Most of us have learnt to hide aspects of ourselves. We fit ourselves into roles that we adopt: the work role, the parent role, the friend role, the public role – and we leave out the parts of us that don’t seem to fit with that role.

This may be our naturally raucous laughter, our blues-loving listener, our wild dancer, or it may be our love of the ritual of church, of serious political discussion, of just being on our own. In other words, we all have parts of ourselves that we have come to think aren’t acceptable in at least some of the situations of our lives.

What a shame!! We are all naturally a rich tapestry, a mixture of colours, shapes, textures that make up who we are. This is the delight of human beings: we are each a unique and fascinating blend. If we hide aspects of that tapestry, it begins to resemble every other tapestry and loses its unique vibrancy.

We aren’t designed to be consistent, to fit into a mould: we’re designed to be individual, a one-off. And if you think about it, we all love it when others break the mould in some way: the ‘perfect’ mum who admits that she sometimes just doesn’t know what to do with her child; the accountant with a great sense of humour; the boss who plays a mean guitar lick.

They show us that not fitting the role perfectly is more interesting, freeing and attractive. Most of what we hide is not really unacceptable, it’s just not normal – and who really wants to be normal!!

So come on, show a little more of who you really are: admit that you’re sometimes silly as well as serious; tell us you have conversations with your dog or cat; talk about just having to get up and dance when you play a Bee Gees album; wear that bright pink sweater, those Mickey Mouse socks that you love.

Bring some of the other colours back up in your personal tapestry. We may be surprised, and most of us will be delighted as we experience more of the real you.

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