I’ve always had this thing about being true to myself. The only problem is I don’t see myself how the world sees me. I suspect few people do. I’ve never really noticed that though, because most people hide their ‘blue skin’. They wear masks depicting what they’re supposed to be … or what they think they’re expected to be.
I read an article a few days back that put it in a very interesting way. The article claims we all need love to be happy, but we hide that need, even from ourselves. Then it goes on to talk about meditation, which I don’t do anymore, so ignore that part. Anyway…
At the core love is what we all want, but we are too buried in our protective gear to receive it. Love in an evolutionary impulse. To be loved means we are safe, we are fully accepted and we belong. If we belong then we know that other people have our back and we’re going to be okay when danger lurks. We can relax, be vulnerable and open up to the good that life has to offer.
But we don’t live in an ancient culture anymore where we physically belong to a tribe or not. It’s not okay to be vulnerable, but vulnerability is where love lies. Nowadays we have to dress a certain way, act a certain way, socially contort ourselves a certain way to find acceptance. We engage life not from any authentic core, but from a series of sub personalities. As we do this we create different masks to wear within our families, work and even among friends.
I suppose I’m at the extreme end of this spectrum. I believed that being true to myself meant putting my entire self on display, then crumbling when that ‘self’ made people run away. What I realised is the ‘self’ I was portraying wasn’t really my blue skin. Because of my depression, I has such a negative self image that I couldn’t see anything good about myself. It was so pervasive I couldn’t recognize the strengths everyone else saw. I was getting all these compliments and still viewing myself as worthless, unwanted, unlove-able.
Thanks to some home therapy from a good friend, I’m starting to acknowldege my strong points, and that gives me a much better sense of myself. I agreed to focus less on my weaknesses. In fact, I promised not to talk about them at all, so I could focus on the stuff that’s good. But then I saw the poem about blue skin and I wondered if I was back to square one, hiding the very thing someone might be trying to find in me.
Except that’s not really it. When we’re looking for someone to love, someone who is like us, we’re not really looking for flaws. It’s not like I want to marry a man with a temper just because I throw things around when I get mad. And the ideal person to handle my mood swings isn’t someone as moody as me.
What we’re hiding are things we think others might not accept. Things like unusual hobbies, eccentric taste, embarrassing pleasure points. I might hide the fact that I’m 32 and still play Super Mario, or that I spend hours at a time watching reality TV. (Not the Kardashians. I prefer Extreme Couponing, Long Island Medium, What Not To Wear, Secret Eaters, True Hollywood Story, Say Yes to the Dress, Brides of Beverly Hills … Shows which in some ways are worse than the Kardashians … *sheepish grin*)
Everyone accepts Big Bang Theory as mainstream comedy, but a lot of people still think watching Stargate Atlantis makes you a nerd. (I love all the Stargates by the way. Except Stargate Universe, that one is kind of dark. But for the others, Daniel and Sheppard are way hot, Sam is my hero, O’neal is pure comedic genius, Ronon Dex is an absolute dream, and how could anyone hate Teal’c?)
I might hide the fact that I don’t understand Afro-Fusion or John Legend and prefer to listen to Nickelodeon soundtracks. A guy might pretend to like floetry he doesn’t understand, or a girl might deny enjoying Papa Shirandula or Vitimbi. This is the kind of blue skin you can spend a lifetime camouflaging. And we hide it so well that we could miss out on the blue-skinned love that walks right past.
I guess the blue skin thing isn’t an issue for me because I like to shock people. I actually enjoy exposing the blue and watching people’s reactions. And now that I’m teaching myself that I’m worthy of love, I know that some blue-skinned boys will come my way. It feels good to know I’m growing enough to willingly accept their affection when they show up. It took me long enough, and it’s definitely about that time.
♫ Me and you against the world ♫ Rags soundtrack ♫