YOU ONLY GET TO SEE PARTS OF ME, AND THAT'S THE WAY ITS SUPPOSED TO BE.
This was my first post creating my own content for Instagram. I initially used stock images because I wanted to put myself out there on Instagram and didn’t know how. After taking a free draw class at the Wing Dumbo, I felt inspired and let myself start writing/drawing and photographing my notebook for my posts.
It's ok that no one saw me as an “artist” or “creative” – I did and I wanted to test out my idea. This ability to tune into what is coming through for us is the essence of this post. You are not defined by how others see you. You are only defined by how you see yourself. In this day of Instagram and lives strewn all over public forums, we are forgetting this essential fact. That we do not build identity through the eyes of OTHERS. Transparency is not about how clear we are with others about who we are, but rather, how clear are you to you, about you. We only build identity through the eyes of the self. Myself. What I see and how I see it.
This idea of self transparency is a real issue in our culture today. When I am not honest with myself about who I am, what I am struggling with, insecurities I have and trust issues that I have formed, then I start looking to others to help define me. This could mean posting things on Instagram or other media channels that convey a message of what I think people want to hear me say, and then I say something else behind closed doors. We end up getting ourselves into a mess when we say one thing to others, but then we feel and believe something entirely different behind closed doors. This discrepancy in our transparency with ourselves can have major consequences - like being called out by others or being held accountable for things that you know deep down you never truly believed.
For this reason, we have to get comfortable knowing that others are only going to see parts of us. And the parts they see best be what we intend for them to see, and not a mirage or a hopeful projection of confidence and authenticity. Rather, just be you. Be the parts of you that are actually authentic instead of what you think you need to be when you are around certain people.
To do this, we have to start with being honest with ourselves about what is really complicated and complex about us - what is real about is. This is often clouded by insecurity and lack of self trust. So to get to know ourselves better, we MUST address our insecurities or thoughts that cause us to feel uncomfortable. So, when you have thoughts that are unsettling or not comforting, rather than ignore them and shame yourself from having them, engage them! Consider that they are there not as proof that you are not good enough or whole, but that you are human and you are going to have unsettling thoughts.
This sounds like talking to yourself as you would talk to a close friend, or how a therapist might talk to you:
“That sounds like something you are really struggling with - tell me more about that…”
“It’s ok to have these unsettling thoughts and feelings. What do you think is underneath them? Why might you be struggling with this at this time?”
“There is nothing wrong with you for having this experience. Being human means having confusing or conflicting and unsettling thoughts. Our job is to know when to engage them and when to set them free. Are these thoughts you are having ones that you want to further explore or let go?”
Talk to yourselves ladies - do not ignore or distract yourself when you feel this discrepancy between what you want to be feeling and what you feel. That disconnect is really where the magic happens, so explore it and engage it with questions. See what you can discover about yourself when you approach your thoughts and feelings with curiosity. The beauty is, that you don't have to announce that or share that with anyone. It’s you, learning more about you, which will allow you to be more of your true self around others.