I've been thinking a lot about authenticity. You know how it is when you meet someone who really "shows up"? You can tell right away if you like their energy or not. Something will draw you in, or you'll find yourself drifting away. It's usually pretty clear from the outset.
There's a saying in Chinese medicine that the shen (or spirit) shines in the eyes. You look in someone's eyes and you can see that spark, that clarity.........or you'll see the "veil" that hangs over that spirit. I think it's one way we pick the people we allow in to our lives. They're our kind of people. They're one of "us".
We're wired for community - for "tribe", even though we've been taught that the word "tribe" gives the sense of something primitive. But it's hard wired into our DNA that we want to belong. In fact, the sense of not belonging is often at the root of depression and anxiety. When we're shunned, bullied or abused, we can spiral down to a dark place. But what happens when we don't truly "show up" as our authentic self? What's the ripple effect of hiding behind our "acceptable" mask? Can we ever truly feel like we belong when we're hiding our true nature, or not speaking our truth? Is telling a half-truth, or withholding half the story the best way to create solid relationships?
I love the saying "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." What a relief it would be to drop the burden of pretense and just show up! "Here I am, like it or not, this is what you get." Yeah, you might lose a few people, but you know what? You were going to lose them anyway. If they don't like the real you, then they're actually dead weight. I know that's hard to take in when that person happens to be your spouse or your boss or your "best" friend. If you're in that position, you should consider finding a qualified therapist - someone who can listen with compassion, ask some good questions, and help guide you to making the decision that's best for you.
If you don't know a good therapist and you live here in San Diego, give us a call. I can refer you to several different ones. In the long run, you'll find yourself feeling lighter and happier. You might wind up keeping some of those relationships - but it will be based on the truth, and that always feels better - for both of you.