Sunday, 4 July 2010

Insides vs Outsides: we are not alone in that boat

I find myself sometimes feeling affected by other people or other peoples lives. By affected, I mean experiencing some sort of emotional response, anything from happiness or joy, to sadness or pity, and sometimes even envy, depending on the person and the situation they portray themselves to be in. These kinds of responses I am positive are natural, however they're senseless and absurd!

It has taken me a long time to realise that people are people, and we all have things going on, whether good or bad, that we choose not to share with the rest of the world. To a certain extent, and due in part to our culture of privacy, we all have party faces, that we put on when we're out and about, showing the best part of ourselves to the world. I have been guilty of this myself, without realising it or the effect I had on other people.

A bi product of this culture of privacy, and with us all having party faces, my belief is that many people feel "alone" in their boat of "insert relevant issues here", that none of us really open up and show ourselves, in the fear that we'll be the only freak with the ol' crooked smile trying to hide imminent tears. None of us are really alone though, all you have to do is look at statistics, or speak to someone that you feel comfortable opening up to. Most of my emotional experiences and responses, I am told, are quite common. There is nothing new under the sun, et cetera et cetera.

The most wonderful thing, the golden egg, or one hundred carat (does that even exist?) diamond is finding flaw with someone, or perhaps a situation, previously considered flawless. I suppose this is why we love to see celebrities without make up. And I don't mean revelling in someone's misery. I mean seeing a person without the mask, that someone else might reflect the way we feel about ourselves, or validate some part of ourselves.

Facebook is the perfect example. We can each broadcast our successes and credits (the best face of our life) with photos, witty status updates and the number of friends we have. I believe sometimes we can forget to really show ourselves. The effect of this, of course, is that we are constantly bombarded with one hundred other best faces, and over time forget that people have issues and things to deal with that are not broadcast with the same dedication and tenacity.

And so that feeling of being alone in that boat continues. And I am not saying that we should all get our whinge on over Facebook, necessarily, but you understand what I am trying to say, that sometimes we might need this reminder, that what we see every day in magazines or on Facebook may not be the entire picture, and that the ugly bits are often left out.

There is nothing quite like honest conversation, to break the false facade that makes so many of us feel alone in that boat. We're not alone in the boat, there are loads of people in all types of boats, each feeling alone without needing to. It takes courage to be honest about the way you really feel, but it's liberating in two ways. The first, that once we have borne ourselves to our loved ones, or indeed to the world, and realise that no one has fled from the room weeping in embarrassment or pointing at us and shrieking in hysterical laughter, we realise they love us for who we truly are, warts and all as we just bore our souls honestly. The second, that anyone a little too timid or uncertain who cannot step forward and bear their soul may be more open to doing so or feel inspired to once they realise there is someone else in their boat.

I...well, I reside in many boats! And I am (slowly) learning to get more comfortable in there, too, with myself I mean. It's taking time but it's happening.

No comments:

Post a Comment