I Don’t Care If the World Knows What My Secrets Are – Part I

#WhatReallyMatters  #WeWereMeantToBeCourageous  #WhyNot  #BeMore  #LiveLikeThat  #BornForThis  #TrustYourJourney

The Gifts of Imperfection - Brene Brown

Mary Lambert “Secrets” – JayWTaylorBlog Song of the Month for May 2015

I’ve got bi-polar disorder
My shit’s not in order
I’m overweight
I’m always late
I’ve got too many things to say
I rock mom jeans, cat earrings
Extrapolate my feelings
My family is dysfunctional
But we have a good time killing each other

They tell us from the time we’re young
To hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves
Inside ourselves
I know I’m not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else
Well I’m over it

I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are
I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are
So-o-o-o-o what
So what
So what
So what

I can’t think straight, I’m so gay
Sometimes I cry a whole day
I care a lot, use an analog clock
And never know when to stop
And I’m passive-aggressive
I’m scared of the dark and the dentist
I love my butt and won’t shut up
And I never really grew up

They tell us from the time we’re young
To hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves
Inside ourselves
I know I’m not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else
Well I’m over it

I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are
I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are
So what
So what
So what
So what

If only we could all be so brave and live in and engage with the world from such a space of personal truth and liberating vulnerability. From such a place of courage. Of peaceful self-acceptance. Say “so what” to ANYONE who might know (and challenge, pass judgment, question, or deride us because of) what our secrets are. Our fears. Our disappointments. Our struggles. Our failures. Our problems. Our mysteries. Our undisclosed selves. Our stories. Our disfavored longings and peculiar cravings. Our beautiful uniqueness. Our singular styles. Our perfect imperfectness.

But for most of us, truly embracing who we are and being able to figuratively say “so what” to the world and, maybe more importantly, being secure actually doing so is seemingly impossible. Worrying about and holding on to what others might think or say about us is a never-ending struggle that confronts many of us at every corner of our lives. We hustle our own authenticity and real selves for the perceived, conditional, and illusory acceptance or approval of others. It’s an exhausting battle between conforming, fitting in, and being “accepted,” and real belonging and self-love and acceptance. A fight whose battle-scars are fatigue, depression, doubt, fear, despair, worry, stress, anxiety, pretending, embarrassment, guilt, inauthenticity, unhappiness, shame, and the gamut of emotional pain.

In Brene Brown’s New York Times best seller, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene states, “fitting in and belonging are not the same thing, and, in fact, fitting in gets in the way of belonging. Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.” Real belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world. Our whole, crazy, broken, beautiful selves. Which selves, probably include all of those vexing secrets (read: “our vexing secrets”).

Yet despite our burning, inborn desire to be ourselves and our repeated attempts to “be who we are,” so many “things” seem to intimidate and prevent us from feeling true belonging and showing up and living our individual lives as our true, authentic, secret-enmeshed, imperfect selves – being who we truly are. Expectations – our own and others’. Family traditions. Societal conventions. Fixed beliefs. Peer pressure. Religious customs. Relationship standards. The neighbor’s opinion. Our reputation. Mom. Dad. Uncle Bob. Former friends who have moved to Ohio. Fear. Embarrassment. Guilt. And shame, to mention a few, are all examples of common roadblocks that many of us allow to slow or stop our living authentically and standing in our truth. Such “things” – whether historical, actual, perceived, or feigned – get in the way of our being able to express how we actually feel, ask for what we really want, embrace who we truly are, and share our authentic selves – tell our story.

When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness – the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. Our sense of worthiness – that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging – lives inside of our story.” – Brene Brown

So what can we do?

Own our story and claim our own innate worthiness. Now. Today. Not when we are “all better.” Or perfect. Or when we are “good enough” for someone else’s approval. But right now. Others’ opinions of ourselves don’t change who we are. It simply doesn’t work that way. We already belong.

Give ourselves unlimited permission to be, and show up, as ourselves. Be who we are. Step out from behind the walls and out of the shadows and let our light shine.

We can let go of the expectations. Let go of other people’s disconnected desires for us. Leave the chaos and exhaustion that is the sure reward for pleasing, perfecting, performing, and proving for everyone else. Does it really have to look a certain way?

Love ourselves. Learn how to trust and respect ourselves. Be kind to ourselves. Learn and practice self-love.

Seek God’s guidance, grace, and gifts. We are all children of the most-high God. Children of the King. Learn about our relationship to Him and explore and enjoy our relationship with Him. Share our life with Him and express our gratitude to Him for being His and being exactly who we are.

Release the limiting, impairing, and damaging power of the secrets. Your secrets and my secrets. Release the judgment. Let go of the “what if.” Replace it with the “I am.” It really is okay. Say and believe, “so what!” Remember, everyone has a story.

Owning our story can be hard,
but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.
Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky,
but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy
– the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.
Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness
will we discover the infinite power of our light.
– Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

For me – for my emotional and physical well-being; for my happiness; and for me to live my purpose – I get to own my story and not run from it. Say, “So what.” Take the power out of the secrets. Wholeheartedly embrace my vulnerabilities and not give up on belonging and joy. Be my authentic self and love who I am. And be courageous enough to explore my darkness in order to shine the infinite power of my light. What about you? Are you ready to say, “So what. I’m over it. I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are?”

Believe Bravely,

Jay

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