If you don’t show up, it’s impossible to be loved.
For years I kept parts of myself hidden. Especially in group situations.
I said a lot more in my head then I did out loud.
There were times I wanted to suggest ideas or make jokes.
There were times I had questions or concerns.
There were times I longed for deeper connection and a feeling of closeness.
But instead of trusting my impulse to speak-up and step-in, I’d stay quite and distance myself.
A voice in my head told me it was too big a risk to let people see “the real” me. What if they didn’t laugh at my jokes? What if they didn’t care about my questions? What if they had no interest in getting closer?
The fear of being rejected prevented me from fully showing up.
I’d often walk away from a social gathering feeling frustrated and alone.
“See, no one really cares about me.”
Then I realized by focussing on my fear of rejection, I would only allow 10% of myself to show up. I thought I was playing it safe because 10% would not piss anyone off. But by keeping 90% of myself hidden, I never gave people enough of the real me to genuinely connect.
At the core, sharing my heart is a risk. There are no assurances I will be accepted.
But by hiding my heart and my truth, I am making it impossible for people to truly love me. You cannot love what is not seen or felt.
They might love that 10% part of me, but then I will always be afraid that “if they actually knew the ‘real me’ they’d feel differently.”
From my experience almost every time I take a risk and let people see and feel my heart, it actually leads to deeper connections. My truth often reflect on parts of their truth. My “risk”(to open up) gave them permission to share more of their hearts as well.
By sharing more of your heart, there is always a risk that you will be too much for some people. This can hurt, especially if you are like me and suffer from the disease to please. But I have come to realize that being too much for some people just means those are not your people.
And that’s okay too. The point isn’t to be accepted by everyone. That’s just not possible. But it doesn’t mean you can’t still have love and respect for those people as well. From my experience, each person that moves away, also makes space for another that wants to step-in.
My approach is to spend less time analyzing other peoples experiences of my heart and more time just letting her sing.
It’s a process. Sometimes I still hide my heart because I am afraid it will be rejected. But the more I share and open, the more love and support I receive. This feedback loop continually validates that taking risks with my heart is one of the smartest things I can do.
Try it out. Take a small (or big) risk today with your heart and see what happens.
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For anyone that feels called to take a risk and share more of their heart through photography and art, I have an amazing promo this month.
See the link below for all the deets → HEARTshots Promo