“Burst down that closet door once and for all, and stand up and start to fight”. – Harvey Milk “Everyone gets killed in the shower. Don’t you go to the movies? Psycho. Dead in shower. The Mexican in No Country for Old Men. Dead in shower. Michelle Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath. Almost dead in…
“Burst down that closet door once and for all, and stand up and start to fight”. – Harvey Milk
“Everyone gets killed in the shower. Don’t you go to the movies? Psycho. Dead in shower. The Mexican in No Country for Old Men. Dead in shower. Michelle Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath. Almost dead in shower, or in the bath, anyway. But she did that thing with her toe and got out OD. Still the shower, though…Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. Dead in shower. John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. Very dead in shower. But never closets. I can’t think of anyone shot in a closet. This is why I hide in closets.” ― Derek B. Miller, Norwegian by Night
“We’re not broken. We’re not in the wrong bodies. We’re not inadequate. We’re not lesser. We’re not unwanted. We’re not fraudulent. We’re not undesirable. That’s all just a set of lies we tell to soothe the experience of the prisons we put ourselves in.” ― Agnostic Zetetic
This is me trying to write like one of my favourites on TNC, Dr Baruu and his quotes. I’ve been thinking about self-exposure for a while now, how hard it can be to disclose our true selves effectively and do away with the many veils we use to cover who we really are, sometimes in a bid to shield and protect ourselves from being hurt, but other times we leave our real selves in the closet and put on a persona that is far from the us in the closets just to fit in, be noticed or loved by that seemingly special someone, be accepted, or belong to a social circle that hardly helps us create our world because we aren’t truly living our real lives.
If there’s anyone that self-exposure doesn’t come easily to in any way it would be me, the first time I wrote something for a blog I didn’t go to see it when it was posted until 2-3 weeks later because writing my thoughts and having people know what is inside my head feels like I’m completely naked, and it’s especially scary because there’s this thought that I may be found out one day and someone will say, “caught you!, you fraud!, you don’t even really know anything”. But writing is good for me, so I’m braving it out. Authentic communication is not always easy, living in authenticity is even harder as most times the closets we choose to hide in is very safe, familiar, and comfortable; there’s no conflict, disagreement, or someone questioning our motives or reasoning in there, but authenticity is needed because it’s the basis for successful relationships both personally and professionally, plus real effectiveness in our daily activities.
We all have closets, not just in the traditional sense like the gay closet. For some it might be telling someone I love you for the first time, speaking openly and unashamedly about our past, talking about sex and our preferred desires, speaking up at work and sharing our ideas, then there’s the many Introverts that try to live as extroverts because our world today largely encourages outward living while living inwards is rejected and unpopular. A closet can be a hard conversation we would rather avoid having or anything we see in us that is different from what the rest have and we try to hide away. But just as our topics and what makes us who we are may vary greatly, the experience of being in and coming out of the closet is universal.
The stuff about closets is that it doesn’t only prevent us from truly experiencing our lives at the moment that we’re living it, it also prevents the people we have in our lives from experiencing and getting the best of us. We all have different selves within us, as we grow and advance in life; different versions of our personas emerge or die depending on the season of our life we’re in and the circumstance that surrounds us, now can you imagine what a disservice we do to ourselves each time we choose not to live the fullness of who we are or apply the totality of ourselves at every point in our lives? Beginning to live in authenticity may require baby steps, but it’s crucial. What we need, I think, is courage; the courage to choose authenticity instead of hiding by owning and living our truth so the people in our lives and even the world can benefit from the beauty we are and we carry as human beings.
I found this video last week and it shed more light on how much we underestimate our ability to change and I thought to share.
Image via Pamela Hodges