We Are But Hummingbirds – Monday Motivation #21

I have an online friend with whom I chat somewhat regularly.

It is unplanned really.

No expectations

No scheduling

He is sometimes online when I am and sometimes that coincides with our mutual availability.

I enjoy him

But I find that while he knows much of me authentically, I’m still guarded with him.

I tell myself that he is, after all, still a stranger in some of the key ways that matter.

Still I a enjoy him.

I see him as an analogy and the other day I shared that analogy with him.

We are but little hummingbirds flitting in and out of one another’s day.
For now that is lovely — a nice unexpected surprise …
In the case of the real hummingbird, I get to see him in all his brilliant colors.
I especially love the iridescent green that is so close to the peacock’s colors. …

But he says nothing.
We communicate very little, that hummingbird and I.

You are a different hummingbird.
And I like the way you flit too …

All else comes in due time.

I don’t feel rushed to know my online friend or to “catch” him either.

I appreciate the simple interaction we share.

It is authentic, philosophical, warm, and vulnerable.
It was in this context that the other day, he said something to me that was so beautiful and so profound that I was still thinking about it long after we talked (not a first btw). He spoke of human interaction and authenticity.  He packaged the complexity of human interaction up so succinctly that thought it was worth sharing and discussing.  He said:

I was thinking about people, how they interact with each other. 
How they need friends but want to be alone
How they protect everything personal and still would love to be accepted for all that they are.

It struck me as divinely complex.

It made me wonder what it would take to take us from hummingbirds to turtle doves.

Are there times when you covet your independence and alone time, but also couldn’t bear the thought of a friendless existence?  Times when you so desperately want to be accepted wholly and yet you know you aren’t sharing your whole authentic self?


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About ExaltedPeacock

Finding cool new things each day to love about me & those around me. Everyone is peacock beautiful. Celebrate it!

7 responses to “We Are But Hummingbirds – Monday Motivation #21”

  1. Starlyn Endres says :

    Firstly, this is a long time coming, but I finally got to read your blogs from the past three Mondays; I’m embarrassed it’s taken me this long, but I have to say… This week’s entry rendered my thoughts and opinions to be publicly displayed. The truthfulness and complexity of your friend’s statement rings true. It’s quite the balancing act these days, between authenticity and self-preservation from scrutiny. We want to be open and truthful, famous even. Look at all the social media. Yet we desperately cling to a “right to privacy”; it’s our inalienable right, after all. We want independence, but at the same time we need people to validate our self-worth. There is a fine line between portraying who we would like to be, and who we truly are. A thousand friends on Facebook? A hundred pics with hundreds of people who unequivocally love you? A relationship status that deems you worthy of public acceptance? It makes me wonder, how do you share your authentic self in a world fueled by illusions?

    I think these blogs help. They are healing, soothing, “chicken soup for the soul”, hot chamomile tea with honey, rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens, black copper kettles and warm woolen mittens 🙂

    • Exalted Peacock says :

      Starlyn, thank you so much for the comment and the compliment; both are touching in their own right.
      I wanted to answer your thoughts because, like you, I really spent time contemplating what my friend said. I asked myself if I was truly being authentic with him or if I was unfairly guarded (as he often implies). I also asked if he deserved my most vulnerable authentic self.
      I know that being my most vulnerable is not only not required but it’s actually foolish with strangers…hell, even the social-work community has given that act the foreboding moniker: oversharing. So when is someone NOT a stranger? When do people graduate to “friend” and when, more importantly, do they get to see the most vulnerable you?

      I think that’s the crux of it. It’s a semantic problem really. Is authenticity vulnerability? Are they synonymous?.
      I think living arms wide open isn’t the same as living “emotionally unzipped” and persistently vulnerable (despite the fact that it feels that way).

      Conversely I think living “on blast” thru twitter and Facebook are exactly the illusion you’ve charged them with being. Blasting what you had for dinner out in a tweet and onto Facebook is simply not even remotely the same as sharing dinner with a loved one and discussing the finer points of French cuisine….even if you “discuss” through Facebook commentary. 😉

      Again thank you for sharing.

  2. Megan says :

    I think this is interesting considering I was just explaining to my “new family” that I would rather text and email than have a conversation on the phone. I don’t exactly know what it is about that kind of detachment from interaction that makes me feel more comfortable, but I think it ultimately shields me from the dreaded awkward silences between thoughts and it is just overall less formal. I guess I also feel that it is the only way I can truly control the conversation.

    I will definitely say that I keep my guard up a lot and find it truly difficult to put myself out there, even with friends I have known the majority of my life. I don’t feel that I do these things intentionally though.

    This was an interesting topic! While I don’t open up to many, I can say that I feel comfortable opening up to you 🙂 Thank you for always listening and giving Monday a better name!

    • Exalted Peacock says :

      Control!! That word sparked a whole new thought on the topic. You said texting and emailing are the only ways you can “control the conversation” and I got goosebumps.

      Being guarded is precisely about control. When I’m guarded it’s because I want to be in control of my emotional health and safety. It stems from a belief that others won’t take care of my heart in a way that I want them to. It basically comes from an unwillingness to trust them to care for me and my feelings as they should.

      Basically: If I don’t trust you, I must control our interactions in a way that ensures the outcome won’t be painful or discomforting to me. I won’t relinquish my emotional vulnerability to someone that I’m unsure cares enough about me to be gentle and kind… respectful and thoughtful … appreciative of the rare gift that “I” am.

      Sounds all well and good logically, right?

      The flaw in the logic is two fold.
      1. If I don’t believe someone will treat me right, why exactly am I interacting with them? What am I hoping to gain? Acceptance? Friendship? Do you want acceptance and friendship from someone whom you don’t even trust? What’s the point of their friendship? And what are they accepting anyway? Or more appropriately, whom are they accepting? Not YOU …. but maybe the husk of you that you chose to share with them …

      2. If you don’t live in a somewhat vulnerable state, if you don’t live Arms Wide Open, then can you really feel the joy and warmth and wholeness that being loved authentically can really bring? You’ve basically given yourself no reason to trust their love (nor your worth) anyway because they only see the facade of you that you’ve shown them. They love your cardboard cut-out. And for me, that realization was an empty joy. I think my ego loved it, but my inner child that really truly desperately wants to be loved DESPITE all her dust bunnies and scars … that little girl is sad and hurt because now that the person loves the cardboard me, I cannot actually mar that image by showing them the real me. If I do, they’ll know I never trusted them all along … and now that I do, they may no longer love me because they were participating authentically and I was play acting until I knew they could be trusted.

      It’s a sucky catch 22. And I say — it’s easier to work every single day at being as close to the authentic you as you possibly can. When you get up in the morning, put on just one less piece of armor than you did the day before, reveal yourself authentically (even just a glimpse) to someone and feel the joy of warmth and acceptance on that deeper level … take even one tiny baby step toward authenticity with people whom you hope to one day trust. I’m not telling you to over share and I’m not saying that you should be completely unzipped with EVERYONE …

      I’m saying, try it on with someone you think you can trust and let them show that you’re right. 🙂

  3. nuri says :

    So the actual feeling of wanting friends and wanting to be alone is something that I would say the majority of people struggle with so much so that they it is studied heavily in the major of communication. I was a Communication major and there are literally a handful of social theories that addresses this same issue!!! I think its a normal feeling and I dont think there is anything necessarily wrong with it, but recognizing it is very important!

    • Exalted Peacock says :

      Nuri, I think it was the second half of his statement that was the most profound. We remain guarded for as long as possible…we in essence “protect ourselves” by shielding our true selves from view, but then we want to be loved for the person we really are.

      The dichotomy and apparent impossibility of those two things ever both being simultaneously true (I’m guarded and you never see the real me but you do love the real me that you’ve never seen) …it’s striking in how complex we are as people…how we can expect such a thing.

  4. Andrea says :

    I absolutely experience times where I want to alone (I need to be alone) but still want others to know me and love me. I always consider friends to be like oxygen – they are needed for existence. We cannot exist in this world without other people. My independence and alone time is like water: good for my health and needed for my life. Thank you for visiting be-quoted for SitsShareFest.

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