We all played hide and seek when we were kids. It was fun. I remember trying hard not to giggle when my older cousins were trying to find me and I could fit into smaller spaces than them.
As a kid, I always used to hide when it came to family gatherings. My mom’s side of the family is big and noisy and being one of the youngest, I would often try to hide away somewhere so I didn’t have to talk to everyone. I don’t know why I didn’t like these gatherings. I just always preferred to have my nose in a book and hide away somewhere.
This would drive my mother crazy. She was always the life of the party and couldn’t understand why I would want to hide away.
I got good at hiding. As I got older, I got better and better at it. I learned a lot of avoidance techniques and was adept at not being around anyone long enough for them to really get to know me.
To avoid situations, I moved away. First to Washington DC and then to Sydney Australia. With each move it became easier to hide my feelings from my family. Moving to England after getting married made it easy to hide the fact that I had made a mistake. My family didn’t see me often enough to really know me or know that I was unhappy. And when they did see me, I was able to hide my miserableness.
I got so good at hiding that I ended up hiding me from myself. I couldn’t find the true me. I became this person I didn’t really like very much but I felt that if I was the true me, then I wouldn’t be loved. So I hid from me, I hid from my husband, I hid from my kids, I hid from my parents and the rest of the family.
I don’t know what brought me out of hiding. It was a whole lot of things all crashing together at once.
I started a period of seeking.
Seeking my true self. Seeking my true feelings and emotions. Seeking what makes ME happy. Seeking people and books who could help me.
I love that so many people are helping me on my journey. But I really love that I’ve given myself the time and space to seek. I’ve removed myself from things, people and places that don’t serve me. I narrowed my focus and started concentrating on me. I returned to meditation and yoga, both practices that have brought such joy to me at other periods in my life. I’ve discovered the beautiful energy of Reiki.
I also try to spend time out in nature as much as I can. This is difficult in the middle of winter in Canberra as I hate the cold, but luckily most days are filled with clear blue skies and sunshine even if the temperatures are less than what I wish they were. I love walking along the lake, taking in the sunshine, sitting amongst the trees and having time to daydream.
In the solitude and quiet, I hear my intuition speaking to me and I follow it regularly.
At first it felt selfish. But now I realise the less I DO and the more I BE, the better I am. And the less I want to hide.
As I let my true self show, the most beautiful people show up and want to spend time with me. Some are new friends, some are old and even my family are starting to understand me again.
Now, when I feel myself starting to hide, mainly because I’m feeling scared or angry or worried, I get curious. I get curious about why I want to hide. I get curious about what I’m feeling. And I treat that part of myself like a little kid and gently say ‘I see you and It’s safe to come out.’ Sometimes it comes out and tells me why I’m feeling the way I am and sometimes it doesn’t. But I keep trying and the next time that feeling shows up, I try again.
This might sound crazy, but it works.
Through curiosity about my feelings I am learning more about myself than I ever thought I would. I’m learning that it’s ok to be true to myself. To love myself. And to not be or do or act a certain way because of someone else. I speak up for myself. I speak up for what I believe in.
Life is short. I don’t want to hide anymore. I’m seeking the biggest, boldest, best life I can live.