Hiding up from the Universe

Full Moon by Eduardo MerilleI had a beautiful night last night.
Curiously enough, I spent the hours right before my night out thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn’t go and stay home instead. But the truth is, when I got back home after having spent the evening out, I realised how amazing I had just been feeling and how silly and what a pity it would have been for me not to go.

I was locking the gate behind me, when I distractedly looked up in the sky. A beautiful almost-full moon was shining down on me right in the middle of the two buildings across the street. Some very thin clouds were framing its halo, slowly moving away and almost dissolving as they drifted apart. It looked like the moon’s bright globe was finally getting rid of the veil that had been wrapping and hiding it till that moment. It looked like all of its beauty was finally showing up after having been concealed by the clouds for God knows how long.
In that single moment, while turning my key in the lock and still looking at that splendor, an insight crossed my mind: “I’ve been hiding up from the Universe for all this time…

Yes, that’s apparently the way I do, that’s the way I’ve been functioning so far: whenever I get the chance to show up, be it spending an evening out among other people, being designated with a new role at work, being the object of someone’s desire, or simply staying in the spotlight for a just second, I automatically shy away from it.
My mind starts a meticulous scan of all the possible negative consequences of that exposure, ridiculously overestimating them and genuinely ignoring any possibility for a positive outcome, ending up with the following verdict: I better raise up the walls and protect myself. I won’t go, I won’t take the opportunity, I won’t risk anything.
As that hunk says in “Love actually”, it clearly is a self-preservation thing, but the real question here is: preservation from what? What’s the risk? What’s the danger I’m trying so desperately to avoid?
On a surface level, it looks like I’m just trying to avoid all those negative possible outcomes that I’m so good at figuring out. I’m trying to avoid possible embarrassing situations, pain and suffering.
If I scratch that surface just a little, it becomes clear that I’m trying to avoid exposing my fragilities too, I’m trying to avoid exposing my own weak points to the others, I’m being Achilles protecting his heel.
But if I dig in a tad more, I’m not just protecting my heel, I’m concealing myself completely. I’m trying not to be seen as the person I am, I’m trying to hide up as much as I can, to the point that for years I’ve mastered the art of blending in with the surroundings, in my quest for invisibility.
Luckily enough my life has never let me be completely invisible; my family, my hard working attitude, my passions have somehow prevented it. And luckily enough, things change, you happen to grow older, face a breakdown and start rebuilding your life almost from scratch, you meet a therapist who guides you through the hardest times and you wind up understanding a bit more of who you are and why you are that way.

So one night it happens that you come back home from a wonderful time spent out, lose yourself in a moment distracted by the sight of a beautiful moon and gain new awareness about a further step in your growth process.
Probably there will always be something in my guts telling me not to go, not to take that risk, not to speak up and attract other people’s attention, but I’m slowly learning that underneath every invitation turned down, underneath every opportunity lost, there’s my need for protecting myself, which is healthy and reasonable, and my instinct to hide up from the Universe, which – on the contrary – is not necessary at all.
What my journey has been teaching me, in fact, is that the Universe has no interest in judging me, embarrassing me or causing me any pain. I’m starting to suspect that the Universe has its own way of fixing things up instead, of untangling complicated situations, of cheering us up when we wouldn’t expect it. All I have to do, most of the times, is to simply let the Universe do its own job, stop hiding up from it and trusting that the skills and resources I’ve been collecting so far are enough to let me take the risk of exposing myself to my own life and enjoying it, being exactly the way I am.

 


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