Please… Be misunderstood

Image: Justin Tietsworth

I’ve met so many people who hide their self-expression — one of our most primal human urges — because they fear being misunderstood.

They hide their art — their message — because of a contrived story they tell themselves about how they’ll be received. They fear that they won’t be able to state it clearly enough. Or that they’ll offend someone.

Often times, the one person they envision coming into contact with their message is their arch-enemy. Or their boss. Or their mother-in-law.

(Maybe these characteristics represent one person in your life, in which case, I’m terribly sorry you’ve made such a bad life/career move.)

All of these stem from a fear of being misunderstood.

But please… Be misunderstood.

Share your message it in its rawest, freshest expression, as best you can, right now.

You have to be bold. You have to share in the face of your fear and your deepest insecurities. You have to override the internal critic that holds you back from the development of your soul.

Honestly, 90% of the time, I feel like I have no idea what I’m talking about. Some days I feel closer to the mark than others. But what I do know is that sharing it here in the open has been the most soul-expanding creative exercise I’ve ever done.

Although it’s never easy, it’s always fulfilling. Even when it hurts. Even when really smart people shoot down the idea that, moments before, I thought was awesome. Or when they take something totally out of context and become horribly offended by it.

Finding your truth comes from stumbling around, searching for the light switch in the dark.

Soon, your fingers will find it.

And you’ll flip it on.

Only to find out it doesn’t work.

So you’ll go stumbling around looking for another switch.

And when you find one that does work, after some time, you’ll get bored with it. Or it will burn out. And your search will continue.

Sure beats just sitting in a dark room, though.

Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people deepen their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way.

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