Nowhere To Hide And Nothing To Hide

Nothing to Hide
Nothing to Hide

Often, when I wake up at 3am, I have this feeling that something is wrong.  Like I’ve done something wrong, and someone is going to find out about it and I’ll be in trouble.  That’s what it feels like, like a kid afraid of getting in trouble.  Afraid her parents will find out what she did.  And then my mind starts to search, going over the day, trying to find the one thing or everything that I’m guilty of.

And I know this feeling goes way back and has to do with feeling shame about myself.  But I don’t know the specifics.  I know I spent most of my life hiding.  Afraid to say how I really felt about things, because I wanted people to like me.  Afraid to make my art, thinking it wasn’t good enough.  Afraid to ask for what I wanted  and needed in a 21 year marriage.   Believing I was unworthy of the most basic needs and pleasures.  Feeling that there was something deeply flawed inside of me, something  I could never let anyone see, something that I had to hide.  And not knowing what this flawed thing was, just feeling its weight, I would search for it.  And, as I still do when I wake up at 3am , I would find it.  Constantly changing, growing and evolving as I did.  Sometimes it was something I said to someone, I was mean or thoughtless, or I forgot to put something back where it belonged.  I had one glass of wine to many, or feared I would be caught in a lie. I spent too much money on dinner or a pair of shoes.  I divorced my husband. I got angry and shouldn’t have.  In my mind one wrong was not better or worse than another.  They all fell into the same category, they all made me feel the same shame.

It was just a couple of weeks ago, after I had the massage where the images of the desert kept coming to me, that I  realized I had done nothing wrong.    That there was nothing inside of me that I needed to keep anyone from finding out.  That the feeling of shame, of having done something wrong was just a feeling, not the truth.

Since spending time in the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, I’ve always equated them with honesty.  Their bare rocks and buttes and canyons, not covered with layers and layers of soil and plants, out in the open, visible and seen. The bare bones of the desert is the desert.

I see now that the antidote to shame is honesty.  Saying the words, sharing the story. Instead of hiding, I’m saying this is me, with all my flaws and flowers.  This is me as naked as the desert.  Nowhere to hide. Nothing to hide. This is me.

Detail of Nothing to hide
Detail of Nothing to hide

Nothing to Hide is  sold for sale.  It’s $85 + $10 shipping.  If you’re interested in it just email me here or at [email protected]

9 thoughts on “Nowhere To Hide And Nothing To Hide

  1. Maria- this is beautiful. The words and the quilt. I can relate a lot to what you wrote. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Wow Maria, such beautiful and powerful words. You are a wise woman. I always say that truth is the bottom line for everyone. I an relate to your words about divorcing with anger. I did that to my first husband and he didn’t deserve my wrath. Making peace with ourselves is the only way to go forward. Love your wall hanging.

  3. Maria,

    I’m am so sorry I was not fast enough to claim this. If you decide to do another one, please keep me in mind.

    Thank you!
    Dava

  4. Very thoughtful post! I identify with your words concerning shame. I have lived with it most of my life (and I am a baby boomer, so that’s a long time)! I do know that my anxious parents contributed, but I no longer blame them the way I did when I was younger. We all make mistakes–I’m sure my grown kids could write a book of my faults. I truly do believe that love covers a multitude of sins and the intent of the heart matters most.
    Like your metaphorical comparison of the deserts being laid bare– I also had an epiphany one day that I could not think of one single thing or incident that caused my deep sense of shame–No violation and I made a conscious decision to stop it! You are so right – honesty truly is the antidote to shame! V

  5. Maria, I wake up or lie awake worrying about things. When the thing I’ve worried about resolves itself, I go on to the next thing on the list to worry about. I suffer with anxiety and PTSD. I tell myself that there’s no point in worrying – it doesn’t change a thing. What will be will be.
    Life is a journey, a difficult journey, but the difficulty makes it so satisfying.

  6. Oh Maria! You could make big money as a counselor!! How I love the wisdom of your amazing discovery!! I believe the young just have not had enough experience to know these things!! A good reason to rejoice in being older!! Annie (I just got back from many days away with no computer, and am so glad that you keep older entries!)

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