Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I contain multitudes

Nothing to Lose by Tanner Christensen (Trust 30 Prompt 27)

“Self-censorship is not just self-betrayal and self-abandonment (which would be bad enough), but soul-betrayal and betrayal of our Muse, our inner voice, our highest self.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Too often we censor ourselves, our actions, and our work in hope or fear of what might happen if we otherwise don’t. What words would you write today, and what actions would you take, if you had nothing to fear, nothing to lose?
I mentioned recently a lovely evening with my friend The Dutchman. He said something that touched and has stuck with me - it was deeply acknowledging and thought provoking. He said, "I like the me I am when I'm with you." 

Perhaps we censor ourselves. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that we show different aspects of ourselves in different circumstances and different company. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing - there are things that are appropriate to say to STG or a girlfriend that I would never say to one of the BBs. And vice versa. It's not dishonest; it's appropriate. It's sensitive to the other person. Yes, there might be some fear behind such variances in 'me-ness' - in my case it's usually fear of offending or hurting someone - and I think that's valid. Then again, maybe I'm just validating being a coward. 

I love my friendships, and my relationships with my family and STG, and the rich variety of experiences of life they give me. I can laugh and snark at reality TV with SC2, meander though adventure and romance with STG, discuss the most complex of philosophies with The Dutchman, and be myself with all of them. Because I am large, I contain multitudes (have I mentioned how much I love Walt Whitman?). And I appreciate that the richness of these relationships contributes to a continually growing sense of who I am. 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post! Your words resonate with me. I've spent much of my life as a real "people-pleaser", and have wasted weeks, months, even years in relationships where I was constantly second-guessing myself. The best connections I have are the ones in which I like myself. It's something that sits nice and warm in the belly and thrums in your chest.


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