I’m up in Montana spending time with my family, cycling in the mornings before the heat sets in. I’ve seen several deer with their fawns. The fawns’ strategy of safety is hiding. I see them. They see me. Then, they drop down in the grass and blend in. So they think. I have already seen them and know they are there. I can still see them.
The experience fueled contemplation during my hours of my riding about how people try to do the same thing. How they are seen, and then try to hide. How people are vulnerable, letting their authentic selves be seen, and then fear of judgment, or weakness, or comparison sets in and hiding commences.
Hiding looks like shrinking back from who we are. Being silent. Bending to social norms or other’s expectations. Not being authentic. Blending in to skate by unnoticed. Pleasing others to avoid the discomfort, conflict, or the truth. Being aggressive or ignoring. All lead to a gap in connection.
Just like it is for these little fawns I’m seeing, the strategy of hiding is flawed for us too. Once we’re seen, there is no hiding. We cannot escape the discomfort, conflict, or truth because they remain unless we choose to move through them. Choosing to move through them requires us to be seen. Hiding disconnects us in relationships. Hiding disconnects us from love, respect, and belonging. Hiding disconnects us from ourselves.
The goal isn’t never to hide. The goal is to notice when we are hiding, and recover back to a place of vulnerable connection. To lean in to ourselves. To stand in our authenticity and continue being seen. Even when it’s difficult.