Camouflage of our true self

I really like the word camouflage. It immediately brings to mind images of lizards hiding on rocks, a polar bear on an ice cap or a praying mantis in long grass. And when you think of camouflage in nature, it is an important tool for self-protection and self-preservation.

It is funny how we can use camouflage in the same way. We can become experts at hiding how we feel, what we want and who we are.

Recently when watching test cricket, I saw a batsman struck in the elbow by a ball from a fast bowler. It would have been agonizing but his facial expression never changed. He had mastered the art of concealing his pain. The commentator commended the batsman on not letting the bowler know it had hurt. And just as I was thinking that to be a mad statement, another commentator and ex-player added that of course it hurt and of course everyone knew that it hurt.

It is a metaphor for so many events in life. When everyone knows or suspects that how we are truly feeling is so very different from what we are expressing.

I know we cannot always show our true self – there are times for self-protection – but we all need safe spaces and safe people.

About Kelley

Kelley is a speaker, author, overseas aid worker and perpetual student. She is passionate about women and gender issues, both in the local and international context, which underpins her enthusiasm for kinwomen and its contribution to women ‘living their finest life’. In 2014 Kelley completed a Masters in International and Community Development before establishing The Foxglove Project. Foxglove is a registered charity focused on supporting international development projects that are sustainable and driven by indigenous leadership. Kelley’s paid work requires her to travel extensively to evaluate and support projects supported by Australian funds. This experience and networking enables Foxglove to partner with outstanding overseas agencies delivering real opportunities for the poor and vulnerable to lead independent self-determined lives. Kelley combines these passions with a love of family and faith. Across more than 30 years of marriage, Kelley and her husband have worked through many of the challenges of building a relationship while raising three sons. Their boys have now finished high school changing the dynamics of family life and relationships. One of her great joys is sharing parenting lessons and learning from good and bad (sometimes disastrous) experiences. She uses humour and common sense to talk about the everyday challenges facing parents in today’s context.