One afternoon, on a late walk, these words came to me: “The more we try to walk into the light, the bigger our shadow grows.”
Then I thought, we can’t be real if we only share what’s going well. What if we shared a little more of what’s going wrong to normalize how we aren’t perfect but beautifully real?
It is hard to be ourselves. We are told not to feel too much and to toughen up. “Don’t take it personally” is another adage flavored with condescension and minimizing one’s sensitivity.
What if you do take it personally and feel hurt? I know, at times, I do, and it really aches to be dismissed.
Are we supposed to tuck more proverbial nonsense under an already bulging rug? I think not, and yet, sometimes, we’ve become too conditioned and pretend we are okay.
But what if we aren’t okay. What if we are tired, annoyed, and irritable? What if we don’t always want to be nice and polite? What if we have an opinion different from the majority? What if we think and feel in layers, so we simply need more time alone?
I feel our sensitivity and differences are a gift. And that means we are intelligent creatures who choose to set personal boundaries. By doing so, we respect and appreciate our needs.
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."