It wasn’t surprising that the curling up in a ball and denying reality was a mass communications program. Perhaps it was a sign of the times. Certainly in my family turning inward and keeping things close to the vest were par for the course. I can’t count the number of times my mother uttered, “It’s a family secret.” I think it was more accurate to say “family burden.”
I learned well to hold stuff in. Feelings, for sure (God forbid I should cry) and eventually a whole lot of stuff about me. I spent a lot of time smiling and asking people about themselves and not talking so much about me. I had my own version of Bert the Turtle going on for decades—a strong shell and just poking my head out as needed. It seemed safe enough, but pretty unsatisfying. As I grew into adulthood, I began to be a bit more trusting but still retreated inward when I felt someone poking around me in a painful way.
Truthfully—and I am being all about truth these days—it’s only been in the recent past that I have started shedding my shell and I don’t know why I waited so long. While I had thought some of it was about trusting the world not to be so harsh—I now think it had to do more with trusting myself. Trusting that when I did get poked, I could handle it—however harsh it might be and I could escape undamaged and maybe even a bit stronger. My husband reminded me, I was no longer the unarmed child vulnerable to the whims of those around me, but a full fledged, capable adult who can handle life pretty freaking well.
And what has surprised me is that as I am more truthful about myself and my needs, the odds of nuclear attack appear to be decreasing substantially. Call it confidence. Call it disarming. Whatever it is, it’s working for me.
So after such a wonderful show at Spirits Fly this weekend, why would I be thinking about Bert the Turtle? Why would this former closed off part of myself come into my consciousness?
It was my experience Saturday night of all the wonderful people at my show that really made things clear. Countless times, generous guests came up to me in the course of the night and shared with me. My heart swelled each time. Some of them had read my blogs and some had read the inspiration notes to my art.
My blog about growing up with a depressed mother was posted on the wall. I was in awe of how many friends and strangers approached me and thanked me, shared that they, too had a depressed mother, that they related. That they appreciated my honesty. That reading something I wrote about or did art about resonated in their being. It took my breath away. And so I am inspired by each and every one of these old and new friends to continue on my journey... not to Duck & Cover.
I resolve that my yoga practice will be the only place that I regularly curl inward. There are too many connections to be made.
So I ready for yoga today, committed to speaking my truth and putting it out. Perhaps if you are not already, you will consider that for yourself. That in putting it out, there is something for you and something for others—it is an exponential sharing that strengthens and softens your heart simultaneously. May your day be filled with honest sharing and connection. Namaste’