Blog Post #15 of #40 in 40 Days.
What. In. The. F#*k. Who thought that this was a good idea?!
Really, though. I dig writing, I do. So much so, that back in grade school I was pretty certain I would act and write as my "future destiny."
But the pressure to keep coming up with stuff that people will want to read, that doesn't make me question whether I'm being self-centred? Or continually admitting to my less than shiny side for the sake of my promise to be "real"? Argh.
So, I ask myself, "Why?" Why did I want to do this in the first place? I think that's a solid question to come back to in any time of doubt. An answer may not always come, but knowledge of true intention is powerful.
Why did I want to eat that entire loaf of banana bread (and then bake another so that no one would know)? Why did I CRAVE that margarita, and then feel like I needed more and more and more? Why, within minutes of walking into the grocery store, do I feel flighty-electric-and-ungrounded? Why do I sometimes resist my yoga mat even though I KNOW without an absolute doubt that I always step off of it feeling way more of who I am? Why, when I heard my stepmother would be coming over, did I immediately break into a cold sweat and feel the need to WASH THE FLOORS! OH MY GOD SOMEONE WASH THE BASEBOARDS DOWN!! THERE'S TOO MANY THINGS, WHAT DO WE DO WITH ALL THE THINGS? WHERE DO PEOPLE WITHOUT CLOSETS HIDE STUFF?! WHERE DO PEOPLE WITHOUT CLOSETS HIDE?! IT SMELLS FUNNY IN HERE. LIGHT THE INCENSE! LIGHT ALL THE DAMN INCENSE!!!! Mass chaos. Well, I'm mass chaos. Mostly, my kids and partner stare at me with a mix of fear, confusion, and "here-we-go-again".
I chose to begin writing regularly again for a few reasons. For one, I've been examining and re-considering the kind of teacher I want to be. As one trains and certifies and studies, it's natural for one to speak in the voice of their teacher as they find their own. I have some spectacular, admirable, wise teachers. But my life is mine and my perspective is mine, and if I simply parrot them, then I'm not being authentic, I'm just being a good actor. And I can be a damn good actor, I've trained in that too. Writing helps me to uncover my voice and think critically for myself, as opposed to regurgitating yet another article on the chakras or how to meditate to meet your spirit guides.
Another reason I chose to begin writing again is to get naked. In this world of dazzling distractions, people pleasing, marketing, self-improvement, and staged photos, I'd convinced myself that my deeply feeling ways were something that I needed to fix. And if I couldn't fix them, then I'd better bury them so bloody deep because no one needed to see that shit.
Side story. In university, I was super duper jacked. I stayed up all night exercising or huddled on my bed in panic attacks. My body ran on cereal, coffee, and the occasional binge of frozen cheesecake. I drank to blackout, did things I'd later regret, and wake with feelings of intense fear, shame, and self-loathing. I was terrified of what everyone thought of me, hiding away in my room, as if thoughts could kill. But I also wrote out my own suicide plans.
In first year, another gal in my class, Rachael, admitted to being depressed. She and I never sat down and talked about it, but it was common knowledge. Rachael ended up leaving the program at the end of the first year.
Hanging out with one my cohorts, Michael, one evening, Rachael's name came up. Rachael and Michael had become pretty good friends. They hung out a fair amount. I don't remember much of what was said, except the words, "She's hard to be around, you know? She can be kind of a downer."
Still being the people-pleasing, love-seeking drama queen that I was, that statement from Michael made impact. I'd been headed in the direction of baring a bit of my messed-up self, and I slammed the screeching brakes on. Lips zipped.
How could I gain love and approval and acceptance if I only brought people down by sharing where I was?
So I nodded, eyes wide with empathy for Michael's seeming suffering. Meanwhile, I folded inward toward my deep darkness a bit tighter.
Fast forward to now. I've had enough spiritually charged moments to develop an understanding that my sensitivity is not brokenness. It's not a mess I need to sweep under a rug, drink to numb, or exercise to outrun. I don't have to zip my lips, because if I'm hard to be around, or I'm a downer, then that just means we're not compatible for friendship. I can't sacrifice my open heart for the sake of my outer shell being liked.
The stuff that's a downer to hear, it's a part of what helps me discover who I am, but it isn't who I am.
I've learned that my sensitivity is a bit like wireless bluetooth.
Like a wireless bluetooth, it helps me to tune into the world around me, to listen more acutely to another's pain/feelings/needs. I can tune in, and hold space for the stuff that many people struggle to be with. And when I do that, I'm reminded that we're all the same, really, just wanting to be heard and reminded that human-ness is not a thing to be fixed.
Here I am world, slowly stripping away the costumes and crawling out of the places where I hide. Learning and relearning that I'm not the pain, the shame, and the circumstances. I'll show you who I am, and then hold the space for you to discover who you are. People-pleasing, self-improvement, or perfectly staged photos NOT included.