Hide: 1) to conceal from sight, to prevent from being discovered
2) to conceal oneself
Do you even know how many ways there are to hide? Well, I’m not sure what the exact number might be, but I think I have tried nearly every one of them.
Hiding shows up in funny, unsuspecting ways, like refusing to wear your hair up or dance or waterski or wear lipstick. It looks like orneriness when your husband wants you to drive his big truck, shyness or boredom at a really fun party, and conceit when someone pays you a compliment that you just can’t receive.
Hiding feels like there is something deep inside your heart, banging on the walls of a secret treasure box you forgot you even buried there, screaming, “YES! Just say Yes! You know you really want to!”
…and for some reason, as much as you want to, you just…can’t…
…even if you’re ready to be found.
For me, it took a retreat–a surprise “push” out the comfort of invisible–and people who supported me in making sure I stayed “seen” until I craved it for myself.
Now that I choose to be seen over being invisible, I’ve taken baby steps to actually participate in my life. There’s a lot more “happy” out here in the open. From my hiding place, I didn’t even know this kind of happiness even existed.
It’s been a gradual process. Being out here in the open can feel mighty scary at times! At first I kept seeking for hiding places, and sometimes finding them. Some of them were so creative that I could hide for a moment and still pretend I was playing at 100%. Sometimes I even fooled myself. For someone who was so afraid to step out onto that stage, I am a really great actress. Yet I had changed from the inside. I had unburied and unlocked that treasure chest in my heart–I couldn’t put it back now.
Being “found” began by telling myself a lie–only it was not a lie. Those stories that I had been living already, the ones that kept me hiding for so long, they were the lies. I allowed myself to replace those stories for new ones, because even if at first the new stories didn’t feel like they could possibly be anything but delusional, I realized the old stories were definitely lies. Which lies did I want to believe?
I allowed myself to be open to the truth about my old stories–the limiting beliefs, the false paradigms–and I started searching my memories for all the stories that created my life.
What’s amazing now is that once I discover the story, (and I speak now in present tense because this process will continue for the rest of my life) whether it holds any truth or not, if I don’t like it, I can change it.
From this process, I find myself getting closer to the truth. How do I know? Well, the scriptures tell us that all good things come from God, which is Truth, and nothing good can come from a lie. I believe that this also includes the way I feel. If I’m feeling good about a new story, then reason tells me it’s more true than the ones that kept me wanting to hide.
Fixing how I feel about myself has been the hardest work I’ve ever done. My stories of self-worth are made up of a lot of really good lies, masterfully told. It is hard for me to believe anything different. Persistent action creates clarity, however. Suddenly it’s becoming clear to me that when I call myself “ugly,” it feels awful–which I now understand as a sign that it’s NOT TRUE! This hurtful belief definitely does NOT come from God. So, then…where does it come from?
My greatest desire is to follow God, not his opposite.
Telling myself that I AM BEAUTIFUL was so scary! It literally hurt my heart at first–growing pains, perhaps. In order to persist, I had to add action–dance and lipstick–to the words to reinforce the “delusion.” I will never forget the moment that I began to feel that there was truth to my new story. An emotional power surge came from somewhere deep inside, and I am changed forever. The memory is fresh, and it still brings instant tears to my eyes.
So what was it about dancing?
What is dancing? It seems obvious:
Dance: 1) to move one’s body or feet, or both, rhythmically in pattern of steps, especially to the accompaniment of music;
2) to leap, skip, etc, as from excitement or emotion
The definition that intrigues me the most, however, is this one:
3) to perform or take part in…
Sounds a lot like living life to me.
I finally am choosing to dance, and I’ll do it confidently–with my hair up–while wearing lipstick.
It’s definitely a work in process–and I’m making progress!