Hiding is so often regarded as a negative action, but throughout our lives many of us also see the joy and advantage in it. When I was a little child, small or rarely frequented spaces had great appeal. You could see me (or not) under the dining room table, looking up at its underside, fascinated by the architecture formed by the legs of the chairs on its sides. I might have also been found (or not) in my bedroom closet, a dark place near piles of shoes, with hanging clothes gently caressing my face and shoulders. Why do such hiding places appeal to many children? Well, I can’t speak for others, but for me it was a chance to own my own special space, and see things from very different perspectives.
I still like to hide on occasion for the reasons I just mentioned, but now it is in my special nook at home, in my bedroom. During the day I own that space, and with no one around, I can do anything I want without judgement or restriction. I remember when I finally got a private space at my last job; I was hidden in the corner of the company’s first floor. Rarely did anyone venture there unless they really needed me. I had a window spot that allowed me to spy the world outside. It was a place conducive to day dreaming, which I often did. Or when I worked, I again felt less restricted. Such freedom is liberating and allows me to be most creative.
Though I love my walks and hikes with hubby, family and/or friends, on occasion I enjoy some time alone outside. No one is talking, or interrupting my train of thought. The practice of mindfulness brings with it many psychological benefits, and is most easily done when completely alone. By yourself outside there is the special opportunity to feel at one with nature, if you allow yourself to absorb the sights, sounds, and feelings around you. Imagine yourself not as a person, but as just another living creature of some special making, understanding the language and purpose of life of things more often distant.
I’ve been with my husband for more than 20 years now. We know most everything about each other. But every once in a while, there is some new little hidden nugget we learn about the other that we didn’t know. At those moments I can say, at least for me, that it takes me back to that early time of discovery. I like to surprise, and be surprised by, my family and friends the same way. As we all explore new thoughts and dreams privately in our heads, we do slightly transform ourselves over time. Yes, the eventual reveal of these thoughts can bring excitement or surprise.
Where is your favorite hiding place? In what circumstances do you think being occasionally hidden is good?