We were not born to be timid. Wary, cautious, sure, depending on the situation--our survival depended on it. But here's the thing--wariness, cautiousness can make us stronger. They can make us braver. They are the first tools we need when we go out into the world, because to feel cautious, to feel vigilant means we are testing ourselves, stretching ourselves, exploring the world--either literally or creatively--we've been set down upon.
But to let timidity creep in, to let it keep us from stepping outside our front doors, is a terrible loss. Timidity is a taker of hostages and if we don't rise up and fight back, then we'll be doomed to the same uninspired view for a very long time.
We so often forget how strong we are. You know why? Because strength is hard--it's hard-won, and it's hard to maintain for extended periods of time. But it's those marathons of strength--the ones that leave us exhausted and in need of long recovery--that we remember best.
Well, of course we don't want to live those again, and of course we think of them with trepidation, in fear of their recurrence. But what we forget is that we have successfully won every day we've lived through--and life ain't for sissies, man. Every single one of us has what we need to get ourselves up, move through our days (to do so gracefully is optional), and to thank both our guides/gods/powers and ourselves for navigating our course once more.
To do anything more, we must first realize that we can do anything.
I'm always hesitant to ask for what I need, whether it's more time on a project, for more information, or even for someone to come and unclog my sink. Is this a gender thing? Somehow I doubt it, not universally anyway, but I definitely do feel the pressure of my gender. Either way, I've begun to realize that, for all my brashness and idiosyncrasy and balls-to-the-wall attitude in other areas of my life, in this, I'm cowed and chronically, anxiously timid.
Where does this timidity come from? Certainly it has something to do with self-confidence, something to do with our inherent sense of self-worth. But what's the cart and what's the horse? Who taught us this or, better question, when did we teach ourselves that it's better to be unsure, to be anxious, to be in pain rather than to ask for help?
And why, why do we let those with the power of the answer, of the expertise, belittle or even bully us? Why on earth, and when on earth, did we decide it was okay to allow them to get...
You have no choice. You're strong despite your misgivings, despite your completely subjective view of past experiences, despite the conversations you've had with yourself. If you're here, then you're doing pretty damn well. Remember that, petals, and I promise to do the same.
It seems that I've been uncertain of my place in the world of late, and rather than taking the proverbial bull by the horns and asserting my inherited--and, surely, inherent--strength, I've been running and reacting. I wonder when we learned this? I wonder when we learned that we cannot be the mistresses of our own destiny because and because and because?
Certainly I never learned this cowering, this less-than, this helplessness from my own mother, a fierce woman in her own right who takes no shite from anyone (nor does she take no as an answer--she's very persuasive). I suppose I could cast blame widely and loudly--peers, teachers, media--and it would hit a target, but to what end? And, really, what does it matter now?
What matters is only to wake up from the ridiculous delusion that we are not only powerless, but *at the mercy of.* That's it, isn't it? That's the scary bit, the beguilingly attractive bit--to put oneself at the mercy of x or y. We're "saved" from making hard choices,...
When I get lost in despair or fear or anxiety, I take great comfort in evolution. I take great comfort in the knowledge that I am the product of untold years of experimentation, of trial and error, of determination, of savvy, of instinct, and of plain old dumb luck. No matter what particular demons I happen to be wrestling at any given time, the inhabitants of those untold years have seen them, fought them, and survived.
I've no doubt that wisdom lives still in the rivers of our blood, is built into the structure of our bones and woven into the elasticity of our skin. We have everything we need. We have the history to prove it. Now, we just need to remember it, and then to believe it.
I actually love when someone tells me it's impossible or unsolvable. Maybe that's my Aquarian rebellion surfacing--I've never liked being told what I could or could not do, but I can't help it. I love to solve a problem. I love to sit and let the wheels turn and look at the problem from every angle, testing this seam, prodding that one.
Because here's the thing--I'm convinced everything is solvable. And if I have some puzzles I've not yet solved? Well, their time is coming. Time--that's another side of the problem conundrum--some things can't be solved in the timeframe we have in mind. Some problems require props and resources for their solutions--items to be acquired or learned one at a time until the collection is assembled and we have what we need to get the job done.
But it's progress--and progress is a massive cog in the problem-solving machine. Luckily, the delight of the glimmer of a solution is enough to keep us on fire, no matter how long the solution spins itself out.
I think, really, that we probably have to work harder at blending in than standing out. Or, we would, if we were belted into our own self worth as we ought to be. But that being said, there's no reason we can't be both--part of some bigger label-of-choice while not having to work so hard to distance ourselves, distinguish ourselves.
All on our own, given that we're wearing clothes that make us truly happy (rather than what's so-called acceptable or popular), eating foods that truly nourish us (as opposed to the diet-of-the-day, eating by dogma, or eating/not eating by guilt), listening to music that sings to our soul (loudly and with the windows open), and dancing or skipping or galloping in our bare feet as much as possible, well, that's a different story.
If that's the story, then there's nothing to worry about. We are who we are to the glorious tips of our calloused or manicured toes--stunningly here and beautifully wild.