Powerful Photographs of People Exposing Their Insecurities & Fears

pi4This morning I went for a walk with a close girlfriend of mine and we had a frank and refreshing chat about the kinds of fears and insecurities that sometimes plague us.

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?pi1

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.

pi5This 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.pi2

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.

pi32. We’re all also prone to making the kinds of snap judgements about others, that we ourselves find to be the cause of our own suffering.

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.

Wishing you peace, Mellipi8

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!)

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  1. Many People instantly make all kinds of snap judgements and assumptions about who i am because i teach meditation. Here are some – Hippy, Space Cadet, Fairy or disciple of some flaky guru somewhere (i’m therefore apparently not to bright). People often immediately assume i believe all kinds of weird things and that i must eat (probably vegan), dress (maybe robes) and behave (probably some rigid spiritual rules) in certain ways. I’ve had many an awkward conversation with people who start talking to be about levitating, special powers or special beings when i say quite simply i’m not really into any of that/i don’t know anything about that.

    • People hide their vulnerabilities in many ways….I’m a psych nurse who sees the worst behavior in people at times because of their addictions and/or their other psychosocial/mental issues. We need to see that our vulnerabilities make us stronger, and learn to accept them and love ourselves no matter what.

      • Thats a noble job that you do. Yes – many addictions arise out of the desire to remove our pain, fear and insecurities.

        Mindfulness is shown to prevent addiction and addiction relapse. Having the courage to face our pain is, I believe the key. Are you able to use forms of mindfulness in your work DD?

    • The fear or insecurity that I was talking about with my girlfriend was ageing. I’m 34 and getting wrinkles and the like and somewhere inside me there is a the deep urge to fight it or struggle with it. The fear really Is if i’m not pretty enough or youthful that people won’t love me – maybe even leave me. I think many women my age go through a similar journey.

      Over and over I bring mindfulness and compassion towards that fear inside me.

  2. love this post! I had a very similar conversation with a close buddy of mine the other day too. if only we could all be more forgiving of ourselves, each other and as you say, constantly remind ourselves that we are all in this together..

  3. I see nothing wrong with the last picture

    • I think it’s what people say about her that makes her feel insecure – that she is a ‘know it all’

      Personally i don’t feel there is anything really wrong with any of them. But these are the things that we may find ourselves feeling insecure, ashamed or unworthy about. We all have a different story but there’s nothing really ‘wrong’ with any of us.

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