I have been pondering this question ever since an old memory of my father came up during my meditation time. This memory pertained to a time when my father was giving me a warning about keeping my guard up to protect myself from other people. His words of caution went like this;
“Never reveal who you are to others, for they will use that information against you.”
My father did a good job transferring his paranoia to me, and I adhered to this advice for decades. It was always vitally important for me to keep hidden from others the things churning inside.
This also included never asking others for help, for revealing my inability to deal with problems on my own showed weakness. Since my father predicted others would use my weakness against me, I concluded it was better to tough things out on my own.
Keeping yourself hidden from others leads to loneliness
Fatigue and loneliness were the biggest factors helping me to dismantle the wall I had built around my true self. But until then, I spent years projecting a false image to others.
No one around me, including my romantic partners, ever knew who I truly was. Eventually I tired of not being sincere, I wanted true and meaningful relationships in my life, so I had to make changes. I am glad I found the courage to share my true self to those close to me.
Thinking about my father’s words today makes me sad. Someone hurt him deeply to have caused him to adopt such a self-defeating attitude.
Both of my parents modeled this behavior with each other. They laced their daily interactions with colossal efforts to pry under each other’s skin. It was obviously dangerous for them to reveal their true selves to one another, for it was certain either would use it to cause the other pain. Their horrendous marriage lasted forty-seven years, but they had learned to hate each other’s guts long before that. This daily example added plenty of credibility to my father’s warning.
It all depends
Should you reveal your true self to others? Well, it all depends! A requirement must be that you feel safe and trust that person to protect your back. You must ensure you are not putting yourself in danger or undermining your own interest. For example, you may not want to share with the boss who just promoted you of the self-doubt you are experiencing about having the ability to do the job. Transitions cause self-doubt, and you don’t want to be in denial about that, but you want to share it with someone who helps you restore confidence.
Being careful about who you trust doesn’t mean you need to be an impenetrable shell to others. Follow your heart by being an example of kindness, generosity, courage, encouragement and open-mindedness. This way you can show a genuine part of yourself without revealing things at a deeper level. You may find showing these characteristics will encourage people to confide in you and ask for your help and support. That is not a bad thing.
Answering the call to become an example for other souls
Everything changes when your Higher Consciousness calls on you to be an example for others. This can be difficult to do, but when He/She/It calls you, you cannot run away.
I have often questioned if I should reveal myself as I do in my blogs, but I know that if I want to teach another, it works best for me to reveal how I learned the life lesson I’m trying to teach. This can be difficult for me at times, for having lived presenting a caricature of myself rather than the real me, I get concerned that I will not seem recognizable to my family and friends when I show them who I really am. I also worry that dad might have been right, and that maybe some people may use what I disclose to hurt me.
Sometimes my insecurity about my writing skills tempts me to stop writing. Other times I wonder if I have anything of substance to teach anybody. But my Higher Self keeps urging me on for, with my formal career behind me, I have no other way to help create a greater good than by revealing myself so I can teach others the lessons I learned.
Remember that when your Higher Self calls you to reveal who you are, it is because there are those who will benefit from seeing who you are, blemishes and all. Your example will give hope that being human does not stop you from accomplishing significant things. You can show others that one can attain greatness without having to be perfect.