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    Constrasting The Contrast

    “Maybe I'm like acts of Congress or your favorite Chinese restaurant - you don't really want to know what's going on behind the door. I'm a real study in contrast, I expect, looking from without. But it adds up to what you get on stage.”
                      - David Lee Roth

           When I saw this quote from my all time favorite frontman, it immediately struck a chord, in both what it illuminates, and in what it shadows. In that quote, I saw myself. I saw all of us.
           Unlike what Diamond Dave professes above, I have always wanted to know “what’s going on behind the door”. Both in myself and in you. Knowing what’s happening there, however, means you have to look. You have to dig. Sometimes quite deep. You have to go places that maybe you either don’t want to go, or have no idea how to get to, or both.
           It’s easy to get lost inside ourselves. That’s why we need guides. Like counselors, therapists, books, gurus, groups, and each other. We’re not supposed to go there alone, at least not all of the time. The journey within is at once a very private venture and one that needs to be shared.
           That sharing, however, is scary. Maybe even scarier than going alone. Because to share, we have to let someone in. And the further we let someone in, the scarier it gets. But that closeness creates true intimacy. And true intimacy is the richest, most beautiful of places. When we delve into the depths of ourselves and share that journey with others close to us, we create truly beautiful connections.
           So I’ll tell you what’s behind my door. I’ll explore that universe with you. And I’ll ask you to do the same with me. You don’t have to, but I will encourage you by leading by example, and by professing the wondrous benefits of doing so. I want to get closer to you. I want intimacy. Scary? Yes. Difficult? Sometimes. Rewarding? Fuck yeah.
           When you hang it out there, like some of us do, you’re effectively peeling back more of your mask and revealing more of yourself. Your showing more of your sides, more of you. And we are vast. Most of us hide our insecurities, fears, doubts, and glaring imperfections. We want to look a certain way. We want to look good to the outside world. Inside, there’s an awful lot going on, but nobody, or very few, ever see it.
           So when someone like me dares to pull back the veil and show you more, it confounds some people. Like in Diamond Dave’s case, it can appear to be a study in contrast. But only if we fail to understand what’s behind the door.
           When I began blogging, I opened up and became vulnerable. I started sharing some of my deepest thoughts and feelings. I exposed some of my fears and insecurities. Even some of my closest friends had no idea that my inner world could be so fraught with such pain and sadness. Because I didn’t appear that way.
           So who’s the real me, you may ask. Well, I’m all of it. When I’m the life of the party, it’s not an act. When I’m wearing the wild shirt, orchestrating creative mayhem, laughing and dancing, that’s the real me. It’s just not all of me. With people I love, and through my blog, I have learned to give the other parts of me the exposure they need.
           Who says I can’t be a wild man and a tender soul? Who says I can’t be really secure and truly confident sometimes, and insecure and full of self doubt at others? Who says it’s contradictory because sometimes I want to make love and sometimes I want to fuck? Who says I can’t be a top one night and a bottom the next?
           Who am I? I’m all of it. I’ll tell you that. I’ll show you that. If you don’t understand, I’ll help you get me. I’ll write about it. If you’re interested, I’ll talk to you, I’ll spend time with you, sharing more and more of myself. Going deeper. And if you still don’t get me, maybe that has more to do with your own limiting beliefs about how vast and complex you are. Maybe you don’t spend enough time letting light into your darkness. And if that’s the case, tell me. I want to hear it. I’ll be there for you. But you’ve gotta be vulnerable. And you’ve gotta dig deep. I’ll hold your hand, the whole way. And I won’t let go. No matter what.     
           When I get close to a person, I encourage them to share with me how afraid they really are. How insecure they really are. Because I can see it anyway. Having spent enough time in my own stuff has honed by intuitiveness, my intuition, and my sensitivity to that. You can't hide from me. And I don't want you to. I want you to open up to me. Because that’s part of the real you that gets precious little air time.
           Showing me your fears and pains and insecurities does not freak me out. In fact, it creates a deeper, more loving bond. I will in fact love you even more, not less. That tenderness and truth and vulnerability is beautiful to me. And in most everybody, that tenderness and truth and vulnerability needs to see the light of day far more often. More time needs to be spent there, sharing it with safe people you love and trust. Because in that process, not only do deeper, more meaningful connections get formed, but you allow light to reach the darkness. And then the dark isn’t so dark anymore. Or scary. Or shameful.
           Some of the most beautiful and precious moments of my life have been spent with people I love as they open up to me and share some of their deepest pains, deepest fears, and most disruptive unresolved issues. The tears they shed with me are priceless gifts; more precious than any material item they could ever give me. On the outside, most would never guess that this person had this going on underneath. Because we don’t show that. It’s considered weakness or frailty or just too much. Bullshit.
           I challenge that. I’m not saying that you have to share your pains and insecurities with everybody. But you have to share it with somebody. And chances are you have to share it a lot more than you do now. Because those dark places inside of us need the light of love and understanding and care. They need to be nurtured. They are not ugly, but beautiful. They just don’t know it. You just don’t know it. But I’m here to tell you that’s the way it is.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All Rights Reserved.


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