Friday, May 02, 2008


trio of beauty

"Why am I afraid to tell you who I am -

because if I tell you who I am,

and you don't like who I am,

that is all I have"

I first read this quote on Pip's blog a while ago and it has always resonated with me. This one small confession seems to sum up all of the reasons why we choose so many masks to cover up our real selves. We fear rejection. We fear judgement, especially from someone whose opinions matter. We fear that naked vulnerablity which accompanies new disclosures. It's like being asked to stand on a podium in broad daylight without a stitch of clothing on while others poke, prod, stare, gasp even. Stifled giggles, and comments behind your back..........these are the fears which stop us from showing off ourselves. People can be so darn mean. Even close friends and family can strip you of your confidence to show your true colours.
We also have such an urge to fit in......not be considered too different from the pack. Part of this is needed for survival within the pack, but mostly it's where the comfort zone lays. Too brassy and you'll turn people off...........too mousy and no one will pay attention. So, we stay within the zones of acceptable roles, and that's fine if we are sharing ourselves within those roles. But when we hide in those roles, we lose our selves. We lose our identity.
There is nothing more reassuring and confidence boosting than acknowledgement and acceptance. We crave it.........crave to be loved as we are, warts and all. When we do manage to find the guts to strip off the labels, the clothing, the protection and display ourselves as we are and are not accepted, our instinctive reaction is to go hide deep in a cave of self despair where true identity is melted into a mass of rejection. It's just too painful to try again. It's too painful to be that vulnerable again. We automatically shut down to a point where we arent even honest with ourselves about our own identities.
Should we rely on other's opinions and reactions? It is only human nature. I believe we do crave this, but I also believe that we have far more control over how someone reacts to what we have shared. It comes from finding the comfort of knowing ourselves first. If I am accepting of my own strengths and weakness, of the gifts I can share and the deficits I need to fill, of my of skills as well as the areas I need help in, then I can be genuinely be comfortable displaying who I am. I am the one who reflects my identity, and if I am confident in who I am and how I strut my stuff, than I can release an energy which is attractive. Not that its easy.....its never easy being naked and vulnerable when consenting to show just who you are the first time. But what is a life if one doesn't show what you're made up of?

"Why am I afraid to tell you who I am -
because if I tell you who I am,
and you don't like who I am,
that is all I have"

I think this quote touches me because it makes me realize we are all a little bit scared revealing our identities. Sometimes we think we are the only ones frightened to show up in life.....that we're all separate from everyone else. Not true. In fact, I think every single person on this planet has said this statement words, in their inactions, in their defensive feelings. Its good to know we aren't alone in our fears........its good to know that perhaps the person you have consented to show your identity too is feeling just a little bit frightened of the stage too.

So......Here I am..........yes it's true

And here's the song to accompany....enjoy!

The prompt this week at writers island is Identity.............for more revealing bits, check it out.


Geraldine said...

Very well expressed! Excellent.

anthonynorth said...

To be who we are is so very important. But often frightening.
Excellent heartfelt post.

Sleeping Daisy said...

I love that quote, and the John Powell book of the same. Interesting and insightful. And definitely needs to be read again. Thanks for posting this. Much needed at this time.

Greyscale Territory said...

Yes! We do feel naked and vulnerable when we reveal inner parts of our identity. It is definitely all about fear of rejection. Some of us simply can't handle being ostracised as being "odd".

Strangely, I have found if you enjoy being different, and it shows, somehow more people accept you as you are.


Awareness said...

geraldine...thank you. will visit your blog soon!

Anthony...very frightening, but well worth it in the long run don't you think?

Sleeping daisy...thank you...i didn't know the name of the author and will look for the book. It was much needed for me as well....which is why i love writing.

greyscale. Right on! I seem to gravitate to the odd ducks, or they to me... it really does come down to accepting yourself no matter how you're made up. And if someone doesn't quite think you fit their bill, well then their loss! :)

Shaz said...

MMmmm you had me at the quote Dana then the rest of the post was.......well let’s just say it hit home and is very true. It’s quite sad really isnt it? That ones self esteem and identity seemingly is dependant on others sometimes. Its funny you know, talk about resonation and hitting home!! I was when I was younger was forthright honest but very sincere, emotional and came across very out going with those I knew but reserved with strangers, then through loss and tragedy as a young person I was always was what I thought people wanted me to be through fear of rejection. My first marriage made me into a great actress, much like the strong willed woman you wrote about recently who left her husband after years of abuse when no one else new. That person was me also, alone and isolated amongst many people who were unaware of who I really was. They thought I was super woman They thought I was deliriously happy because I didn’t show fear, sadness or anything that I thought may have been seen in a negative light and I withered inside to a person who lived only as I was expected to, hiding any doubts, hiding my emotional inner turmoil. I don’t know what it was that made me one day start saying NO but that word saved my life its still hard to say as you know what I am like with that. But if more people searched inside themselves and had self love and preservation I am sure many circles of friendships would take a strange twist and many more people would be happy. I say don’t sweat the small stuff and it works. True friends except all of you without the facade.

Stan Ski said...

Difficult to get the balance because others will always judge. Can be quite intimidating.

Awareness said...'s too bad we have to endure such emotionally and physically wounding experiences before we know ourselves. Could there be an easier way? I dont know.
thank you for sharing some of what is in your heart and head Shaz, as you always do on your blog.
I find it very interesting how just this one quote has such an impact on's like an aha read it and think, MAN! Others feel this way??

Enjoy your trip.... can't wait to see your pics.

stan... welcome. I think it's probably the most difficult because expressed judgement comes easy for many dont you think?

paisley said...

rejection.. life is very difficult to face when it does rear its ugly head... but somehow,, i believe after the blue as left the bruise,, we are made even stronger by it.....

gautami tripathy said...

We are what we are. And we gotta make best of that!

Great post!

dog and (wo)man

jadey said...

I thought this post was excellent. We do all at some point hide behing masks and we should all really think the only opinion that should matter is the opinion we have of ourselves.

Rambler said...

we are a little scared aren't we, excellent quote

Robert said...

thank you dana so powerfully moving this quote and the shared struggles we all endure to reveal our fullselves I wonder often just how much to share on my blog, how will others react and respond?? so many have done so with grace care love and empathy. As you say so well dana acceptance of our complete selves allows freedom from the fears of rejection always much more *awareness* after stopping by here my friend!!!

Awareness said...

paisley.....i love that saying..."after the blue has left the bruise..." is that yours? It's been stuck in my head ever since i read your comment. It show up in something in the future. thank you.

gautami....yes we do, or we are only cheating ourselves

jadey...i so sure helps to have those around you who know you and accept you for who you are and encourage you to show off your beauty marks. :) makes us feel small. glad you liked the post. If you read this, I encourage you to check out Pip's blog from the link on this piece. I think you'd really enjoy his blog and the wonderful messages he posts. He is a treasure, and my emerald friend.

Gypsy said...

Confidence is the best defence against harsh judgements and can be the catalyst to convince the "Doubting Thomases" that we are indeed a worthwhile human being. If we believe in ourselves others will too.

Excellent post as always and as you can see I am behind once again.

OneMoreBeliever said...

oh man, i dig lyle... he's got a bluesy sorta tex sound.. being fearful holds such a tight reign around our lives... you have conveyed this so clearly... tho i must admit there is a certain confort zone in being single... it appears there is so much more freedom to be whatevah...