Do you remember playing hide and seek?
Perhaps, the warm, summer sun filtered through the trees as you ran hid underneath bushes, behind fences. Maybe, the piles of Autumn leaves served as a blanket to cover up as the seeker ran by chasing someone else. A silly game, hide and seek, but our childhood games train us to be adults.
Overwhelmed by the amount of hiding choices, I usually was found first. My feet stuck out from under the bed, or my bright purple shirt gave me away crouching in the deep green bush next to the house. Some games, I sat on the red plastic swing in the backyard just so I would be found first. Hiding felt pointless. I didn’t want to shield, cover up, or camouflage myself—I simply wanted to stay found.
But soon I realized that hide/seek translated into my adult life too.
Adult hide/ seek doesn’t involve crouching behind couches or under bushes. To play adult hide/seek, I stay out in the open room, fully visible yet utterly hidden. I hide behind the walls of agreeableness, the walls of self-silencing, the walls of political correctness. The right words tumble out of my mouth depending on the people around me. Sometimes, we discuss social justice, and I can let my ire show for the devastation the Western world has caused. Many times, I sit silently listening to the anti-woman rhetoric of the church or a poorly laid out argument against equality. I seethe inside but say nothing. Even here, I check every post, hoping I don’t offend. Not out of grace, but out of fear. I don’t want an inbox full hate emails.
I am a social chameleon.
But hiding never empowers me, nor will it ever empower you. Hiding fuels my fears, doubts, my interior dialogue of “I can’t.” Fear expands into every crevice of my soul. Pushing out any room for grace, but worst of all, fear disposes of love. I refuse to hide anymore. Instead, I choose to love to show grace—the only way to replace fear. Rather than pandering to those around me, I choose to speak the truth with love despite the possibility of rejection.
How are you playing hide and seek?