It’s Time to Stop Hiding

Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

160911_ann_41_webI’ve been hiding out. The truth is that I’ve been feeling a bit insecure about my body. And even though I do believe in loving your life at every size, I haven’t been fully practicing what I preach in my own life. Part of me has been afraid of being judged. Even though I’ve come a long way in how I feel about myself and my body, and even though there is a body positivity movement, my fears of being judged are still deeply entrenched.

And yet I realize that unless I can come out of hiding, be authentic, be vulnerable, be unapologetic about who I am and where I am, (1) I’ll never fully heal those old wounds and (2) how can I expect the same from you? So this is me, embracing all of who I am, believing that I am perfectly imperfect, whatever the size of my body. I am here to help women heal from their wounding around their bodies. And from their challenges with food. I can’t do that if I’m unwilling to step into the light.

Today I’m doing that in two ways – the first is in my writing. The second is in sharing some pictures from a photo shoot I did a couple of months ago. Yes, it’s time to update the 5-year-old pictures on my website and social media accounts. Starting here, in my blog. Going forward, I commit to continuing to be here, open and transparent, in the hopes that my vulnerability can help you live a more open, authentic life as well.

160911_ann_24_webSo, I ask you – where have you been hiding out? We can hide in many ways:

  • Trying not to be seen by staying home or hiding in an oversized wardrobe
  • Staying quiet when we really want to challenge the status quo
  • Binge eating in secret
  • Hiding debt or money issues from our partners
  • Being the good one or the responsible one and taking care of everyone else when what we truly need is for someone to take care of us for once
  • Pretending everything is okay when we are really on the verge of falling apart

Do any of these ring true? How else might you be hiding some piece of your truth? And, more importantly, what benefit are you getting from hiding?

We tend to hide for a couple of reasons – fear and shame. Fear of being seen, fear of losing something we value, fear of being judged. Or shame of something we’ve done (or not done), shame of who we are compared to who we think we should be, shame of being dishonest with ourselves or others.

160911_ann_45_webMarianne Williamson said “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”  We can hide behind our fear of inadequacy, staying in our darkness. Because stepping our into the light feels too big, too powerful. What if we no longer recognize the person we become?

Brene Brown says “Shame cannot survive being spoken. It cannot survive empathy.”  In other words, as long as we hide, as long as we keep our shame in the shadows, it will continue to haunt us. When we step forward with courage, with honesty, with authenticity, allow ourselves to be seen fully, and are met with understanding and empathy, our shame can dissolve and we can become more of who we are truly meant to be in this world.

My invitation to you is to take a look at the ways in which you have been hiding. And then to take even one small step toward your light, your greatness, your truth. What would that look like? What would that feel like?

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