It’s happened to me and it is something I have seen in my own network of family and clients.
There is a struggle to try to make things work – to abide by the world’s rules and systems while feeling completely empty and unhappy on the inside.
You turn to self-blame, wondering why you just aren’t getting it together like everybody else.
You fall into a bit of depression and shame and then go into hiding.
There are so many reasons why you hide. Fear of criticism, failure, being laughed at, making a mistake, being seen as crazy and weird, feeling not good enough, shame for not doing things “the right way”, and the list goes on.
Yet the cost of hiding is far too great. Addictions, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and feelings, unfulfilling relationships, lashing out, self-sabotage at work, losing items, being scattered, not paying attention to basic self-care, eating junk food… These are all ways to cope with the empty feeling inside.
Don’t worry. You are not alone. You are probably hiding your dandelion heart.
You see, the whole journey of the soul is to really examine these areas of ourselves and re-claim what we have lost or forgotten inside of us. It is to dismantle how we’ve been socialized and conditioned to fit in. Most people are actually hiding their true natures. It just takes someone to say: “hey, this sucks. I don’t want to live this way,” to break open the box.
Here are some common signs that you are hiding your dandelion heart:
- You isolate yourself from others because you feel like you will lose yourself if you are participate in a group or that others will not understand you.
- You are over-shopping on items that reflect who you want to be secretly or who you think you should be. E.g. a motorcycle jacket, tons of journals, books on topics of interest, tacky Christmas sweaters, etc.
- You create drama and chaos. Because you can’t make up your mind, or you are waffling between who you are and who you think you should be, you can become a bit crazy-making with the people in your life. You may change plans quickly, be non-committal generally, and have strange conflicts with people.
- You procrastinate on the things you enjoy. Whether it is writing, reading, creating art, hiking, spending time with people you most love – you can put that on the side burner in order to meet your obligations.
- Your friends don’t really get you. They may match your socioeconomic status, or even your younger self, or help you feel normal. But there just isn’t that deeper connection that makes your soul sing.
- You’re trying to be perfect in one, some or all areas of your life. If you could just find the right system, the right order, the right formula for housekeeping, your business, your workout routine – everything would be just fine. But it’s never enough and you just can’t hold it all up on your own.
- You align with others who you think are better than you. You’re trying to fit into the clique just like in highschool. You want to be liked by the “right” people, instead of the appreciating the people who do like you for who you are.
- You are judgy or critical of others who don’t fit in or others who are too conformist. This is a classic projection move. You will find the negative lens about the people who you do or don’t want to be. Just know it’s a way of protecting yourself from perceived ridicule from others if you were to truly let your wild side come out.
- You are tired or exhausted. Trying to fit in is truly exhausting. It requires a lot of energy to pretend to be someone you are not. You may find you are worn out and don’t have enough energy for yourself by the end of the week.
- You are living for the future instead of being in the present. Whether you are fantasizing about the future or dreading it, the future becomes more of your focus rather than enjoying your life right now.
So if you can identify with even one of these signs it is possible you are in hiding. If you do the inner work, you will see that it really isn’t that scary to be yourself, and you can do it without having to be self-destructive. It just requires some self-honesty, courage to change and a willingness to open up to a whole other way of life that is deeply enriching for you.
If you would like to keep growing within, join my A Sanctuary for Dandelion Hearts Private Facebook Group so you know you are not alone.