I recently posted about lies in a relationship, but the lies we tell ourselves can be just as problematic. Incorrect beliefs about ourselves can give birth to the lies that we tell ourselves on a daily basis to prevent us from living the life we are meant to live. It can result in negative thinking that plays in the back of our minds like a broken record.
I developed some lies that I told myself were the reasons that I couldn’t write until now. I can be an outspoken person and am often not afraid to say what I think when it comes to other people. But, at some point, I determined that my thoughts and feelings would hurt other people and I would lose their love. I also told myself that my thoughts and feelings don’t matter so I kept my truly personal feelings and hurts to myself. I became a martyr. I was willing to absorb the pain of others, but sacrifice my own to keep them from having to deal with my problems. It doesn’t work, because my problems came spilling out in every other way beside my voice. Not only that, I had added feelings of resentment, frustration and feeling invisible. Pile all that together and you have a volcano that is waiting to erupt and erupt I have. Either that or I buried the pain in distractions.
“And all the while I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a crowded room, screaming at the top of my lungs, and no one even looks up” – Kate Winslet as Rose, Titanic
I spent much of my life waiting for someone to look at me and ask one simple question, “What’s wrong?” And I wanted them to really want to hear the answer, but you have to pay for that type of empathy these days.The lie I told myself was that no one wanted to hear how I felt and that my emotions were invalid. Instead of feeling them and experiencing them, I would push them down and tell myself that I was overreacting or wrong to feel the way I feel. What I have learned is that my feelings and emotions are valid because they are mine. They are born of my perception of the world and experiences so they may be different from others. It doesn’t mean that they are always right, but it doesn’t mean that they are completely wrong. They are my way of coping with the situation I find myself in. They are apart of my inner security system that attempts to protect me from perceived danger. It is my job to acknowledge them, to feel them and to learn from them. Stuffing them down, ignoring them or denying them doesn’t help me in anyway.
Denying my feelings and believing that they don’t matter is what kept me from writing on regular basis. For so long, I didn’t think I could be honest with my thoughts and feelings. I thought that if I wrote what I felt or thought that there would be some type of punishment or backlash. I thought that if I shared what I felt that I would lose friends or that people would be mad at me. The reality is that it could happen. It is a possibility. However, if someone else has the right to share their thoughts and feelings with me, why don’t I have the right as well? If I am in a relationships with someone that I don’t share my true thoughts or feelings with, what type of relationship do we have? Is it an authentic relationship based on mutual respect and love? If not, we are tiptoeing around each other with masks on trying to pretend as if nothing and no one affects us. The two people in the relationship are not being themselves and not allowed to be themselves so the love cannot deepen with the level of comfort that it takes to remove the masks.
“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”- James Arthur Baldwin
Eventually, I realized that I am not serving my purpose as long as I continue to hide the true me. Projecting the perfect image keeps me distant and silent in my life. I understood that writing my feelings and sharing them is what I do. It helps me to process my feelings and, at the same time, allows me to share and connect. It’s not the easiest thing to do. There are times when I wonder if I am sharing too much. There are times when I second-guess myself. But, after I write it and read it, I believe that it’s worth it. Every person has to find their way to sanity. My road is paved with keyboards and word documents. Other people write songs and make music. We all have to find a way to express ourselves. This is mine. The biggest lie I told myself is that I don’t need it and that I don’t need to say how I feel. In the coming year, I am giving myself permission to be honest.