I often notice and am very aware of who I call, “Wild Women.” They are older women who have wild hair, striking eyes and are women of color. I seem to see the same three or four women around. They never exude a happy aura, but rather, a wounded aura. I typically feel a connection with them, or some sort of solidarity.
When I come across women (or sometimes even men) who appear happy and/or nice, it almost always feels insincere or contrived to me. I don’t trust it and it makes me uncomfortable. I do believe that some people are overly nice to overcompensate for insecurities they may have, and we can sometimes feel when others are wearing masks, but I can remember feeling this way about people who are honestly just happy and in the moment.
After seeing one of the several, often seen”Wild Women” today while at a store, I started to wonder why I feel such comfort or familiarity with what she exudes, but not feel that same connection with a “happy” person. Why would I accept one end of the spectrum but not the other? I began really thinking about this long after seeing her.
I started to remember times when, I was genuinely happy and open and others put me down or seemed threatened by my openness. In fact, many times when I have been truly open, totally uninhibited, I can remember being made to feel like I was annoying or wrong, hushed or ignored, brushed off or attacked (with words).
So I began to repress that part of me in order to “protect” myself.
And since I have repressed that part of me, it angers me or annoys me or makes me uncomfortable to see others openly express it. The reason is that I was judging them. I judged them because it was easier to make them wrong than to look at myself and realize that I was limiting myself and my own authenticity out of fear, to appease others or to shield myself. It almost feels like, “Why should they get to be happy and free when I don’t?”
But by judging them, I am really judging myself and making myself wrong for ever feeling that way or my wanting to be open and happy. I have the same capabilities and free will to feel that way and to express it. But because I let other people’s reactions steer me away from my authentic self, I started to feel that if it wasn’t okay for me to be myself, then it shouldn’t be okay for other’s to either. But honestly, if someone is being their true self, it is an invitation to be our true selves, just by being in their presence. And there is an inner struggle in this; coming across such opposing personalities where some detest your authenticity and some welcome it just by giving themselves fully. Which is right?
Obviously being yourself is the only way to live.
Not everyone is going to like me and that’s okay. But I’d rather be not-liked for who I truly am. 🙂
If you can’t see and accept your own beauty, you won’t be able to accept anyone else’s. If you can’t see and accept your own beauty, you won’t accept it when someone else sees it and points it out. This shows up in many ways: jealousy, extreme shyness and/or an inner feeling of disconnect from the self and the world. You will feel as though no one can really see you, but it’s because you aren’t actually being you.
Some hard questions I have been forced to ask myself now are, how many people have I closed myself off from or shunned or made feel bad about their own genuine self, all because I was afraid of their inherent beauty? And how many times have I made myself small because I was afraid of my own?
Far too many.