I wear my heart on my sleeve. I know it’s not the most attractive quality, at least from what people have told me. I often can’t keep how I’m feeling inside and need to tell others. I know this goes against everything the world tells you; that telling others what is going on within your heart is a faux pas. But keeping in my emotions and my thoughts is something that I just can’t do. Perhaps that is exactly what living authentically is, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
I’ve been told I’m strong, brave, courageous, etc., but I don’t think others realize how scared I am at some times. Living with your heart open leaves you vulnerable, and it’s not exactly a comfortable place to be. It is trying and sometimes you feel so absolutely alone and in pieces. But others, it leaves you in joy making it both fearsome yet jubilant. Everything about it makes you want to build up your walls and tear them down at the same time.
The one thing I’m starting to learn is that not everyone is comfortable showing who they are or how they feel, and they are certainly not comfortable interacting with people who are. When you are comfortable showing how you feel or being yourself, those that aren’t seem to react on the defensive….as if you have committed some great offense towards them by expressing yourself. They feel the need to run or yell or do anything to try and break you down, anything that doesn’t make them come face to face with themselves. It’s the same thought process that what angers you most in someone else is what you dislike or feel negatively about in yourself.
When I encounter these people, and I’m open about how I feel or what I’m thinking, I’m normally met with anger or surprise. I’ve been told that the reaction is simply because men and women a like are afraid of being…accepting…who they are. To react with anger, dismay or flee, is a sign that they are unable to be authentic themselves. These reactions are always unexpected, and I normally take it as a form of rejection, as if me being who I am has caused them to be so upset.
I’ve always had an issue with taking these reactions personally. I’ve never been able to separate someones inability to appreciate honesty or to be on the same page that I am. When someone isn’t comfortable with who they are or being honest with themselves, their inability to connect, to have those deep conversations or connections makes me feel as if I’m different or strange, regardless of the fact that I’m told living that way is brave and courageous. How do you separate the two?
Every so often though, you meet someone who is the same way, and it’s like meeting a new best friend. You can be free and open. You never have to pretend and you can tell them exactly what’s your feeling. There’s no trying or pulling teeth. You just vibe. These are have come to be the best people I’ve met. Friends who I know I can be whatever I’m feeling with. I can tell them what’s going on in my mind and they listen, don’t judge. That feeling of freedom can make it all worth it. Putting yourself on the line, showing who you are and being accepted for who you are is one the best feelings in the world.
There’s no other way to establish these connections than stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking chances. Nine times out of ten, you end up confused but that one time….(cue the Little Giants “One Time” speech), makes it all worth it.