I Can't Hide Anymore - And It's the Best Thing Ever
by Lynn Brewer Jan 30, 2016
It used to be if I got too worried or stressed or lethargic, I would hide from people (emotionally, mentally, and even physically). I could hide in plain view; I would say I was somewhere yet no one remembered seeing me. I was invisible at school, where I flew just enough under the radar to avoid trouble from the other students. I even won an award for a poem I wrote about how I lived separately and isolated from my family growing up; someone once commented that “it reminded me of the troll that lives under the bridge." That was me, a troll hiding from the world, happy as could be to slap around in the mud with my troll horns and troll claws and big hairy troll toes.
‘Til one day all those troll-y things didn’t make me happy anymore. So I decided to try something new. That thing turned out to be OM. What I didn’t expect to also find was a community of people who loved me unconditionally. Over time, that community grew from our local area to across the nation and eventually the globe. Now there are people on three continents who care about me. Sounds great, right?
Except for one thing.
It makes it impossible to hide. If I try to retreat and isolate, people follow me. And rather than shaming me for my desire to hide, they gently hold me and love me up. Rather than scolding me for feeling too much, they sit and listen to me. Rather than ignoring me and waiting for me to reappear, they follow me under the bridge and wait for my troll mask to come off.
At first this was painful, because 1) it was new and 2) I didn’t understand it. How could anyone love a person who lives the troll life, let alone people who believe in community and connection? But the more I turned towards the people who were willing to wait for the masks to come off, the more I saw how I could be loved even in my darkest, lowest moments. And receiving love in that place taught me that I can love myself there too. That right there has been the biggest source of transformation I’ve found since coming to OM.
I can love the little girl in me who gets mad when she doesn’t get her way because I remember her laughter and playfulness. I can love the addict in me who craves a bender because I remember that at its root is the strong appetite of my desires. I can love the defiant troublemaker in me because I remember how she’s stood up to bullshit with a ferocity no one would think to find in me. I can love both the darkness and the light within me, and that makes me free. So goodbye, troll horns and claws and hairy toes; I’m stepping into love and I never want to hide from that.
(Photo Credit: Tyler Gates)