My French friend says that ‘Love is a great challenge’. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to appropriate this and say ‘Dating is a
great challenge’. Writing and dating have been mirroring a lesson for me, let go of the need to be liked and be authentic.
With writing it’s the lesson of writing from the heart, what needs to be written, not writing for marks or for approval of others.
With dating it’s been letting go of the public persona, the person I pretend to be (whom I think people will like more than the real
me), and just get real with people. My fear in being the real me was that the imagined hurt and pain if I was rejected, that I couldn’t stand them not actually appreciating the truth of who I am.
Recently I’ve been dating with this intention, feeling very vulnerable as to be dating without my lifelong persona doing all the work
for me. There was a very nice guy that was the first one to experience dating the authentic me (or at least as authentic as I could be). Unfortunately, after a few dates my fear of not being liked for my true self crashed into reality.
Him not really liking me didn’t turn me into a hot mess, like I thought it would. I felt proud I’d been myself and was honest during all the dates. It was better for him to say you’re not right for me, than I really like this fake person and be trapped into faking it for the rest of my life.
Not being liked is really not as bad as I thought it was. It was a bit of a shock though – I’d hoped that being authentic would pay off
dividends, and I would be rewarded for my bravery. But no, I’m kidding the rewards wasn’t the beginning of a great relationship, it was the gift of encountering my fear – of the reality of not being liked when someone had seen the real me.
I view the whole thing as a limiting belief I had to fully encounter and breathe through, to be free from it. And now I feel
empowered to be myself, I want to share my true self with others. It’s also that if I am my full self, free from pretence, then I also allow and encourage others to be their full self.
We are all perfect pieces of God. It’s an honour to allow people to know your full spectrum of humanity from the good to the bad. And truly it’s an honour when someone allows you to see everything that they are.
So I ask the Universe to bless every part of who you are, and to bless every part of who I am.
Penelope Jane Jones.