I think you hit a point in life where being true to yourself gets really easy and really hard. It feels like that is where I am now.
When we are children, we are tiny little explosions of want and need. We have not yet fully formed into people and so the easy truths we share are mostly just screaming and giggling and isn’t a true self at all, it is just reaction to stimuli.
As teenagers and young adults we begin to feel things more completely, but the onslaught of emotion and hormones keep us from being a true self. We are all living in some sort of low budget Lifetime movie or after school special where every thing is dramatic and is usually resolved by crying, punching something, or moving to a new set of dramas.
A lot of people just stick to this phase forever. I am sure you are picturing them in your mind right now.
But most of us progress to a place where we begin to sort through the world we live in, and the opinions we are handed by others. We brush away the dust that our life experience has abraded from us and form a truer version of our selves. Ideas that are our own, feelings and opinions that are less black and white and more grey begin to emerge and hold us together with their light and shadow. This is where we are able to say, “I believe” and “I was wrong” and know we truly mean both. It is also where all of that lifetime of situational exfoliation teaches us to try not to just start scraping at other people. We learn that sometimes we bend to save others from pain and though we know our true selves better than ever, we also know that we have tremendous power to inflict pain with that self.
So where is the line? At what point do we stand up to be counted as a whole and complete person of conviction, and when do we sit down, knowing our convictions are just as strong if we keep them to ourselves.
I find myself choosing my words and language a great deal. I try to be aware of the convictions of others as well as my own. It seems that in this part of my life, when I finally know who I am, I have learned to be more selective about sharing my true self with others.