exploring shyness

Shyness

It restricts and judges and criticizes. It’s cruel. It’s numbing. It’s an instant shut down. It dulls my spirit. It tames my passion. It keeps me bound from my truth.

Is it ego? Is it resistance? Is it reaction? sensitivity? weakness? It’s so tempting for me to look elsewhere to find the ‘answers’, but I’m going to trust in my own journey, right now. My own exploration…

It’s like the urge when I want to hug someone… It’s something that I naturally feel. An intuitive action. I feel compelled to embrace others. I often feel compassion. Someone’s pain. A deep loving feeling. Sometimes it’s simply a gesture – a parting or an arrival. Sometimes it’s my expression of caring. Sometimes it’s just a strong gut reaction with no apparent reason at all. It’s the human part of me. My nature. My being.

And when I don’t seize that feeling… that urge… to hug … hesitation instantaneously gets a hold of me and shyness overtakes my being. The hug doesn’t happen. Criticism takes over. The loving intention hangs in mid-air. It pauses. The great intention is let down. Enthusiasm is defeated by criticism and judgment.

And then the loving intention dissipates… and it’s gone.

A missed opportunity.

Another moment of being untruthful to myself.

Shyness grows easily amongst missed opportunities. Every missed opportunity is breeding ground for more. It’s “safer” and “more comfortable” not to hug someone. Criticism justifies it… what if they feel uncomfortable? It often goes back to what’s comfortable for others. “They” might not like it. And, yet, have I ever asked them? Do I have any evidence? No.

And, what’s more important?…

expressing my nature or keeping other people comfortable?

It’s an illusion, anyways. I can’t keep people anything…

and…

A joyful life isn’t comfortable.

I’m reminded of a quote as I write this.

It was a conscious making moment in my life. It resonated deeply within my heart.

When I was 16, my synchronized swimming coach handed all of us a piece of paper at the end of one of our training sessions. It had a Theodore Roosevelt quote typed on it…

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

My spirit awoke after reading this quote. My shyness was threatened.

For me, the critic is ‘being shy’ – It points out how I stumble and could do better. It stands back. It judges. It criticizes. It feeds on my willingness to let it take over.

And, it is stifling.

in wild blossom spirit,

gillian                

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