All of last month (June 2019) was Pride month here in the US. It was a time for LGBTQ communities to outwardly celebrate their uniqueness and the richness they bring to the world. It was a time to be seen.
This got me thinking about the ways that we hide who we are. This does not only apply to LGBTQ people. It is possible that we all hide some part of ourselves most, if not all, of the time. Of course, I get that it is not always appropriate to share various parts of who we are, and we often have to pick and choose our battles for our own protection and well being. Nonetheless, all of us hide something by varying degrees.
There are, first of all, aspects of our lives we hide because of shame.
I personally know people who are sex addicts and thrive on this obsession sight unseen. Robin Williams, one of the funniest and charismatic comedians of all time, struggled with bouts of depression until they led to his self-inflicted demise. Many people, whether with alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, or any other substance, hide their addictions.
Alternately, we also hide some things because we hold a sacred and private space that the rest of the world has no business being involved in.
I know someone who secretly does good deeds for random strangers. A friend of mine has one of the most beautiful singing voices I have ever heard, but she only sings when no one is around, if at all. (I was given a rare moment to hear her once.) She does not care for the world to know. There are people out in the world who anonymously donate vast amounts of their personal wealth to charities, and no one knows who they are. These are all instances in which people hide a special part of themselves that gives them personal joy and satisfaction.
Regardless of the reason, whether it is shame, fear of persecution, or personal joy, it is important to acknowledge for ourselves what we are hiding and why. If shame or fear are the underlying motivations, it may be helpful to find someone you trust to talk about it and help you find the safety you need and deserve.
If joy is the dastardly culprit, then good on you.
Ultimately, what we hide is part of how we cultivate our most authentic selves and the respect we hold for our own lives.
Wherever you go when you hide, I hope it is a meaningful place, or at the very least, it is a path leading you to the most wholesome, safe, and happy version of who you are.
BONUS: Here is a song I wrote about someone I fell in love with a long time ago. The person for whom this song was written has no idea that it exists and the extent of my feelings. I am okay with that. This is called Pale Sunshine . . .