My heart dies, one piece at a time, behind a gate that rusts away.
I am no longer able to maintain the pretense that all is fine behind my gate of false bravado and politeness.
It is time to let others see the pitted and rusted metal that is me.
It is time to let myself come out from behind my gate.”
This is the prose which accompanies Surrender of Pretense in the book. It describes how I lived my life, until I could no longer continue. Until I gave up my pretense that everything was fine with me, I spent a great deal of time showing the world a positive face, not talking about how I was dying inside, not even admitting it to myself. After-all, I wanted to be liked, wanted to avoid conflict at all costs.
It has taken a lot of work in my sobriety to come out from behind my rusted gate. Sometimes, I am not aware of what I am feeling and, therefore, cannot speak up about what is going on with me. Other times, I still keep quiet because I want to be liked and I want to avoid conflict. I am, however, beginning to slowly let people know who I am. For the most part, I have found that people are supportive of those efforts, as well as the self that I reveal.
Sometimes what I say has led to an uncomfortableness in a relationship, and yet, I continue to speak up, even though I am fearful to do so. I do it anyway. Eventually, the relationship is strengthened or it fades away. In either case, it is a good way to practice walking through the gate of my fear.
Sometimes, I continue to keep thoughts to myself, to hide what I truly think, who I truly am, as I believe it would be harmful to another to speak up. Sometimes, I continue to be too afraid to say something. There are those times, too, when I do not feel safe revealing who I am because to do so would invite verbal abuse and I am not willing to place myself in that situation.
In most situations, however, I am mastering coming out from behind my gate, being honest about who I am. It feels liberating and peaceful in my heart. I feels good to be true to myself, to show who I am and in what I believe.
Today’s post has dealt with the pretenses I have kept up, and continue to keep up. Next post, as we continue our journey, I will talk about the surrender I experienced initially and how that differs from the surrender I feel today.
How are the ways you continue to hide behind your gate? In what ways are you afraid to show others who you are? I invite and would love your comments.