“I dreamed that I opened my front door and that I was struck by fatal
radiation. That’s how afraid I was. So you see, fear is there. The
fear is in all of us and it is this fear we have to dispel. In friendship
we realize that as human beings we are afraid to share, we are
afraid to be criticized, we are afraid to be misunderstood, we are
afraid not to be loved.
Show the weak moments, the anxieties, the retrogressions.
How often I was blocked in my work or fearful,
how often I depended on the opinion of others.
The kind of talk that leads strangers to intimacy-you can achieve
this, and it doesn’t matter if you’re twenty or ten or one to one,
provided you drop the persona, that terrible layer of false self which
we adopt as a defense, and address the inner self, the vulnerable
self. We also must take the risk of sharing.
I was accused of narcissism because I used to write in a notebook
everything nice that people used to say to me. It wasn’t because
I believed it: it was because I needed it to keep going.
The most wonderful way is to communicate from core to core,
from center to center. Our culture made an effort at finding the
core of the self, but we put a taboo on it. It asserted that the
self was selfish. I was very touched by the women who have
done visibly useful things, such as speech therapy for 17 years
or social work. I used to say, those people are really doing
useful things, what am I doing? And then I suddenly realized
that it was important to speak and simply articulate the struggle
of our own evolution, because after all it is the only thing we
really know. In nothing all of the journey’s steps, I was doing
something useful, but I didn’t know how much. What I was
doing was fighting our battle.
Let us say that from this certain moment we have this degree of strength,
this degree of vision, this courage, but there are times we lack all of them
and then someone else has to give it to us. Let’s celebrate what we bring
to each other, what we share with each other, how much of the persona
we can peel off.
The masks we have worn have always frightened people. I used to
dress to frighten away my enemies. All this is useful and adolescent
but it’s very significant to what we feel when unmasked and sharing
feelings. Strangely enough, the radiation I dreamed of at the front
door never took place. What took place was great intimacy and
sense of interdependence.”