A few days ago, I summoned up the courage to share my book on my personal Facebook page. After 3 long years, it was absolutely about time. It took a lot for me to do this, and I only did so because I felt a relentless prompting to do it. My oldest son was also a huge encouragement, and he could see how nerve-racking it was for me, so he grabbed the mouse, pressed enter, and that was that.
As I sit here typing, I am still cringing at the thought of everybody being able to see my naked vulnerability.
So why the nerves? When something means a lot to you, you try to guard it. However in this particular case, that would be defeating the purpose. To share my book was for me, equivalent to an unmasking, and I’ve been forced to put my true self on display. Wear my heart on my sleeve. A side to me that only a few have ever seen. Not that I was hiding but, only those who got close enough, could see the real me.
My sister thinks I’m bonkers, saying “anyone would jump at the chance to show off their work.” Unfortunately, I am not like that. In fact, I’m the opposite. I always go out of my way to avoid the limelight and find it embarrassing when I draw too much attention to myself. Then when I do get thrown into the deep end, I almost feel like I have to apologise or overcompensate for this unwelcome lapse in the norm.
In the past, my naive and eager self had always tried to speak as I was led, but then a lot of toes got trodden, and I offended many. It felt like my teeth had been kicked in, and I wasn’t prepared to get beaten down again. I had learnt my lesson the hard way and humbly retreated. My voice had been silenced.
The truth is that we can’t really hide what we truly are inside. If you’re anything like me then, things can get really awkward when you’re in the midst of a simple discussion, and you just want to quote scripture to back up your argument. Or a situation arises and your immediate response is for prayer, but you cannot take charge because no one else is on the same page. Happened to you before? Then you need to re-think your position and change it. You may not be in the right environment.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and genuinely want the best for you. People who do not feel threatened by you, or want to compete with you, because they have already established who they are and where they are going. People who will pull you up, and continue to give a helping hand until you are back on your feet again. People who wish you well and not evil.
Not people who pretend to like you but, only stick around to scrutinise what you do, and badmouth you behind your back. These are the sort that will always try to diminish your potential and use every opportunity to undermine your achievements. They love to love the underdog; until the underdog gets back on their feet again, and then the barely unbridled resentment towards you reels its ugly head again.
You can’t be yourself; if you’re in the wrong environment. You can’t be yourself; if you are surrounded by the wrong people.