When we begin embracing our authentic self, there are consequences.  Many of these consequences are surprisingly delicious, and completely welcome. They leave us asking, why didn’t I do this sooner?

But authenticity also comes with some distressing side effects.  Sometimes, when we reveal who we truly are, we make others feel uncomfortable.  The reality is, not everyone knows how to love the real you.

warsan shire poem for women who are difficult to love


Peeling back the layers

The real you is an anomaly.  For the right people, you are a welcome exception to the rule – a beautifully strange addition to their world.  For others, you are a looming question mark in a land of absolutes. Your complexity stirs confusion, and even fear, in such people. They are shallow swimmers, easily drowned by the depths of your heart.  They’re not ready for deeper penetration.

Press and ear to my chest and you'll hear the oceanThis is unfortunate because peeling back the layers of one’s personality is a form of foreplay; the slow, tender undressing of the soul is the definition of seduction. Many people can’t get beyond the first layer. They’re so busy fumbling with your overcoat that they never discover the French lace underneath.


Don’t bend, don’t water it down

For some, you will always be too much, or not enough.  In their eyes, you are too strange, too different, too difficult to understand, and easy to take for granted. They want more of what you aren’t, and less of what you truly are.

You are a softy body of hard to swallow contradictions michaela chung

They will try to change you.  Don’t give in. Resist the temptation to flatten your complexity and water down your soul.

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~ Franz Kafka

We don’t need to alter who we are to make others feel more comfortable. The moment you feel like you need to prove yourself in a relationship, it’s time to begin looking for an exit.  One of you will have to go.

Saying goodbye is never easy.  But it is often necessary. In the end, you don’t belong to anyone, but yourself.  So, why not take full, unapologetic ownership of who you are?