It felt good to be so real and open with each other. We weren’t protecting our ego’s – we just let it all out. Totally exposed!
We laughed at ourselves and also shared how these fears and insecurities had been a burden for us too. Afterwards I felt much lighter and more at ease.
So often we feel like we’re the only ones but the truth is we all have our insecurities don’t we?
Our conditioning and our culture teach us that we should look or act a certain way. If we differ from these “standards,” we are often judged, ridiculed or bullied in subtle or not so subtle ways.
Because of this kind of conditioning many of us struggle to simply be at peace within ourselves. We feel we are flawed or not good enough in some way.
This mornings chat reminded me of seeing Steve Rosenfield’s amazing images (some of which are seen here on this page) on the What I Be Project. In these photos Rosenfield photographs his subjects’ innermost fears, secrets and the judgements people make about them due to appearance or behaviour.
Rosenfield explains that his work is “all about honesty” and the goal of his photos is to “build security through insecurities”.
The kind of open-ness these subjects participated in is, I believe, a way of mindfully holding our wounded parts and allowing them to be seen and acknowledged instead of ignored or pushed down.
It’s beautiful and liberating to be so courageous and vulnerable at the same time (I salute every person in these portraits).
The What I Be Project, which began in 2010, is ongoing and so far includes over 500 images. I recommend looking through them.
What these images, and my chat this morning remind me, is two things.
1. We’re all on this road called life together. We all have fears (especially the fear we won’t be accepted and loved) and wounds and part of ourselves we don’t like to see. In that knowing we can have compassion for both ourselves and each other. We can also choose to totally accept ourselves despite the expectations of society and loved ones. We are perfectly fine just as we are, even with all of our so called imperfections.
Knowing that we can choose to question those automatic judgements we have about others. We can drop them because we know that no judgement can ever capture the complexity or the whole story of who a person is (or what they’ve been through).
We can let go of our opinions of how we think they should be and embrace them exactly as they are. What a beautiful act of love and kindness that would be. Wouldn’t that be exactly what we’d love for ourselves?
Let us all open up the lines of communication with each other and accept and celebrate our diversity with an open mind & heart.
PS – If you struggle with negative self talk you may also enjoy this blog post The Four Keys to Overcoming Negative Thinking…For Good
PPS -What fears and insecurities do you have? Share them with us in the comments section below (I’ll go first!)