10 Things I Don't Want You To Know About Me
So I was having lunch with my friend Anja. We were sitting outside her office, eating Vietnamese fresh-rolls.
For some reasons, our conversation led to a point when she looked at me in the eyes and said "Your life seems so perfect on the internet. But I know it isn't... Because you told me so."
That comment got me reflect. I thought I was being authentic. Then I needed to admit to myself: even though the things I wrote and shared weren't lies, I was holding myself back from sharing the full picture of what was going on in my life.
I thought I was being diligent with putting out cheerful, positive content. But the truth was: I couldn't fully accept who I was yet.
I guess this is the danger of the internet and social media. We got to build a persona, an ideal identity for ourselves. And our ego enjoys that.
We may try too hard to project a positive picture that isn't real. So we go around on the world wide web pretending to each other. No deep connection being made. No real love gets shared.
I am certainly guilty of that.
I noticed how this made me feel empty and disconnected than ever before.
So I promised myself that I would tell the truth, and only the truth. To be so brutally honest with myself and others that it scares me, and maybe scares them sometimes.
It's hard. But it must be done.
Because if not, what's the point?
To me, the whole point of having a relationship is to show up being so uncompromisingly me that it allows the people to be themselves too.
And when we’re ourselves - 100%, not 99% - then we’re in the right place to love, to care, to make a positive difference in each other’s life.
I need to retrain my mind to understand that vulnerability is the strongest form of protection and the perfect form of love.
So here are the 10 things I don’t want you to know about me.
Please know that I share them not to pity myself, not to complain, or to say "Oh look at me. Poor me!" Not to make an excuse for not change, or to indulge me in my issues. I don't have time for any of that.
I'm sharing them to own my imperfections.
The only way to fight darkness is to love darkness into light.
So here I am, turning on the light so you can see all of me. Naked and breathing and real and full of scars and loving myself still.
And I hope this emboldens you to turn on your light, to love your darkness so much they turn into light, to let yourself be seen too by the world.
1. I beat myself up to prove to the world that I was good because I didn't feel that I was good enough.
2. I tried to show that I was happy. But deep down I was lonely and I suffered.
3. I talked myself out of doing the works that really matter because I didn't think I was worthy of success.
4. This morning, when I heard the question: “What do you want in life?” The first answer that came to my mind was: “I want better sex with my husband.”
5. When I failed, I punished myself with self-blaming and self-shaming. I cried alone in the bathroom. I thought of giving up on myself, my work, my marriage, even my life.
6. When I was anxious, I overate. After stuffing myself, I felt guilty. Then I started feeling guilty for feeling guilty. Because I thought I was supposed to be "happy all the time".
7. While people say they admire me, I know deep down that I’m still holding myself back from my biggest dreams and contributions.
8. My deepest fear was to be found out that I was a fraud. That I wasn't as good as other people think I was.
9. I don't practice any religion. But when I don't know where else to turn to anymore, I pray. This morning at 6:30 AM, I saw in my living room and wrote this prayer in my notebook:
“ Dear God, the Great Mother-Father, the Giver of Life…
I surrender, I lay all my sins and secrets and desperations on your table. Please take away all that need not be here. Please wash me clean from this suffering. So I can be a device of your love. So I can love your creation: the people, the places, the things, the creatures.
So I can love myself - your creation, too.
So I can be liberated from this mind-made prison. And free to dance in your sea of love.”
10. When life feels unbearable, I take out a pen and a piece of paper, and I journal. Yesterday at noon time, I wrote in my notebook:
“What is a good life, after all? Perhaps all forms and expressions of life are good.
Perhaps a good life is to be able to look at all things - the beauty, the ugly, the failure, the success - through the clean eyes of a child; is to accept them - not in passivity but outrageous openness; and is to laugh at all the messy stuffs - not in humiliation but forgiveness and delight.
Perhaps a good life is, after all, to gaze upon the underside of a green leaf, see the light shining through it, notice how it moves lightly in the wind, and feel a jolt of reverence and awe for its beauty.
Perhaps to have a good life, we simply need to live it.
And hopefully, one day realize that “No matter what, I am free.”
Much love from my naked being,
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P.S: What are the 10 things you don't want me (or the world) to know about you?