“I have to watch myself because I often put other people off by being too _________.”
What do you believe that you have to tamp down, to keep small and hide for other people not to find you off-putting?
It’s those aspects you have been told that you have to police which form much of your anxiety, fear and denial. It’s the reason you feel the need to modulate, cut back and control your choices to follow the rules, to fit within the lines, all so people will like you.
What do I most fear showing? Simple.
I fear being overwhelming (1998). I know how easy it is for me to open my mouth and fill the space with challenging, intense, theological, liminal and potent words. People can be baffled, frightened, insulted or just see me as a total jerk.
If less of me is more, then I should hold back on revealing myself, right? My æsthetic denial and expectation of scarcity tells me that if something or someone might be useful to me, going after it is the absolutely wrong thing; instead I have to let it come to me.
This strategy leaves me alone and cold most of the time. STFU — Shut The Fuck Up! — does not lead to making lots of new connections. It doesn’t even lead to making the most of the few connections that you do make.
I could, of course, give a complex, detailed and exhaustive explanation of how I came to this state, but I have already filled an enormous and obtuse blog with the blow-by-blow.
Just because I am aware of the torrent of thoughts, feelings and voices that course through me all the time doesn’t mean others are ready to engage or even to hear what I have to share. That means I need to be my own editor, which also means that, like any contentious self-policing queer, I end up cutting out much of the good, relate-able and connecting stuff.
My life-myth is simple: nobody gets the joke. They won’t see what I have to offer beyond their own limited expectations, their own tunnelled assumptions. I may know how sharp, connected and gifted I am, but they see the lumps and bumps of the idiosyncratic & iconoclastic package, which never fit the standard conventions.
For me, attention was always something to be avoided rather than being encouraged. To be revealed was to be unsafe, open to attack for what others projected onto me. Unsafe was my expectation, never really one of the gals, never really one of the guys, never really one of the gang.
I learned to take power from the edges rather than from the front, using guerrilla skills to ask just the wrong question which opens up a new way of thinking.
Offering too much information can be a problem, so we can be defined by what we conceal, what we police. Like anything, though, conscious creation is always more powerful than habitual patterns. When we own our less than perfect bits, our deepest intentions, our choices and our shimmering contradictions we can come to expression with awareness & presence rather than fear & ignorance.
My personal denial is considered, deliberate, explicit. I trust thoughtful content over free style, overthinking, overworking and under achieving. I don’t trust my performance, my brilliance. my beauty (2006).
I know, though, that choice keeps my spark, my light from the world, keeps me from trusting that I can attract what I need, keeps me believing that my intensity will blow the deal.
What we police holds the flashes of our energy, our gifts. Staying small may keep others comfortable, but it doesn’t keep us happy.