One of my friends has me doing some deep, internal work right now. It’s harder than anything I’ve done before. That’s probably because I don’t have anything left to hide and, as a result, I’m more willing to be honest with myself. Anyway, he had me make a list of everything I’m afraid of and then distill it down to only a handful of more elemental fears.
It’s hard to admit that you live in constant fear. And I most certainly do live in fear.
I fear being rejected and I fear that I’m not good enough.
Any other fear I have lives under these two. The thing I love/hate about my friend having me do these exercises is that he doesn’t pull any punches. He told me both of my fears are true. I will be rejected and I’m not good enough for everyone.
As I face my fears, one of the things I’ve had to come to grips with is that I’ve let other people dictate who I am for most of my life. Over and over again, I sold away a part of myself in order to be accepted. I’m coming to realize that my mantra used to be something like “do whatever it takes to belong.”
When someone asked me today who I really am, I smiled and asked them who I needed to be to make them happy.
When I had a blog about Monday through Friday spirituality, I felt a crushing weight to not write the words shit or fuck in my blog posts. I hid my real language from my readers in order to make them happier with me.
When I was an active member of a church, I hid my transgender identity in order to belong. Even now, I’ve never left my house dressed as a woman for fear of what people will think of me.
When I found myself in a group of men, I acted like them until I fit into that wrong-shaped box amazingly well… but drank until I became an alcoholic to numb my soul’s cry that I was compromising my very self.
My friend told me that, if I do the work he keeps giving me, I will be free of these two fears that rule my life. So, as hard as this is, I keep at it.
I don’t want to live as someone who isn’t really myself any more and, hopefully, somewhere along the way, I’ll bring all of myself together.