Ever since my teens, and because I had such a rough and turbulent childhood, I have found great solace in the act of looking inward as both a healing mechanism from early suffering and as opportunity to develop and celebrate a rich inner life, free from baggage and my seriously messed up history.
Fast forward 20 years and I have grown more and more rooted in this sense of the private and interior—meditating and yoga-practicing—me. What I have also experienced recently is how often divergent my private, peaceful, wise, and profoundly accepting self is from the more overwhelmed and erratic, frequently anxious and in a flutter person I tend to be in public. Can anyone else relate?
Fresh off the coattails of a heavenly and seriously illuminating retreat, I have been staring a lot at the incredibly strong divide between my deeply private self and my more overwhelmed public one. And, I have to say: this divide really bothers me!
In a time when social media expectation and cultural trending require more and more disclosure, more and more revealing, I think there’s been major backlash, and not in the form of others having too much information, but rather in that the representations we end up putting out there match less and less with the essential nature of who we are internally.
Now that I am back in the throes of New York City and more hip to how I protect my retreating self from the glare of the public eye, my question to you is this: Where are you happiest? When you are your most private, intimate, and peeled back, OR when you are intentionally not?
Next question: Do you think it possible to live as your deeper private self more of the time, by letting the light of who you are shine through and dropping the armor and disguise? I certainly do.
The best place to start is in getting to know the traits of both your private intimate self, and the buffering traits of your public persona—I’ve even diagrammed my two selves. Once you’ve really studied your inner and outer apparitions, then the practice of the slow integration of the “real” you into all that you do can begin. Make sense?
To me, this merging of private and public is key to soothing our suffering. Similar to “what you see is what you get,” I love “who you see is who I am.” No B.S. No act. No veil. Just the pure beautiful emanations of who we essentially are.
I’m in. Are you?