Tuesday, August 10, 2010


BE YOURSELF! I always assumed this was good advice, though it perplexed me because after all,who else could I be? I sort of got it though. It meant not trying to be someone I'm not, like a movie star or an admired friend. But being myself meant being the insecure, shy, invisible person I've always tended to be and as far as I could tell that was unacceptable. The desired personhood included being outgoing, popular, assertive, confident. Though I tried on these personas, like one would try on a costume, the disguise did not work, and eventually I had to accept that I was stuck with just being me.

I remember once accompanying my husband to a work related function in Manhattan where Federal lawyers, judges and other court related personnel mingled noisily creating an electrifying energy. Upon entering the room, I was immediately frightened and intimidated.

PARTY Pictures, Images and Photos

They say opposites attract, and as far as mine and my husband's personalities are concerned, the saying proves true. He is the proverbial social butterfly, whereas, I prefer to remain in the coccoon. Being too proud, (I called it mature) to ask him not to leave my side, I risked that he would quickly discover some friends, who would take him to talk to other friends, who would take him to other friends..on and on.

So much for taking risks. I soon found myself alone trying to review in my head what some article had said about "being the life of the party". I also wondered if I had read anything about how to justifiably kill your husband when he abandons you, knowing fully well that you suffer from a mild form of social phobia, but that article didn't exist.

massive murder count Pictures, Images and Photos

I looked around. The article had said to approach someone who looks friendly. Perception is reality some philosophers proclaim, and they're right. I perceived not one friendly face in the whole place. One really can be excruciatingly lonely in a crowd. "*&*%# it!" Yes I used an ugly expletive and decided to just stand there, be invisible and enjoy it. It turned out to be a transformative moment. I no longer fear big social functions, though I still don't like them. But I know that no matter what, the most comfortable fit for me is my own, less than charismatic, personality and really there's no door prize for whoever mingles the best.


Now that I try to see all things through a spiritual lens, I reinspect the idea of being myself and I realize that outgoing or shy, what I am projecting is my ego. It fools me into thinking it is small because it can hide in the midst of other egos, with bigger projection tools. But egos are never small and mine is no exception. It is convinced it's protecting me and fills my head with lies - your not enough, not worthy, too dumb, too fat, don't trust, be afraid, you're inferior, you're superior...ad infinitum.

The masters say I am not my ego. So now, if anyone says, "Be yourself," I am more perplexed than ever. I don't want to be my ego, I think I wish I didn't even have an ego, it enslaves me. The question remains - if I strip it off, what remains? Who is the self that I must be? But, I guess without ego there is no self. Then, who am I?

Sneaky ego. I suspect that even that last question came from you.
sneak sneak Pictures, Images and Photos


  1. I have gone through this many times. I do not do well in large gatherings myself. I am glad my ego is the way it is as my inner self likes a challenge and enjoy proving my ego wrong.
    Nice post Myrna

  2. I struggle with these same issues. I've never been good in social situations. I do so much better one-on-one. I think sometimes the conversation at these functions is so shallow and empty anyway that I don't want to join in. I used to love just watching parties. I could pretend I wasn't really there, just a fly on the wall so it didn't matter that I didn't go out of my way to talk to people. It gets easier as I get older but it depends on the group.

  3. Thank you for such a great compassionate comment, please know its appreciated. I am increasingly happy to have such wonderful friends, hopefully in a week this new medication will work (says it takes 1-2 weeks) and I'll be okay.
    Thank you again