September 17 – The Lazy Susan Self – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

The God in us is not a half-presence. There is no screening who we are.

For years I lived this way: turning the side of me to others that they could understand, spinning the aspects of my true self like a lazy Susan, offering only what others wanted or needed or felt most comfortable with.

I became very good at this, could spin in a crowd of loved ones, accommodating many needs at once. I came to believe that I was being selfless, an agile listener, reliable and giving. Ithought I had found a way to be both who I am and considerate.

What I didn’t realize was that more and more of who I truly am was being hidden, and that showing only the part of me that others found acceptable was not being true to my self. Over time, I became a spy with my deepest feelings and beliefs. The cost eventually was a subtle, but ever-present spiritual suffocation.

No one asked me to do this. Certainly, I have had wounds in my history that conditioned me to hide myself at times. But it was my own misperception of how to negotiate the world that made an art form of changing faces, even though all the faces unto themselves were true.

Fear of conflict. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being loved. Fear of showing what I believed noone else could possibly understand. A lack of trust and faith that the flower inside me could survive the elements out hereā€”all this stayed unaddressed for years while I spun myself.

As we live it, the line between privacy and hiddenness is very thin indeed. I have learned, painfully and thoroughly,that each of us is an entire symphony, and though there are times when all of us will not be heard, disease begins the moment all of us is not played.

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