This is a picture of my son holding a photography sun shade. The shade is designed to block direct sunlight from the subject being photographed, making them look more natural in the photo. My sons assist me when I take pictures and they get the less fun jobs like holding the shade. On this day, as I was taking pictures I glanced over and saw my son as you see him in the picture here. It got me thinking about several things. First, it occurred to me that I get so busy taking pictures that I often forget my son is over there holding the shade, and just how difficult it can be to stand like that for extended periods of time. Second, I thought about how the image on the screen doesn’t look anything like my son.
Once I noticed my son standing there holding the screen in near 100 degree heat, I thought about how often I forget about the many people who make a difference in my life. Those who are keeping the light from being too bright. Who create just the right light so I can appear better than I am without them.
Then I thought about how the image on the shade is nothing more than a silhouette that hardly resembles my son. This made me ask, “How much of myself do I allow others to see? Do I open myself up and reveal my best and my worst or do I simply display a shadow of who I am?”
It is amazing how complex the dynamic becomes: I am who I am in large part because of the efforts of others and yet I hide parts of myself from them.
Who are the people who cast the best light on you so you can shine and be your best? Are there people who you cast in a good light?
What part of yourself are you hiding? Is there someone who you can totally be yourself with? Do others feel free to drop their guard when they are with you?
Imagine if we could bottle the energy that is used to hide, deny, rationalize, and justify our lives rather than living them. It boggles the mind! I find that the more I insist on being myself, the more creativity and energy seem to flow through me. I love that!
Here’s to you! The real you. The one that isn’t afraid to come out from behind the shade. The one that those few folks see in the rare moments when you trust completely and let go of any pretense.