Saturday, 5 February 2011

Do You Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve?

I have been accused of this many times in the past and the accusation has always been founded an is one which I would never deny. To deny it for me would be to go against my personal integrity. I value openness and see the ability to be open about their emotions and so make themselves vulnerable as an incredible strength.

A little trivial example of the need for openness:
When I was soon to be married I went with my Mum to our hairdresser to decide how I would wear my shoulder length (then) hair on the big day. I was absolutely convinced that cascading curls would be just perfect, and although my dead straight and exceptionally thick hair had never been keen to curl I was sure the hairdresser could manage it.

She tried. With a lot of products, and curlers, and tongs she created curls of a sort. I looked in the mirror and I felt as if my hair had been removed and replaced with someone elses. The style was HUGE, it was impossible to explain quite how big. However not wanting to let the hairdresser down after all her hard work I said it was "Fine". Sandy the hairdresser also expressed her opinion then that it was "Fine", and indeed that was also my Mum's choice of word to describe it. It certainly wasn't fine!

When I got back to my lovely fiance that afternoon, he very kindly remarked that we "...would have trouble fitting it in the car, and through the front door" between laughs! (Hmm that's openness for you...) So I eventually plucked up the courage and told Mum who told Sandy and then announced that they were both relieved because it was "too big, and just didn't suit you". Arghhhhhh! If we had all been honest like my fiance we would have saved ourselves the worry!

There is of course a negative side to this, in that the method in which one choses to display this openness may cause offence in others. It is something that needs to be dealt with with great sensitivity. Mum and Sandy didn't want to upset me as I had my heart set on curls so they left me to work it out for myself.

I now literally wear my heart on my sleeve in the form of two of my tattoos which mean the most to me. Alpha and Omega to remind me constantly of the Lord my God the beginning and the end of all things, and a memorial for my Dad.

I also use a basic principle of not saying anything at all rather than telling a lie, but always speaking out on issues which I feel matter, not just to me but have a wider goal.

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