There are things about ourselves that are better unsaid, unnamed. Like those little perfidies we would rather not look at too closely. Perhaps they are weaknesses, cracks in the armor, which may heal on their own, or holes in our heart through which we can only smile, if a bit wistfully or forlornly.
And we also look the other way when we see those little chinks in someone else. We all have our crosses to bear, our blind spots, our strange phobias, our bitterness, our pettiness. To focus on the faults, either in ourselves or in others, brings about a kind of dramatic exaggeration of the flaw, a microscope peering too closely and then broadcast over a huge live screen. It’s too much to bear, to admit. We want to play out those flaws, and let them dry and shake their way slowly out of the fabric, let them wear off with under-use, dissipate with neglect, fade with inattention.
We prefer to emphasize the strengths, and let the weakness be over shadowed. It’s better that way.
Those of us perfectionists who sometimes wish to air all dirty laundry, to confess all our sins, to cry our faults on the mountain top, we are shunned, or smiled at with a certain pity, a soft, sad eyed compassion, just enough attention to calm our desperation, but not enough to encourage too much public absolution. Or we are viewed with scorn, branded as weak. And we fear being marked by our blind-heartedness, our shamefulness, which, although no more than anyone else’s, we simple choose to show, unwittingly, almost sacrificially.
To be one of those underlings who are blind to the common superficialities of accepted behavior, we struggle to reason toward the patterns others consider common sense. We see the icebergs looming under every smile. Yet others seem not to see, or not to care. Somehow we try to create, to fabricate the wisdom in this myopia, this blindness. We struggle to laugh with everyone, to blend in, to be part of the gang, to belong. We all want to belong. But belonging is so intangible, so unquantifiable.
So we leave our icebergs unnamed, unconquered, hoping they melt on their own accord, in their own time. We leave the dangling disconnections, the unanswered guilt, the petty pain, the looming emptiness, the caustic looks, the lacking, the fear, the discomfort, we leave those un-named, un-marked, and we walk on, we smile, and keep smiling, hoping everyone else knows what they’re doing, hoping someone else might see the uneasiness in our eyes, and hold our glance a little longer, to tell us we are not alone.
You are not alone.