I think we often fall into the misconception that it takes energy to be who we are, to show up for ourselves, as ourselves. But it's the misconception that taxes us, the trying to try, or not to try, as the case may be.
Being, even becoming (or allowing) who we are should be easiest thing in the world. Does that mean there aren't things to learn about ourselves or about how to navigate the world? Of course not. There's always more to learn for the willing. But there should be (key: should be, ought to be) an ease in our bearing, in our communication, in our arrival. The trick is always, always to allow. To allow for shortcomings, for mistakes, for misunderstandings because attempting to avoid those is what costs us, what depletes us.
It's inevitable that people won't like you, just as it's inevitable that you won't like everyone. And, sure, you'll talk about those you dislike in unkind ways, and you'll regret that, and maybe you'll learn, or maybe you won't, but allow either outco...
I put my foot in my mouth on a daily basis, and if I manage to avoid that pitfall, it's ridiculously easy to tell what I'm thinking (read: feeling) even when I don't speak. On one hand, it makes it almost impossible for me to lie and pretty much ensures that I'll show up authentically--for better or for worse--whether I like it or not. On the other hand, it makes me a terrible diplomat and, probably, a rubbish party guest where small talk is the done thing.
I've also found--and perhaps you're the same way?--that this inability to hide almost anything made me, at first, enormously trusting of face-values. Now? A lifetime later? I alternate between complete trust and wild suspicion. It's all in the vibe. I guess trying to impress others is always a waste of time and energy and--let's be honest--trust.
So, how to deal? I don't know. I think it goes back to yesterday's post--show up as the change, faults and all. So what if I can't hide anything? Why try? Sure, it might result in a reputat...
I know it feels slow. I know it and I know it and I know it. I also know we're doing our best, and that it never feels like enough. But I'm telling you this--living the change, actively and mindfully waking up every day and spending that day being authentically you, actively working and creating and living the world you want to see is the fiercest, most revolutionary act you can perform. Yes, sometimes we need to show up, voices carrying and colors flying, but that's only part of our authentic revolution--a part, but not the whole.
So go on in this day. Do your thing, quiet or not, but do it as you. Do it with all the romance and optimism in your heart, and let no one take that from you. Because once they have that, they have everything.
We are primed to respond to alarmist news, to gossip, to anything that feeds on fear or anxiety or anticipation. We know this, and yet (and yet!) we fall for it every time. We fall for the dread and we fall into our old litany, and all it means is that we forget to breathe. We forget to remember that we've been here before, and we forget--most of all and most profoundly--how strong we are, how capable, and how often we've heard this song before.
I have never liked being told what to do, not that that will come as a surprise to any of my regular readers (or friends, for that matter). But at the same time, I have bent over backwards, compromised myself and my intuition more times than I care to admit in order to keep people happy or (maybe worse) to fit in, to be liked.
I'm sure it's a habit common to so many of us here. But every time it's happened, every time I said yes or even maybe when I really wanted to say no, well, a little of that rebelliousness gets up, dusts itself off, and stalks away in search of someone with more willingness, more backbone, more confidence in herself.
Because that's what it comes down to, isn't it? Confidence. Confidence in who we are, faith in our intelligence and our innate beauty, in our charm and in our very right to exist. I don't care what we were taught or what politeness dictates--it's high time we took up space, asserted ourselves despite how the world/media/history has dictated...
I think we're all exquisitely tired of waiting, and yet we continue to use the language that perpetuates this myth that we're 'not yet' what or where or when we need to be. I'm not sure why we have such a hang-up about accepting who we are in this moment--the only moment, ironically, we can ever possibly inhabit.
Do we hate ourselves that much? Or, better question, do we fear ourselves that much? Do we fear how we'll be accepted, IF we'll be accepted? Or, maybe, somewhere deep down (way deep down, apparently) we know how powerful we are, and maybe, just maybe, that power scares us a little?
We think we're protecting ourselves--from rejection, from reality, from our own illusions or disillusions, but maybe we're protecting ourselves from that small, pulsing heart that radiates warmth and universal acceptance and pure, infinite power. What we don't realize is that that power is there to protect us, not destroy us. It's there to unite us in one blazing light while magically maintaining that...
We live under this illusion that we must always improve, that we must always do better, work "on ourselves" (whatever that means). All that litany does is remind us that we're not perfect, that perfect is a goal we should strive toward, and negates, more or less, anything we've done in the past or do now.
It's a silly occupation, corporate/Puritan-designed busywork to keep us, I think, from enjoying what we have, what we do, what we've achieved, and, heck, who we are. We aren't meant to work toward being a better version of ourselves--how insulting is that? We're here to pursue curiosity and passion and love and beauty and kindness, and if we can do even one of those things each day, we're doing just fine.
And you know what? Even on the days we don't, even on the days we're less kind, less inspired, less curious, well, hell. We're pretty damn good versions of ourselves on those days, too. We have to live authentically, and if we can do that with transparency and truth and kindness,...
Everyone wants you to make it--the plants you tend, the animals you caretake, the earth you walk, the sky you tune into, the spirits you believe in (or don't), the beings who guide you, the beings you guide--we're all here, not simply to survive, but to learn and to love and to unearth the spontaneous joy alive in every moment.
That is enlightenment--to find contentment, to find joy no matter the circumstance. The darkness is something we've learned and though it's pervasive, it can be unlearned. With time and a brimming over of loving kindness for your sweet self.
I understand the impulse to eat the entire cake and begin again tomorrow. I get it and I've absolutely done it, from cake to cigarettes. But that beginning again tomorrow business has two fatal flaws: 1) the belief that you have done something necessitating beginning again (as opposed to just living your life with joy) and 2) the seductive darkness of the night before. Night can absolutely be peaceful and restful, but we're not talking about those nights. We're talking about the nights when it's just you and the darkness, your inner monologue, and your unrelenting guilt, shame, and sorrow. It's the nature of the brain, it's the nature of darkness. It closes in and throws wide the door to our demons.
Then there's this idea of having to start over, as if you've done something wrong in the first place. You haven't. But night and guilt and history and shame and media can trick us--can allow us to trick ourselves--into believing there's no other choice but starting over. Again.
As I type this, there's a bird outside my window learning how to sing. I can't help but think that, if I hadn't been up at this hour, if I hadn't stared out the window waiting for inspiration to strike, if I hadn't listened, I would never have heard something so marvelous.
But that's the thing--I was here. I don't have to think about why or about how I could have missed it, had I woken later or earlier. There's is always something that marvelous, we're just usually too wrapped up in ourselves, in trying to solve and remember absolutely everything, to notice.
So looked at that way, our timing is always perfect. Do you think that could be a philosophy by which we could live? If so--what freedom we could grant ourselves. Our timing is always perfect. Full stop.
Imagine how easily we'd breathe. Imagine how much we'd notice.