Secret Self

What is it about you that you don’t want others to see?

Everyone has a secret self; the parts of us that we don’t share with just anyone.  Some of those parts are benign; like the fact that I really like letting the whole oreo swim in the milk for a while before I scoop it out with a spoon.  Maybe that’s a little weird to some and so this is something I do when I’m alone, and usually while watching a favorite movie or show.

Other parts we may hide because of shame or embarrassment or we’ve decided that it’s too ugly for anyone to see; therefore too risky because we might be judged, labeled, or worse yet, abandoned.

For me, I have kept certain parts of myself so secret that even I didn’t realize they were there.  For instance,  I have learned that I am (and dare I say enjoy being?!) soft and mushy with the people I love and hold dear; think hearts, koala bears and rainbow emojis.  It still makes me a little uncomfortable to share that here. Why?  Because the soft and mushy side of me was very Not welcome for most of my life.  I prided myself on being tough and nonchalant.  The kind of person who could take almost anything in stride and more importantly, I Did Not Care What Other People Thought About Me, Ever.  And that attitude really worked well for me for many years.  It kept people at a distance and gave off this perception that I was not fazed by anything and I certainly wouldn’t have a visible, emotional reaction.

Maybe it’s because I’m part stoic Korean, or maybe it’s because I’m a woman who has calloused around the edges from a life lived with more than a few bumps along the way. Or maybe, it’s because this tough-nonchalant attitude was the best way that I could deal with my soft and mushy parts.  My inner tough-guy was a protector of those parts (a.k.a. my Vulnerability).  And it’s taken years of some deep digging and personal healing work to learn more about my vulnerable self (and I still am).  The good news is that I can now accept and even share that with you, my readers, and feel o.k. about it.

Yay mushy-soft-vulnerable-me!

So, I’ll leave you with these questions; think of it as an invitation to get curious about yourself.  What is it about you that you don’t want others to see? Where do you keep the secret hidden and what keeps you keeping it there?  What’s the worse thing that would happen if the secret was out?!  Can you imagine sharing that with just one person?  Maybe that person is yourself, in a journal and in your safe and private place.  You decide what, when and how much.  After all, you’re the first and foremost authority on what you need.

Happy Friday!  With Hearts, Koala Bears and Sparkling Rainbows. . .Amber

Author: Santa Fe Art Therapy & Counseling

I have a private practice in Santa Fe, NM where I offer online, art therapy and counseling services. My focus is working with people who have a recent or life-long history of trauma and stress. I use a blend of EMDR, talk therapy, art therapy and body-centered mindfulness practices.

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