In my work as a psychotherapist, I've found that we tend to be ashamed of our most unique, passionate and iconoclastic parts. These aspects of ourselves threaten our safety; but they are the direct path to love and, not incidentally, to personal greatness. When we suppress these challenging gifts, we're left with a sense of emptiness and loneliness.
This shame around our most vulnerable attributes is almost universal. And even our best thinking will barely budge it.
So, how do we free ourselves from the thrall of learned shame and fear around our gifts? The best--sometimes the only--way out is through relationships; relationships which instruct us in the worth of our most vulnerable self.
Of the people you know, who sees and relishes your true self? Who isn't too afraid of your passion, or too envious of your gifts? Who has the generosity of spirit to encourage you toward greater self-expression? These people are gold. Practice leaning on them more, and giving more back to them. They are, quite simply, the way out. They are what I call relationships of inspiration, and we usually need to build these relationships into in our non-romantic lives before we find them in our romantic partners. When you date someone like this, recognize what progress you've made to let them in, and celebrate that. In future posts, I will describe the path to building more of these relationships into our lives.