What if I Hide

by Aileen

butterflyEvery day we have moments where we can choose to show up loud, proud and fully present, or we can choose to hide a bit and only show, share, part of our being.

I don’t know for sure, but I’d be willing to bet we’ve all done both. I can’t be the only one whose been so brazenly bold I’ve stunned the boldest of the bold, and at other times I’ve hidden and made myself almost invisible.

All of us have the choice on how fully we show up, unless of course you’re in a seriously restricted environment, but you know what I mean. So here’s the question:

What if  i hide?

Yes that’s a deliberate “i” and not an “I”

If I hide, if you hide, we may do so because we’re wanting to just observe, or maybe we’re just not quite feeling comfortable. But what’s the effect and what’s the consequence?

  • We may feel safe.
  • We may enjoy deflecting attention and having a calm feeling about blending in.
  • We can feel non committed to the event or situation, which gives us an out – one foot out the door.
  • We don’t have to run the risk of doing something  awkward or feeling uncomfortable.
  • It may feel “nice.”

But….

If we choose to hide, here’s another side of that decision.

  • We don’t allow ourselves to fully experience that particular moment
  • We can’t really take the moment in fully. So we cheat ourselves out of an experience.
  • We deny ourselves the gift of truly connecting with others.
  • We restrict the natural flow and fail to allow our light to shine fully.
  • We deny our own unique light and magic by holding back.
  • We deny others the experience of what we could bring to the moment.

Now,  if we do this once in a while, it may not have too big a consequence. But, typically when one chooses to hide, one tends to repeat that decision. Before long, we can’t find the connection to our total spirit. We feel we don’t know how to show up 100%. Little by little our light fades, our magic fades.

Little by little, life gets a bit more isolated and the real you becomes really hidden. You might feel that no one really knows you. You may feel you no longer know yourself.

Being invisible might be a neat idea to play with, but if you don’t balance it with choosing to show up fully, it may become a way of life.

There are certain moments, and certain life situations where we want to hide. It can be a place of sanctuary, and refuge from the wild unknown. Just be aware, so you don’t linger so long that you loose the ability to turn it on, turn up the dial and let yourself freely express.

There is only one of you in all the world. You are a unique human spirit with unique gifts and a magic all your own. When you choose to show up fully, with all your magic and light, you enliven others and you enliven your spirit.

When you choose to show up fully with your light shining bright, you give a blessing and a gift to those around you.

Yes, there will be times when you chose to hide. There may be periods in life when you just want to tuck away. Be sure to not stay too long. Your light and your spirit, want to dance with wild freedom.

 

“One glorifies God (the Divine) by letting his (her) light shine – by living an enthusiastic, happy, radiant, and fulfilled  life …”         Jack Addington, The Perfect Power Within You

“We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   Marianne Williamson, Return to Love

 

What will you choose today? Will you let your light shine and show up fully, or is it a day when you’d rather hide?

Photo from aussiegall via Flickr

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Artemis|Powered by Intuition March 23, 2012

Aileen,
I loved this especially when you wrote this:
When you choose to show up fully with your light shining bright, you give a blessing and a gift to those around you.
So true. I also agree the more we hide the more it becomes a habit and the harder it is to overcome it.
“Let your light shine!”
Thank you,
xoxo,
Angela
Angela Artemis|Powered by Intuition´s last [type] ..How Saying “No” Helps You Grow (and prosper)

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Aileen March 25, 2012

It still amazes me how when we are used to letting our light shine, it comes easily. When we are int he habit of hiding and not letting our light shine, it can feel so hard to do.

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Louise March 23, 2012

Sounds like the “old me” afraid of being made fun of – but once that step forward is taken with God’s help life goes in a more confident direction. Beautiful article, thanks!

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Aileen March 25, 2012

Fear of being made fun of – fear or rejection – those are big reasons why it can feel hard to just let one’s light shine & show up 100%. It’s as though we have to not care if our magic isn’t appreciated by others and be vigilant in our commitment to stay true to our-self rather than adjust or “tame down” for acceptance and approval.

It’s worth the courageous journey to be able to grow ones confidence and dare to show up 100%

May your light shine bright Always!

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Lance March 23, 2012

Aileen,
Love this! And I do…because it reminds me to *not hide*, and instead go out there and shine!

It’s so true – once we start doing something (i.e. hiding from our fullest potential) it’s easy to become oh so comfortable in that (and stay there). So, today I choose to show up fully… (thank you!)
Lance´s last [type] ..Courage Is A Tricky Thing

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Aileen March 25, 2012

“today I choose to show up fully” is a fantastic affirmation! :)

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Greg Lease March 23, 2012

Aileen,

What a powerful and timely post (at least for me!). It’s often so easy to hide out and then self-justify “that’s just the way I am.” Of course, the more one does so, the more it becomes the norm. There is so much to gain from being present in life, and even more to lose when we fail to show up fully. Thanks for sharing this; it really makes a difference. I celebrate YOUR unique gifts and presence!

Greg

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Aileen March 25, 2012

Hi Greg. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment. You are so right “There is so much to gain from being present in life, and even more to lose when we fail to show up fully.” There is a lot to lose when we fail to show up fully.

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Joy March 23, 2012

Aileen,
This speaks to me today. It’s cold and wet outside, I have no motivation really to go “play”, except that I love fresh air and my entire being celebrates nature. I’m having a similar experience online today, I had a “chilly” reception in my in-box this morning, and I have no motivation to circulate around, except that I love the connections and my entire being celebrates the wisdom and reflections (such as your energy and this article). So, I might want to “hide” but this is how my inner self feels: “Your light and your spirit, want to dance with wild freedom”. and so I dance ♥ Thank you for the inspiration!

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Aileen March 25, 2012

Joy you are magical! I am stunned and surprised to hear you received a chilly reception in your email box – someone must be deeply confused.
I liked this “I have no motivation to circulate around, except that I love the connections and my entire being celebrates the wisdom and reflections” – that can be very motivating :)

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Betsy at Zen Mama March 23, 2012

I’ve been working on this for a while now. I am not shy but don’t seek the limelight. I’m not big with talking to strangers. But because of Zen Mama, I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone, have accepted speaking engagements and am constantly talking to people I don’t know. I’m taking more risks, calling and writing book stores to see if they want to carry my book and promoting myself. All things I’m not comfortable with but seem to be the right thing to do!!

Loved reading this post! It’s a great reminder! Thanks Aileen!
Betsy at Zen Mama´s last [type] ..Start Thinking You’re Lucky With “Lucky Thinking”

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Aileen March 25, 2012

Betsy, how inspiring and fantastic that you are being so self loving and courageous as you dare to explore life’s experiences totally outside of your comfort zone. So wonderfully inspiring! Letting your light shine so wonderfully! I love it!

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Vishnu March 25, 2012

Hey Aileen, regularly play hide and seek with myself. It’s been 3 years. Still trying to be found. I need more than light – a GPS, map and tank of gas would help just about now.

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Aileen April 2, 2012

:) – A life GPS would be fabulous wouldn’t it?

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Paige | simple mindfulness March 25, 2012

I’ve spent much of my life shining my light but in a way that I thought I was supposed to – doing well in school, in my career. It wasn’t until I began my adventures in blogging about a year ago that I learned to drop the corporate facade and shine the light of my True Self. It’s definitely been a process of revealing myself, warts and all, in order to share my stories so that others can learn from them and move toward a happier life. Like you said, once you start, it’s hard to stop. It’s the starting that’s hard. I can fully attest to how rewarding it is to open up and shine our light brightly. You never know what fires you may spark in others by doing so.

Thanks for the inspiration Aileen!
Paige | simple mindfulness´s last [type] ..Your Attitude Determines Your Outcome

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Aileen April 2, 2012

How wonderful you took the bold steps in to blogging, and letting your light shine through. It’s a journey that asks every individual to take it, but the scariness, the vulnerability and the unknown often prevent many from taking the journey.

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Jodi Chapman March 26, 2012

Wow. This really resonated with me. I’m constantly battling between wanting to hide (play small) and wanting to soar (play big). Thank you for this beautiful, gentle push to continue shining brightly. :)
Jodi Chapman´s last [type] ..Shared Wisdom – When You (Don’t Want to) Listen + A Giveaway!

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Aileen April 2, 2012

Sometimes it’s the battling between the two “needs” of playing small and playing big that we find our way into a middle ground that allows us to explore a little more boldly each time, and yet offers a way to retreat when we’ve gone a bit too far out of the uncomfortable zone, and into wildly uncomfortable. Not everyone has a linear path, some of us may zig zag and do the three steps forward one step back and pause before the next step. Each individual has their own way of finding their wings and taking flight.

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Cathy | Treatment Talk March 27, 2012

Hi Aileen,

Love this post! I have also used the quote from Marianne Williamson on a number of occasions. It just speaks to me. I recently attended a Enneagram workshop where nine personalities are recognized and discussed. Some believe in it, others don’t, but I have found it very interesting.

One of the reasons your post jumped out at me is that my “type” can tend to be one that can fade into the background or “hide.” After taking the workshop, I realized how true that was for me, especially in large groups. That may be one reason I love the internet and blogging because my voice can be heard. In fact I think it would be interesting to find out how many bloggers tend to hide. Are we all hiding behind our computer screens? :)

But all that aside, hiding is a choice and we play a role in how much we do or do not participate. Your list of the consequences of hiding is a good one. This jumped out at me – “We restrict the natural flow and fail to allow our light to shine fully.” It is important to be conscious of how fully we participate and understand what we are missing out on when we choose to hide. Thanks for sharing.
Cathy | Treatment Talk´s last [type] ..How to Overcome Addictions

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Aileen April 2, 2012

” It is important to be conscious of how fully we participate and understand what we are missing out on when we choose to hide.” – YES! Hiding isn’t always a “bad” thing and choosing to not be the loudest voice in a big group is okay too. What matters is that we are true to ourselves, and part of that involves looking at what happens when one chooses to hide – evaluating it and deciding if you want to, or if you want to for a moment, or if you want to shine like the sun.

Sometimes our life situation can make us feel like shining big, or hiding a bit – maybe just for that time. And as life transitions come we may change – and that’s part of experiencing life fully. Allowing ourselves the breadth and width of experiences and preferences

Many times in the past, when I chose not to shine it was because I was uncomfortable and felt more secure when hiding a bit. I wasn’t “happy” about hiding, part of me wanted to stand out and shine, I was just scared and chose to be okay with hiding. That’s not the best reason to be a hider. But after realization, one can make choices.

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Ajen March 29, 2012

Hi Aileen, what a beautiful post… We are social beings and through our interactions, we learn about ourselves. The very act of hiding ourselves from others limits our ability to interact with “others” and our environment… and as a result we limit our ability to learn what is it we do or others do to make moments positive (or negative)… we limit our ability to grow spiritually from such experiences… and we limit our ability to understand how we can be of service to each other. …may we all be available to be present and available to serve each other :)
Ajen´s last [type] ..A compilation on love…

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Aileen April 2, 2012

“may we all be available to be present and available to serve each other ” Oh I love this wish, this intention. It’s amazing what happens when are so free.

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Galen Pearl March 30, 2012

I love that Marianne Williamson quote. She was commenting on one of my favorite lines from A Course in Miracles. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Great post.
Galen Pearl´s last [type] ..Radical Forgiveness

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Aileen April 2, 2012

A Course in Miracles is such an amazing workbook/journey. An amazing blessing that’s been shared for all to read and experience. One reason I love Marianne Williamson is she helps make ACIM resonate in all aspects of life – she simplifies it and brings in additional layers of understanding.
:)

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Evelyn Lim April 9, 2012

I had been so fearful of looking like a fool, that I have hidden in the past. Then again, I have also realized that hiding was not the best thing to do. In the end, I became even more critical of myself for not speaking up. That’s a double whammy, alright!

In many ways, I am still learning about letting my light shine. There are still times when I find it hard to participate fully and have also allowed opportunities to go by. I hope to encourage myself to go forth and not be held back by fears anymore.

I enjoy Marriane Williamson’s book too.

Thank you for the lovely post. It’s just what I needed today!
Evelyn Lim´s last [type] ..Law of Attraction: How to Tell a Better-Feeling Story

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Aileen April 13, 2012

It can be more of a journey than a single leap – letting oneself shine. Some moments may be easier than others. I can say that world is blessed by having you shine your light Evelyn. Your website, your writings, your beautiful images and quotes illuminate lives!

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Juan April 10, 2012

first time come here, nice to meet u

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Aileen April 13, 2012

Hi Juan. Welcome. Glad you stopped by today :)

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