Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Being Your Authentic Self

What does this mean? To be authentic.

For a long time, I didn't know what this meant in a relationship sense. Now I think I do. It means be who you want to be, not who you think someone wants you to be. Say what you want to say when you want to say it. Do what feels right, not what is acceptable. Speak from your spirit. Don't let fear get in the way.

I've been afraid of love. Of men. Of dating. Of coming on too strong. Of not coming on strong enough. Of sending mixed signals. Of sending no signals. Of lipstick on my teeth. Of words in my head. Even though I'm strong and independent and pretty self aware, I've realized I am completely unfamiliar to myself when I step into a dynamic with a man. Suddenly I freeze up. I am never fully myself. Instead, I'm someone ridiculously driven by someone else's perceptions.

It took a new guy I just met to help open up my eyes to this reality. And even now, as I am trying to live the way he urged me to, I'm still running up against my familiar patterns. Should I really call him? Have I said too much? Will he think I'm clingy?

He told me not to be afraid to call him if I want to hang out. Normally, I let a man do that, as his calls let me know he likes me. When I call, I have no way to gauge that. I suppose if he said no, that would be my gauge, but I actually convince myself he might just agree to be polite so I'll never really know if he would have called on his own.

He told me he likes it when I cuss and burp. These are things I love doing and find myself holding back mostly due to decorum. He doesn't like a lot of makeup. I hate makeup. I don't know if this will go anywhere, but what it is doing so far is helping me see the ways I make mistakes when it comes to my own needs. Often, I do what feels unnatural in order to appear breezy or casual. Instead, I'm a bottomless pit of need and passion and screaming and sensitivity. I want to be filled, caressed, nurtured, intrigued and sustained. I am overwhelming in my capacity to love, but so far have never let anyone see that. I'm a gaping chasm of heart. But there's a big wire fence around my chest. Maybe I will learn to cut the damn wire.

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