I am for myself--and my ability to endure something traumatic and make a solid choice. If that prompts a conversation or even a nod of understanding, then I have achieved my goal.

People should take you at face value--all of you--and love you anyway. They should see through your attempts to hide your faults and tell you that you inspire them. In those moments, I hope you realize that you are strong--and showing people who you really are is the best possible thing you could ever do for yourself.


ashley said...

this post is beautifully written. i know it can be hard to be open and vulnerable with people but it seems that most times other people love you for it. honesty brings us closer together. we all have baggage. :)

Susan said...

What an amazing post. And so true ~ people judge. And assume.
Good for you for being so open and honest.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Well, you KNOW I get this. Just tonight Calvin asked me (for the first time ever) "Do you think you'll ever have a baby?" I said, "Nope, I don't think so. God didn't want my babies to come out of my tummy. He wanted them to come from other tummies."

Girl, I hope you already know this, but let me say it again: You are not broken. There's nothing wrong with you. You're not less of a woman. You're not punished or cursed.

You are part of a select few who God has a really unique, blindingly beautiful plan for. At least that's what I think. :)

Thanks for sharing here and at my place.



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