Our words may be the diary of who we are. If we don’t allow an outlet, our inner scripts are both dialogue and monologue running non-stop in our minds. Telling and retelling how our lives have happened to us. What has happened to us. How we saw it. What we took away. What part we played. How we felt. What we said. What we did. What we’d change. What we wouldn’t. It’s a lot. Sometimes honest. Sometimes reworked to suit us. But always running. Even if it plays on mute. It’s always there. Always on. Some of us take it to paper. Some of us run our mouths. I do both. But I’m learning not to.
It is a hard fact to face, and one I’ve not yet completely accepted, that being too open is a very real phenomenon. It is no wonder, for the purpose of being concise, that we are afraid to open ourselves to another. What is to be done with that burden now shared. What on earth is another human intended to do with your own personal experience. What do they say. What would they do. Maybe nothing. But a better question would be, how do they protect it. Is it protected at all.
I’ve written often about not denying myself my hurts. I do not dwell. But I do allow myself to feel my hurts as long as I need to. We all have them. We all have our own ways of addressing them. It would be ideal if we were all understood in times of growth, but it is not to be. The best I can do is remember that everyone carries their own struggle. Whether they feel safe verbalizing it or not. Though it is not the choice of everyone, my instinct to speak through struggle has been my own personal cross. I am slowly coming to understand both viewpoints where I once had not.
Not so long ago, I did not believe in this ‘playing things close’. It seemed inauthentic. To me. But, while I am no martyr for the pieces I’ve let go, I realize now the safety in saving yourself…for only yourself. At some point, you will become too much. It’s too much. Our experience. Our expression. All those constant, lifelong inner scripts are not meant to be given away so freely and in full. I just didn’t understand.
It is hard to learn your voice in this world. It is laborious to hear your own words, as you learn, and take stock of every one. Grow from it. Feel what drives you and defines your character. It is difficult to step forward and admit things you may not otherwise. To trust. It takes courage to bleed. Knowing ahead of time, that you will.
But there is worth in all our forms of expression. There is definition of us in all our struggle, stammering and story. There is relief in the letting of our hard truths when there is someone to care for them. There is healing in admissions and amends, when you are accepted and encouraged. When you do the same. There is dignity in offering these, and asking for them. You can’t heal what you can’t acknowledge. But the key may simply be the acknowledgment, and learning I do not need to say everything I’m thinking. Certainly not everything I’m feeling.
It isn’t a formality to open these locks of others. Mining for weaknesses instead of the true keepsake. We want to be protected, not from our pain, but in it. By sharing. And by being vulnerable. That’s the hope. I know the pain and burdens of others are safe with me and I’ve always assumed the same. When I do choose to share it is for the purpose of being truly known and understood. Accepted. To me that’s freedom. In that freedom that I so rarely feel, I get too comfortable. Quickly. And I let those cards fall away from me. When what I need to learn is to ‘play it close’, too…As it were.
If we are genuinely cared for, we can not simultaneously be judged. We can’t. I kept to myself for a reason for an awfully long time. But, I still let those cards go willingly, regardless, in the hopes of finding what would stay and what wouldn’t. To be truly known. And understood. As easy as I may have made it seem, make no mistake, it hurt like a motherfucker. But I did it. In hope alone. I’d like to say I won’t change that about myself. But I just don’t know. I suppose it’s never too late in life to re-examine ourselves. There’s a fine line between holding on to what we believe to be right, and survival. For now, the most I can do is be torn between the two.