not too long ago, someone i barely knew leaned over and asked me
a direct personal question. she called me on something she saw.
i squirmed a little bit but answered honestly.
on my way home in the car, when i thought of that moment,
i laughed right out loud.
'that must be what i do to people all the time,' i thought.
i don't mean to make anyone squirm.
just as this woman didn't mean to make me squirm.
she was just getting to the 'real.'
i liked that it happen because i also wanted to get to the real.
and i also wanted to be aware of the feeling it caused inside of me.
i wanted to see why i was uncomfortable.
i knew, but didn't have a particular word in mind. just had a feeling.
then, yesterday, i had an email exchange with a friend where i told
her something i saw going on with her.
sometimes it's just not cool to do that.
sometimes tho it's real and it feels like anything else would be false.
and so i sent the note.
in talking about how she felt about it, she used the word 'exposed.'
i noticed it.
we talked about it.
and i put that word in my pocket and went about the things i was doing.
but that word was on my mind.
i realized that was the word i woulda used when i squirmed not too long
ago under a direct hit of a question.
i realized i had been pondering dropping my masks for awhile now.....
and liked the idea - well mostly. kinda.
and yet i totally didn't like the concept of being 'exposed.'
cause you really don't want to be, do you?
i don't anyway.
but why not? i asked myself.
why not? if it means being real and authentic and who you truly are,
why not expose yourself?
doesn't that mean we can finally get real?
and then of course - i mean we can't even be surprised anymore -
on my popcorn/tea break mark nepo started talking to me once more from
his book 'the exquisite risk.'
'i understood how cautious we are on the surface, and how kind and willing
underneath. it is often when in need - when too sad to keep the mask in place,
too tired to keep the wall propped up, too wounded to lift the sword - often
it is then that we glimpse each other as we really are, stripped of all the things
we think we need to protect ourselves. ironically, once flushed out in the open,
it is from the soft place that we guard and hide that kindness seeks kindness,
and we are just thankful to be helped along.'
'we are invited into a space where we are both completely ourselves and
completely beyond ourselves. it is from this soft place of paradox that we can
know the world form inside and outside at once, needing each other to withstand
the tensions of that threshold. in this soft center, beneath our fantasies of commanding
our own fate, beneath our guardedness, we are less victim and rescuer, and more
needing each other to affirm and consecrate the enduring miracle that we are both
ourselves and each other at once.'
woe, mark. you are amazing.
and yeah.......i'm thinking exposed is okay.
what's interesting to me is that the phrase 'taking off my masks' is so much
more appealing that 'exposing myself' - and yeah, i know.....there's a lotta jokes
but i'm thinking the phrases are interesting, my reactions to them interesting
and since they are the same thing, i'd like to sit with the one that makes me uncomfortable
and see what's up.
i think the things i discover with the 'exposing' deal will well be worth looking at.
oh gosh........way too many jokes in here today.......
but seriously folks, it could be good.