Hiding (v.) - To intentionally place out of sight.
As a young girl, I used to play Hide-and-Seek with the neighborhood kids. We’d always make the base, or the safety zone as we called it, the same tree. You could touch anywhere on the tree and were safe from being tagged “it.”
As the youngest of a dozen participants, and the slowest, I’d hide in the same place every time we played - a drainage pipe. It was a small opening that was adjacent to a storm ditch. It worked. No one ever tagged me there. I’d hide until the person who was the seeker left the tree to find everyone. Then, I’d run to safety. I was always accused of cheating, but I knew I was following the rules.
One night while we were playing, a bigger kid watched me and found my hiding place. He picked me up and shoved me into the ditch, but, because he was so much bigger than me, he couldn’t fit into the pipe so he spit on me instead. When I ran to tell my brother, he got furious with me for interrupting the game and being a brat.
I ran home. Then all hell broke loose.
I did not return home to parents who were ready to embrace me and ask me what was wrong. I never had that. Instead, I returned to a home where I was expected to keep hiding - to stay quiet and out of the way - so that nothing was disturbed or thrown off of the routine. (The routine was so often that of chaos and emotional turmoil, met with physical outbursts and unhealed wounds left to fester in the never-ending cycle of abuse.)
These types of situations that happen to us when we are small and powerless are what keep us hiding in plain sight as adults.
We don’t want to be judged. As a matter of fact, it’s our number one fear. Something as innocent as kids playing can turn into memories of fear, hopelessness, and abandonment. We don’t want to go back to it, so we build our safety zone.
Here’s the thing, though. Nothing happens in the safety zone. While others are taking risks and playing the game of life, no risks can be taken by playing it safe.
So I want you to ask yourself, "What if?" What if you took that risk you've been contemplating? What are you afraid of? What’s the worst that can happen?
If your answer is that you’ll lose, okay, but what are you gaining now?
Are you happy? Joyful? Fulfilled? Excited to be alive?
While I do have that one painful memory of some overbearing kid needing to win so badly that he hurt me and, unbeknownst to him, sent me into more chaos at home, the great memories of playing far outweigh that one bad night. We usually had a blast playing Hide-and-Seek, collecting fireflies, riding horses bareback under the stars, and exploring.
What memories are you creating that will repel regret later?
Play! Explore! Take a chance! Your life deserves it!
All my love and support,