The hush that has fallen over the room was brought on by some internal struggle. Struggle to find, declare and own the person I want to be, the person I am inside, and drop all the crap and hang ups that continue to keep me from being that person. From being real. In the last several weeks, that woman in there has been screaming to get out and get beyond the internal dialog that has been keeping her silent.
Several years ago when I first started getting serious with Tall Boy, his parents invited my parents over for dinner. Tall Boy's mom made a batch of her classic italian sauce chock full of pork chops, sausage, and chicken and we all sat down together and visited. After my mom and dad left, my mother-in-law was going on and on about how my mom wasn't anything like she'd imagined she'd be and not at all like me. Then she went one step further and said "Because, you know, I thought she'd be 'standoffish' like you".
I was stunned to say the very least.
In all my life, I'd never seen myself as standoffish and had never been told that I was. I see myself more as an open book, understanding, accepting and warm. In my head, I don't care what people do for a living, who they choose to love, what vices they carry, or what other people's opinions are. If I want to care about them and share my time with them, I will. But, in that moment 10 years ago, my mother-in-law may have actually been speaking a bit of truth.
I still believe all those things about myself. I rarely let the opinion of others affect how I feel about anything and it is only after I've been hurt or affected directly that I might change my perspective. All of that is true.
But, I don't know that I've been living that outwardly. I don't know that people actually know that about me or that they believe that I feel the way I do.
I don't know that I've been living real.
Coincidentally, amid all of this battling, my horoscope for this week reads:
Every person you know has a different idea about who you are, and none of those notions is exactly the same as the image you have of yourself. In other words, there are hundreds of unauthorized versions of you in addition to the one you believe in. Usually you don't have much power to control this, but that could change in 2006. More than at any other previous time, you'll have a knack for bringing public opinion into alignment with your own picture of yourself. Your reputation may even come to closely resemble the person you really are.
The horoscope writer summed up everything I've been dealing with in those few sentences which scares the bejeesus out of me.
All of this leaves me with some huge questions:
How do I become genuine?
If what I thought was real before isn't really 'real', how do I get real now?
How will I know, and have others know, that the new real is real?
How do I convince myself that I'm worthy of all to good that I have or will have?
How do I drop the pretenses and self-talk that have been limiting me all this time?
How do I embrace the release of the walls that have bound me?
How do I forgive myself?