This spotlight burns bright
Exposing every crevice of my wounds
Worse is the judging of your eyes
As I lay stark and ungroomed
The slightest whisper echoes round
My pain plain for all to hear
I cringe at its lonely sound
Softened only by my tears
I force myself to stand
And look up into the glare
I find shade behind my hand
And look down, my body bare
I feel ashamed of what I see
But all the same, it’s who I am
If I don’t care how I’m perceived
Why would the others give a damn?
I step outside the lighted oval
And am not scared if it will follow
I walk with purpose, ever hopeful
That I don’t lose this strength tomorrow


Be open.

We are all human beings. We all make mistakes, we all have flaws, we all have aspects of ourselves we would rather keep hidden. When you can accept the reality that those characteristics you are afraid to expose will most likely be shared by someone else, it opens up a freedom to reveal who you are. A weight is lifted that no longer worries about what other people think, but only what you have accepted about yourself. Such honesty may open you up to more scrutiny than you desire, and leave you more vulnerable to attack, but putting up and maintaining walls that no one can assail is a full time job. When you let down your guard because you are comfortable with who you are, no energy is wasted. It becomes easy to calmly respond to attacks because you have left everything out on the table, and need only rely on the truth.

A contributor to wanting to maintain privacy is a false sense of drama. You may feel that aspects of your life are too important to be known by anyone else. That such information in the wrong hands could be catastrophic. Or, in a superior fashion, that others are simply not worthy of being privy to such details. There are certainly cases when precautions should be taken for private information, but each decision should be tempered with an understanding of the consequences of compromise, and the probability of it happening. When logic is overwhelmed with a paranoid attention to privacy, you will be prevented from focusing on more important things.

Conceding that you prefer to not reveal something is still being truthful. You needn’t wander into the realm of obscurity to do so. Maliciously substituting private information with something dishonest takes it too far. Being caught in a web of lies is far more taxing, and damaging when the truth is revealed, than honestly withholding information.

Respecting the confidentiality of another individual is still being truthful. You are in charge of breaking the pattern of privacy for yourself, not violating someone else’s right to it. By all means, urge the person who has confided in you to be honest about their secrets, but allow them to take that step for themselves.

Nobody is perfect. Privacy often comes about from a yearning to be recognized as perfect, for whatever reason. This, however, is a fruitless endeavor. Your outward appearance will most likely be regarded as artificial if it is centered around the idea of perfection. And is it not artificial? If you actively hide things about yourself so as to not taint the perception someone has of you, are you not fabricating an image that is not based on reality? Imperfection should be embraced, not covered in a shroud of privacy.


Situational Questions

  • When you prepare for a display of knowledge, is it done with a worry of how you will be perceived? Do you not want the steps you took to reach your conclusions to be visible? If you allow yourself to make mistakes, and correct them in real time, are you not demonstrating a greater mastery of the subject?
  • When creating something of value, do you feel you need to hide the strategies you employed to reach the finished product? Are you afraid of being overtaken by someone else who is inspired by those practices? Are you not confident enough in your own knowledge to best whatever else is created?


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