We rarely find ourselves when we are hiding among sunshine-y moments, just-alright days, and sighs of contentment.
We find out who we really are during the moments that feel too huge to handle. Among the chaotic panic of devastation, heartbreak, mighty triumphs, and terrifying soul-searching, we discover the being we have been all along, the unique essence inside us that hollers in need and giggles with life.
I ridicule myself for being so profoundly affected by a death this summer, revealing heavy pieces to me that I have been desperate to unbury for years. There are so many others who were closer to him, yet memories of our acquaintance and watching as his loved ones grieve have forced falseness out of my life. The more I struggle to find the person I should be, the more I scream and throw fits only to discover that I already have a compassionate and wise inner child within me, willing to show me everything I have been pushing away.
There are endless pieces of me that I have been too scared to share, but I think scary looks entirely different for me now. Scary is losing a beautiful soul without warning. Scary is having to let go of the center of your world. Scary is realizing our days are numbered, but rather than living in constant caution for this one day that will inevitably take us all, we must keep on living, and live harder than ever before. That is scary.
I do not feel capable. I do not feel courageous. I do not feel important. But I know all of these things are wrong.
Today I went for a walk, and as I passed by a man tending to his garden, I saw him reach up a hand in a wave as he shouted a friendly greeting in my direction. I thought for a moment about lowering my head, averting my eyes, darting away quickly, but instead I gave a wave back, albeit a shy one.
As I lowered my hand, I heard the response from his intended recipient behind me greet her neighbor back on her walk with her dog. I smiled to myself in embarrassment, but witnessed an awareness of a smaller, softer, but confident voice within me whisper Good for you for taking a chance, good for you for attempting a friendly connection with a fellow neighbor. The stronger voice that told me I was a fool for thinking he was gesturing to me and for offering an expression of kindness so stupidly in return continued to scream in a tamper tantrum.
I witnessed both of these voices, and realized that while the one radiating shame may have seemed stronger on the surface, the comforting voice of my inner child still managed to make its voice heard over my growling fit of self-punishment.
I keep using the phrase inner child because I've come to know that without this connection to our inner being so in need of love and nurturing, we will fail it miserably. We will neglect our need for self-expression, our awareness of wisdom we already have, our ability to make mistakes and let them guide us into extraordinary new journeys.
If we allow ourselves to think our inner child is synonymous with irresponsibility, immaturity, and the stuff of a weaker population, then we will continue pretending our need to feel and offer compassion does not exist, though it is our only way to fulfilled, unforgettable adventures.
In the last few months, I have allowed so many outer layers of myself to unfold that I have uncovered a creation blossoming within. I hate admitting to something so cheesy happening for me, but I hate to live in denial of this beautiful growth even more. Change is the burden we all dread, but it alone can save us from a lifeless existence.
Since July, I have discovered so much about the human being I was always meant to be:
- Even though left-brained analysis normally fits with the male mind, it's okay that I have a desperate, natural need to write.
- I don't need long, trendy, curly locks of glory that run my life in the name of vanity. I can enjoy a short, lazy, messy look and be myself instead, and still be beautiful.
- I have masculine and feminine traits within me just like everyone else does, and it's okay to embrace both.
- I can ignore the fears and limits of others, courageously take risks, and bask in the freedom of feeling everything in the moment.
- I can learn to accept that I am a living creature with instinctive urges, and while these instincts may carry me further away from the norms of society, I can learn to embrace the love I was meant for.
This is the first of many posts that I hope to publish mostly unedited. When I took a miniature step back from my blog, it became obvious to me that I've been letting it transform into another thing in my life that needed to be perfect.
Folks, save yourself an enormous amount of precious time and skip right to speaking from the heart. You will be floored by how much easier life is when you don't filter your being to fit the current mold of the masses.