So, if, as mentioned in the previous post, I have a lot to say and I haven’t been saying it, there must be a reason, right? That foundational starting place is, of course, Epiphany 1. Even now, with barely a thought to page and my head clouded with the words to come I’d like to skip this part and go straight on to what it all means to me and to the idea of identity as a whole. Once again I’m reminded, one can’t share the truth without exposing the process.
Epiphany 1: I’ve been judging you.
I’ve been locked in a cyclical process: identifying myself-now as myself-then; realizing such; over-correcting the issue; realizing such; and correcting my way full circle through a slow slide all the way back to identifying myself incorrectly. Without fail the process always starts when I am untrue about who I am, when, within any of my circles of reality or spheres of influence, I am not wholly myself. To go further here would be to introduce Epiphany 2 and skip over the rest of Epiphany 1 (tempting) so I’ll say no more about it just now.
What does any of that have to do with me unfairly judging you?
I’ve been not saying anything about the struggle of my process, keeping quiet about the fullness of who I am out of fear that I would lose precious friendships if I were unabashedly me. I’ve tiptoed the balance beam over popular opinion and fear of man so long that I find myself with friends who do not know me and at war with my very self.
I war against judgment and believe in acceptance of a person for humanity’s sake without regard to the how and why of their life and lifestyle. It’s true that change is a beautiful and necessary part of growth and redemption and true liberation, but it would be wrong to allow any perception I may have of how you should or could change affect whether or not I can embrace you for who you are in your today. I have not extended that grace to myself.
The truth of the matter is, I have as much right to be wholly me as you have to be wholly you. The larger truth is that I have no reason to believe that you don’t agree with me on that. I’ve been so quick to assume that you are judging me that I haven’t given you the chance to prove that you’re not.
I’ve been judging you by assuming what your reaction would be to me if I let you know all facets of who I am. I’ve been judging myself harshly through your eyes and not giving you the opportunity to prove me wrong. Most regrettably, I’ve been keeping pieces of myself from you because of the assumptions I’ve been living in.
My irrational fear of your potential judgment has kept a wall between us that was never meant to be there.
There is, of course, good news – that my eyes have been opened to how I’ve allowed my misconceptions to color my person is a remarkable epiphany and, once realized, not easily ignored. I may not be entirely wrong, as I begin this journey to being wholly me in every circle I travel, I may indeed find myself facing judgment and misinterpretation. I suppose that is a bridge I’ll cross when I come to it.
If my choice is to be entirely me and, perhaps, lose a few friendships or to keep all of my friendships at the cost of being myself, I’ll choose the former. In the meantime, I’m sorry for judging you, I’m going to work hard to keep it from happening again.