When I saw this, it hit me so hard in my heart that I nearly cried.
If there is one thing I'm really good at, it's changing myself into being who I think you want me to be. I have taken 1 Corinthians 9:22 ("...I have become all things to all people...") to such absurd unhealthy levels, it's crazy. There are so many versions of me running around, due to changing myself to fit the anticipated expectations of all the different people in my life, that I can hardly keep them all straight.
You haven't asked me to do this. I know this in my head. But my sane wise head is no match for the voice inside that says "If you want to be liked at all, you can't show the you that you are." And so I always end up tweaking myself one way when I talk to one person, and tweaking myself another way when I talk to this person over hear, and tweaking myself yet another way when I'm with that person over that way.
As I sit here and look at the words on that picture at the top of my screen, I admit to myself that it scares me to be me... to be JUST me. I've been hurt before. Tweaking myself to be who I think you want protects me from you hurting the me I am, or at least that's what I tell myself it does. But it also scares me because I try to be honest with myself about my faults. (Well, okay, I'm probably far better about admitting and obsessing over my faults than I am at seeing my strengths... and therein likes the likely problem.) But I know I'm not that great. I know there are things about me that I don't like all that much. So... if I allow myself to be the person I hide, if I show that person to you, I'm pretty sure you're going to not-like those things about me, too.
But, too, I know that allowing myself to be that person is a great freedom, if I was only willing to take the risk and embrace it. I'm lucky to have a few people in my life who have ignored all the versions of myself I throw around. They've picked their way through the maze of masks and crawled underneath the ones I hold closest and tightest, and they sit with me and hold my hand and say "It's okay."
I think that I don't make it easy to be my friend. I'm sorry that I'm afraid.