There are two parts to every person.
The representative and the self.
The representative is the part of ourselves that we present to other people so that we may appear contained, controllable, or 'normal'. The representative steps up and decides how much is revealed. It is the pretty packaged bow of our beings that limits exterior forces from affecting us and enables us to in someways shut off from feeling or being.
Then there is the self. The self is the being inside. The inner child. The inner voice. The raw spirit. The self loves to come out when things are happy and great, but rarely likes to expose itself in times of deep feeling or turmoil. The self is the truest part of us. The part that we wake up and go to sleep with. The part that teaches us what is what. The part that guides us to do every little thing. The self is truth. The representative is the front.
Today in movement class we played with these concepts. It's ironic that today I ended up working with a fellow that I had been avoiding the entirety of this month. He intimidates me probably because there was an initial attraction I had towards him. Not to mention the fact that he and are very similar in our approaches to our craft; we like control. So naturally, we repelled away from each other until today. A day I happen to be very much in touch with my emotions and to be honest, they aren't so pleasant. The task was to stand in front of each other and one of us would divulge something real that is occurring in our lives, something vulnerable. After we told our stories, we were to embody the stories through movement and music in front of our partner. Afterwards, we were to tell the same story again and see what had changed after allowing our bodies to get involved.
My partner went first and his story somewhat resembled mine; the idea of missing old love, feeling disconnected, and being reminded of old patterns and lessons but not knowing how to move past them. As he spoke to me, I could tell he wanted to 'get it right'. He wanted to appear in control of the situation and not expose all the feeling behind it. Then he started his movements and they were different than that of the rest of the room. Every other girl was flailing around and crying on the ground, but he was very static and almost robotic. Very small and inching movements. When he would look at me, he would crack a smile. So I did my best to remain neutral and open up a loving space for him to fully express himself. Once the movement was over, he stood in front of me once again and retold his story. I noticed instantly his body language. He was vulnerable. He had to look away and his smile had lessened to the point where I could hear the wavering emotion in his voice. After he finished speaking, I hugged him and acknowledged that it was meant to be that we worked together on this day. That I was meant to see another human who also felt stuck and watch them let go to just move!
I also admitted to him how intimidated he made me feel, which ties in with what I wrote about earlier. I spoke up. I told my truth to this person that I never thought I'd get the chance to speak to. I always wanted to tell him how similar we seemed and offer my two cents about how liberating it is not to always be in control. I saw the shift of consciousness in his expression as I said all of this. He most definitely wasn't expecting me to have all these things to say, as most people don't when I open my mouth, but he was enlightened. He thanked me for my observations and admitted he felt he had learned or at least become of aware of a lesson he had been avoiding. I felt relief. I had already cried at the start of class (we did a stretching exercise that forced us out of our comfort zones, and we were to explain how it made us feel after and for some reason it evoked sadness out of me), but I could still feel the pang of nerves as I was supposed to divulge myself to him next.
Then, by the act of fate, time was up in class and we didn't have enough time to switch partners. I was not meant to share my truth with him quite so much today. Maybe to anyone. Maybe it wasn't the place I was meant to speak up about myself. All day I've been brewing with thoughts and feelings that I am unsure what to do with. I had a chance to expose this in class, and the chance was taken away. But back to what I was saying before.
The representative was the part of him and I that wanted to remain cool. The part that kept eye contact as a means to not seem phased by our humanity. But after the movement kicked in, after our bodies took over, once the truth was shaken free as it does once you engage your body, the self emerged. The self finally came to light and said hello. That was when I truly felt for the guy. When his self was telling me how he missed his old love. Not the funny guy who played it off cool. And I walked out of class painfully aware of my rep and my self.
Sometimes it is very difficult for me to decipher between the two.
I believe I am so open that I don't use my rep in times when others do. But this is a fallacy. My rep just has so much experience that when my self comes out, it scares me. I know how to blend the two well enough to get away with it. But my rep is sneaky. It is the part of me that plays it cool. It is the part of me that can forgive and forget on a dime. The part that always includes everyone despite my personal feelings. It's the part that plans and organizes and connects. Sure, my self is embedded in all of these experiences, but my rep knows how to work the room. It knows that my self contains so much intensity that it can damage my surroundings.
My self is the part of me that feels so deep it hurts. It is the part of me that can't admit to its own sensitivity. It is the part that never forgets hurt or pain or wrong doings. It is the part of me that fears being honest because of how much I can observe that most others don't. It is the part of me that hates to show emotion because I am afraid that my emotion isn't embraced as naturally as I see others do. It's the part of me that always feels like a player in a game; a game I created and control and hate playing. It's the part of me that is a broken child and needs to cry. But my rep knows better. My rep knows that my self is a lot. My rep knows that my deep sensitivity and my need for understanding isn't common. It's rare, it's a gift, yes, but it's a curse too. And my rep protects me from it. My rep steps up and shines a light on the patterns my self creates. My rep allows me to pack up shop and move when I feel threatened or hurt or afraid. And I let it. Because my rep protects me.
But my self is still hurting. Somewhere inside there is a lesson to learn, but I am still hurting. A nod to my latest inspiration. My self is constantly fighting to expose itself and to trust that in the reveal there is magic. There is beauty. There is trust. Acceptance. Understanding. Loyalty. I may always be the kind of person who struggles with holding onto these concepts, because my rep has enabled me to believe that these things somehow always falter in my life. But my self remembers that isn't true. My self knows it all happens for a reason. And that everything is temporary. And that growing up isn't so bad. And that relationships change and evolve but never have to die. And my self knows that if I were meant to be alone forever, I could do it. I don't blame my representative or my self for any of these feelings or experiences. It's not a problem.
It's a choice. It's a choice as to which one you put out when you face the world. It's a choice and a risk. My motto in life is 'color outside the lines'. Do things differently. Unconventionally. Creatively. How creative am I if I keep letting the same old representative fight my battles? Where does that leave my self down the road? A broken child kept hostage in a cage of coolness and amity? That's not all of who I am. Forgive me for having to refer to the series Divergent for this, but it really does apply. I am dauntless, candor, amity, erudite and abnegation all the time. Sometimes I let one of these facets speak louder and that is when the rep comes in. The self is all of these at one time, which is what makes it so difficult at times. It makes it harder to know what the 'right' thing to do is. But there is no right thing when it comes to being yourself.