Monday, December 14, 2015

Being Seen

I'm a chameleon. It's actually a trait associated with my personality type... which is always weird because you're like, "Shut up Meyer's-Briggs! You don't know me!" And Meyer's-Briggs just smiles and pats your head like, "Oh you think you're so special. It's cute."

I'm a chameleon. I like to hide in plain sight. I can have a conversation with ANYONE... and they all feel like we have a ton in common because I adapt and bend and relate.

I learned these skills as the oldest child of two extraordinarily different parents who both have very strong personalities. They are night and day different, and I had to be able to connect to both of them emotionally to feel secure. So I learned how to slip in and out of various facets of my personality to draw them into relationship, to affirm them in ways that made them feel affirmed, and (because I was a bratty teenager too once) to light them up when I felt like being a jerk.

I learned that I can control people by dancing around them, figuring them out and bending myself around them. But, really, isn't that just controlling me? I hustle hard to control how people feel and how they perceive me... but isn't that just controlling me?

I trade my freedom for security. A woefully, self-stealing choice.

P. S. -- If you're freaked out right now that I'm playing mind games on you and vowing never to talk to me again, I do not blame you... but let me tell you this... It's not something I'm proud of. It's something I'm trying to get away from. I long to just be ONE ME. To escape the fear of being seen.

That's really what I wanted to write about today.... the fear of being seen.

The fear of being pegged, pigeon-holed, pre-judged, dismissed as a whatever-fill-in-the-blank.
The fear of not being able to Chameleon and win your love, because you've already categorized me and you know who I am.
The fear of being looked at by a million eyes that have secret thoughts about me that I'll never know and can't control... the fear of being seen.

For the first 26-ish years of my life, there were a few things I vowed I would never be:

#1-I wouldn't ever publicly reveal myself. I didn't want to be dismissed as a self-absorbed brat who thought people gave a rat's ass about my inner workings. Who cares.
For a while a blogged about pretty stuff that I liked. I wrote about theoretical research topics. I wrote about imaginary worlds. But I wouldn't write about myself... I wouldn't submit myself to public scrutiny. I would leave people guessing. That way I could still Chameleon. I could still Hustle for love and affirmation.

#2-I wouldn't ever be One of those Church People... that is a category utterly fraught with pigeon holes and pegs and assumptions. Privately, I've always been very religious. But publicly, I refused to be a typical Jesus person.
It was done in self-defense. My beliefs are full of nuance. I pissed off the Church People because I couldn't walk their straight and narrow line, AND I pissed off the non-religious people because I was religious. For a Love Hustler, this was a terrible place to be. So I vowed I wouldn't ever be a Church Person. While all my elementary school friends were saying, "I'm going to go be a missionary in Africa!" I was saying, "Nope. Not me. I'm going to be a Olympic Karate Master!" ;)

I hope you're laughing now. Look at my life!!!

I'm writing about myself... UH LOT. And I'm writing about Jesus... that's perhaps the most vulnerable place of all. Because I know there are those out there who have now officially dismissed me and will avoid me because I'm One Of Those.

But telling the truth is better than Hustling. Freedom is a truer form of Security than a security manufactured by controlling myself and others.

Which brings me again to Being Seen...

I started writing this blog very quietly. For myself. Now It's not so quiet... there are a LOT of people following along. (And I have to be very conscious to continue to write with freedom and without fear.) AND... I was actually asked to speak at an event at my church... and I did... and I think it was a blessed time... but I was SEEN. Like... with EYE BALLS. Looking at me. EEP.

When I'm behind a computer, I can pretend no one will read and judge and dismiss and scorn. I'm alone in my living room... I can be as dramatic as I want and no one is going to smirk in front of me and make me wince with self-consciousness.

But in front of a crowd... holy. stinking. moly. Suddenly it hit me... I am being SEEN.

If you're not a Hustler, a Fear-er, a Controller, a Perfectionist... you don't know how scary that is.

To be seen.

You can't take it back. There's no "Un-Post" button (which I make heavy use of). There's no edit key. You present your deepest and most intimate thoughts... and there are actual FACES watching you and reacting.

Being seen.

It's terrifying.

And it's beautiful.

How deeply we long to be seen. To be known. To be accepted. To be pursed and recognized in the crowd by someone who loves us anyway.

To be seen... it is perhaps my greatest fear. And my deepest desire.

I expect that this will always be a tension in my life. Hustling for love will always be my stumbling block. Chameleoning will always be my default mode... But I'm learning this: While my heart is crying, "WHAT IF I FALL!!!!???!!!"  What if I'm rejected? What if I'm scorned? What if half the people that hear my words pigeon hole me and dismiss me completely and I can't explain myself? What if I fail?..... The Lord is standing by saying, "My daughter. What if you fly? What if the wings I made for you are enough... and the course you take is the one I prepared for you all along? What if the hearts that don't scorn you are illuminated? What if you're brilliant because you stopped running away from Being Seen."

And, words most powerful and most comforting of all... he is standing by and saying, "My daughter... I see you."

I can hustle for your love. I'm good at it. I may never be able to stop. But I can't hustle for Him.
I can angle for acceptance and love here... but there's a truth that I'm only beginning to grasp: All acceptance and love has already been granted me by Him.

His heart for me is that I walk Secure AND Free as the person he has designed me to be.
Secure and Free. Secure and Free. That's a kickin combo! That's a combo I don't think I can ever achieve for myself. And it starts with Being Seen.

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