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Express Your Truth; Let That ‘Perfect’ Self Image Go!

Posted: January 21, 2021

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It’s okay to accept that we are vulnerable at times and going on despite it, is what makes us human.

Very lately, I had been feeling overwhelmed about everything. I was not sure what was burdening my mind and so I came out to a cafe to unwind.

Cafes are my ‘go to’ place to do some soul searching. The smell of brewed coffee, the sight of cheerful waiters and the subtle music with even subtler conversations just puts my mind at ease.

As usual I sat down to write my feelings.
What do I really want, I wondered?

Immediately, my mind flashed back to a memory with my father. As a young child, I often accompanied my parents to late night parties. The estate parties started late and went on till after midnight. I often fell asleep in my father’s arms, oblivious to my surroundings.

The aroma of food, the distant conversations and the clicking of cutlery would gently fade away as I slept, like children do. The feeling filled me with warmth. I felt safe and secure being held in my dad’s arms. It felt so good I realised, to be a child. Expressing my truth, my feelings, my needs, to just be me…without pretensions.

Every time I had a concern I always asked my father, ‘What if things go wrong?’ To which my dad would reply, ‘What if things go right?’ Many a times when I approached him with an anxiety filled question, he would ask me to ‘just forget it’ and get on with what needed to be done. These interactions, no matter how small, gave me immense courage to move on.

As a woman, I realised that the pressure of holding on things together, putting on a strong face even when you might be breaking inside, is such a Herculean task. I realised then that I was actually finding putting up a face, no matter how difficult it was.

The other day, my daughter came to me with a problem, to which I replied, ‘Just forget it and it will be okay.’ I was startled by my own response. This was exactly what my father always told me. Did he also feel overwhelmed about needing to be the backbone of everything? I am sure he did. But does it need to be this way? Do we really need to pretend and act infallible and perfect, when we are actually still kids at heart, needing a hug every now and then, scared of so many things?

The answer is of course no.

I realised that day that it is important to tell ourselves that it is ok to be imperfect. That we do not need to pull on that brave face when we are afraid. That it’s okay to accept that we are vulnerable at times and going on despite it, is what makes us human.

I realised that I needed to let go of the need to put up a strong face. I needed to let go of the need to hold on to a self image just because I am playing a certain role.

Empowered with this realisation, when the waitress came in to check on how I am doing with my order, I gave her an honest feedback including an honest reply to her question ‘How are you doing today?’

I thought my answer, ‘not very good’ would make her dismiss me as a nut case but interestingly, this sparked a conversation. We exchanged views and she agreed that she too has stopped putting up a brave face and instead, started to express her truth more than ever. As she tells me, she has never felt better.

Image credits Wilson Vitorino/Pexels via Canva Pro

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A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple

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