10 Ways You May Be Hiding from the World & Why You Need to Be Seen

Written by on July 1, 2015 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living, Thrive with 0 Comments

By Michelle D'Avella | Tina Buddha


“Don’t hide yourself. Stand up, keep your head high, and show them what you got!” ~Joe Mari Fadrigalan

Sometime in high school I started to disappear. If I think back to the source of my disappearance, it was probably in sixth grade, the year all of my girlfriends ostracized me from sleepovers, parties, and general friendliness.

I was resilient, made some new friends, and forgave the old, but I kind of stopped trusting people. And when you don’t trust people, you can’t be yourself around them. So I decided to disappear.

I remember becoming ghost-like. I remember it being a choice. A conscious choice.

I decided to slouch in my desk and cover my eyes. I decided to silence my voice when an opinion was provoked. I decided to avoid eye contact. I decided to skip parties, stop making efforts with people who made no efforts with me, and hold my breath until graduation day.

And this is what I learned: people let you disappear.

I don’t think I expected to be saved, but no one crawled into my hole, grabbed my hand, and pulled me out.

If you want to disappear, you will. You’ll meet someone five or six times and they will never seem to remember meeting you. You’ll walk down streets and people will bump right into you. You’ll be looked through and talked over.

The world does not carve out a space for the voiceless. They do not roll out a red carpet and invite the invisible to parade through.

This is the great lesson of life: you get what you ask for. If you want to disappear, you got it. If you want to be seen and heard, you can have that too.

Disappearing is much easier, I have to say. It doesn’t take much energy to shut up and fade away. What’s much more challenging is acknowledging to yourself that you’re worthy of being here and facing the pain that’s required of being seen.

Here are some of the ways we hide:

  1. We don’t give our opinion because it’s different from what other people are saying.
  2. We avoid eye contact or look away once initial eye contact is made.
  3. We speak very softly and timidly.
  4. We slouch and hunch over in an effort to shrink ourselves down.
  5. We wait for other people to initiate.
  6. In conversation we don’t offer up anything about our lives, our feelings, our interests, our thoughts.
  7. We decline invitations to parties, to dinners, to coffee, to anything new.
  8. We tell ourselves stories about people so we don’t have to like them and, inevitably, let them in.
  9. We don’t tell the truth to others.
  10. We don’t tell the truth to ourselves.

I was waiting to live. Waiting to feel okay in my skin. Waiting to find people I could trust and open up. Waiting to live the life I wanted for myself.

This was a dangerous lesson in my life. It taught me that it was okay to hide, that it was okay to shrink myself down to a barely audible whisper. Hiding became a habitual coping mechanism.

When I moved to LA in my late twenties, I realized that no one knew me. I had some amazing people in my life who lived all over the country, but this was my new home—and no one knew me.

Around this time I began to heal myself through mentorship and breathwork…


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