Smoke and Mirrors 

You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, something not everyone know how to love. – Warsan Shire

I have been told by more than one person, guys specifically, that I verge on terrifying. I didn’t get it at first. Like how am I terrifying? Terrifying because I might hurt you? Terrifying because you might hurt me? Terrifying because are falling for me and the timing is bad?

All of those are valid. And I know I am intense. I know I over-analyze things and can be insecure and needy. I am not exactly passive. I have strong opinions and am honest to a fault, except for when I’m not. When I fall, I fall hard and fast, and I expect way more than most can give. And I know I have darkness, like a lot of it, and I’m terrible at hiding it.

That’s it, isn’t it? After decades of wondering what the hell I was doing wrong, I think I finally see it, my tragic flaw. The darkness.

It is tragic. Because as it turns out, most of you are scared of the dark.

I used to be. I used to use smoke and mirrors too, to trick you, to trick myself, into believing that I was normal. Not just normal, but happy and fun and positive, with no issues or past experiences that would make me need or expect too much. This usually worked for a month or so.  My scars were deep enough that you couldn’t see them unless you got close enough, which I would make sure didn’t happen.

But I couldn’t sustain it. Once the smoke cleared, what was staring back at me, what was finally exposed, wasn’t pretty, at least not all of it. And you would slowly back away. I always wished you would have done it sooner, that I would have shown you sooner, because now you just confirmed that the bad outweighs the good… and I kind of liked you.

So I don’t do that anymore. I simply can’t. I think you deserve to know what you are signing up for. And I want to know, sooner than later, if you can’t handle it. If the dark parts scare you, then I certainly don’t want to keep entrusting you with them. These are the parts that are currently the strongest, and also the most fragile.

So you are going to see them, sooner than later. And you are going to have to show me yours. You are going to have to expose those places where you go to hide. And you are going to have to tell me when you go there and why.

You don’t have to, clearly.  You can slowly back away. Because I assure you, it’s not easy or comfortable. But if you haven’t done it, or at least started the process, then you don’t truly know why it is that you do what you do, which includes how you deal with me. If you don’t know what your patterns are, what triggers you and how you will react, then I won’t know how to best handle them, how to best handle you.

So I want to see them. Your demons, those you have worked so hard to keep hidden. I want to meet them. They are actually who I want to meet the most. Because they are why I fell for you. There could not be so much good if you had not experienced so much bad. Your scars would not be scars if your wounds had not started to heal. And your scars are what I think make you beautiful. They make you unique and brave and resilient. They are your story, and your story is what I want to know, the good and the bad.

So I get it. You want to remain in the realm of comfortable and easy. You want to keep feeling good and try to forget the bad.

But you won’t forget it. It will always be there. Until you bring it out into the light. Until you get a really good look at it, study it, learn to understand it, then it will always return to the surface and attempt to extinguish the good.

So what if you question it instead? What if ask yourself why it always comes back? Why does it still scare you? What if it was just an experience- a reminder of what you have overcome, not a deciding factor of what you will become?

I’m not there yet. I’m admittedly a bit lost and have little clarity at this point as to where I will land. And yes, sometimes it is terrifying.

So if it is darkness that scares you, then I get why you would be.

You are exactly right. There is a good amount of dark. But I promise I’ll show it to you. I’ll make sure you know what you are signing up for. And yes, it verges on terrifying. But sometimes, that which we fear, in the end, transforms itself into something beautiful. 

And, just so you know, I’m not afraid of the dark. 

If you are afraid of your darkness, you are afraid of your own soul”. –anonymous


16 thoughts on “Smoke and Mirrors 

  1. Our flaws make us human. They reveal our “beauty” in our current state lacking divinity.
    True. Metaphorically speaking, we won’t be able to truly grasp the significance and appreciate the magnificence of light in the absence of darkness to compare it to. Further, we need to dive through the darkness of our inner being in order to tame the beast residing therein. It’s important for growth but anyone should take enough caution, there are reasons why we (instinctively or subconsciously) kept that “darkness” in the dark.

    Be that as it may, there’s freedom in facing your own “demons’ and conquering them.
    Very thought-provoking post. Very well-expressed.
    Great piece Natalie!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. kind of ironic how I just hit publish on a post talking about my own darkness and how lonely it can get. and then I scroll through your page and happen upon this beautiful and brave entry.
    so maybe we are not as alone as we think we are.
    Thank you for this.
    I am coming to the realization more and more that smoke, mirrors and masks are overrated.
    showing the real you might be scary as hell but it sure is a lot more beautiful. your words are another bit of proof of that.


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