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Friday, the 11th of July, 2014.

Safety is a Privilege

I’ve been having this experience lately, of people admiring my ability to open myself to vulnerability. I have to remind others that there is a certain amount of privilege in being able to avoid being vulnerable. 

For a certain segment of the population, being utterly and uncontrollably vulnerable is a fact of life. In exploring the spaces of vulnerability, lets not forget our privilege, lets not forget that we are making the choice to be vulnerable. 

For most of my life, I didn’t have the choice, and frankly, I don’t feel comfortable being admired for something that was thrust upon me and that had caused me so much trauma over the years. 

The world can be a harsh place to many many people. I am thankful that I have somehow been able to claw my way out of the kind of place where my vulnerability made me feel desperate and exposed. I now have the luxury to feel safe. Many people still do not have this luxury.

Thursday, the 10th of July, 2014.

The Sacred Container

Recently, I have been trying to honor the practice of setting limitations in my life. I know that a lot of the people I spend time with seem to value the act of non-definition, of simply living from moment to moment and seeing what comes of it. I often feel a pressure to be more free, less demanding, more spontaneous.

I have pursued this kind of course for a long time, trying not to define my relationships or plan my days, trying to be flowing and changing from moment to moment. On some level, I do believe it important to keep my eyes open and to try to see with clarity what is being presented to me. On the other hand, I feel that lacking definition can sometimes fall into the category of lacking intention, and this is the very thing that I was trying to avoid.

In my community, definition seems to be a dirty word, as though by defining something, you take the life out of it. I believe that our definitions don’t have to be prisons. By defining something, we create a container, something to direct the energies with our collective intention.

I enjoy having responsibility towards others. I like having definitions in so much as it helps me to feel like I am creating something. I believe that we have the power to revisit our definitions as soon as they no longer serve us. Perhaps we need to expand our containers, change their shape, create some openings.

Definitions do limit us, but so do bodies, and being alive. Limitations are part of existence and pretending that somehow we can escape all sense of limit denies the potential greatness of those limits. Limits can help direct energy. We can be ambient light or we can be lasers.

Definition creates focus. Commitment can deepen intimacy. Being responsible to another person can enable a greater sense of freedom. When definitions and limits fail to enable our focus and growth, we sometimes need to break out of them, like a chick from an egg, or a butterfly from a cocoon.

Limits and definitions can create a sacred container, within which we can perform a transformation. Accepting my own limitations and creating boundaries around them gives me the comfort and safety to explore going beyond them. Without a container, I am directionless, I deny form and limit my own growth.

The only way I can surpass my own limits is to first accept them. I need to work within the limitations of my body, my emotional maturity, my understanding and comfort. It is an act of love to say no to someone who wants me to go outside of my comfort and capability. Everything within its own time and space.

I am becoming much more comfortable expressing my needs and acknowledging the shape of my container. I deserve to feel safe. I deserve to have my limits honored by others. I will wait for the right people to come along, who can be served by the kind of space that I am in and who do not need me to be beyond myself. I might not be enough for everyone and that is okay. I am enough for me right now, and when that is no longer true, I will push myself to expand.

Thursday, the 3rd of July, 2014.

The Invitation

What does it mean to be a person? I want to be myself but it sometimes feels like just trying to be me, trying to be honest and open and real, hurts people. I feel as though opening myself up into the world means that I am forcing other people to adjust. Being myself sometimes means that other people will feel uncomfortable, and afraid. Sometimes just being me, makes someone else question what they know to be true. Though, sometimes, during those very special moments, I can be just who I am without effort at all. I think that those are the moments I live for.

These days, I am really trying to have integrity. I am trying to be honest, and open with people. In doing so, I have begun to hit a wall around making other people feel uncomfortable. I notice that I have a desire to care for people, to try to make sure that my actions do not negatively affect the people around me. It is an incredibly onerous task and requires me to be very methodical, observant and controlled. I work very hard to make sure that I don’t negatively affect those around me. Unfortunately, I think that I also take discomfort upon myself in the perceived service of others. I deny my truth in order to protect those around me from something that I perceive in my inner-most core.

It has seemed much easier for me to enter into spaces of discomfort when it meant that I would spare someone else that same feeling. I think that in seeking to alleviate people’s suffering, I have in some very important way, failed to see the value of the experience of pain.

I would never want to give people discomfort for the sake of my own ease, but rather, in the pursuit of my ultimate truth, health and growth, it may be necessary to cause others to suffer.

What is the invitation? The invitation is to live, to fall on our faces, to hurt people. The invitation is to live, to fall in love, to want things that are bad for us and to hurt. The invitation is to accept that life is madness. We are all lost. No one knows what they are doing and that means that as a person who feels incomplete, I will make mistakes because can’t realise the truth. All of us who have failed to realise the truth of how perfect and complete we are, will continue to tear into each other and scramble to get away from the very place where we need to be.

The path isn’t upwards, it’s within, it’s towards the centre. We don’t need to transcend but to descend. To be human, to be bodies, to be imperfect and seeking and full of desperation. I feel fucking alone, and weird, and horribly ugly a lot of the time. I reject myself. I reject my needs, I reject other people, I stop myself from reaching out because I worry that people are going to see the cracks. I stop myself from reaching out because receiving just a little bit of what I need makes me feel even more desperate than receiving nothing at all.

I stop myself from living life because taking up space for myself means that I am participating in this place where we have to eat other living things to live. I take up resources just to live and somehow in the space of global catastrophe, pollution, war, famine, poverty and everything else, I feel like I have to justify my comfort. I feel horribly guilty for laying around, I feel horribly guilty for inflicting any more suffering on the world than it already has. How is it possibly to have enough integrity to make my existence here worth it?

The invitation is to live life, even though it hurts, even though I suffer, even though I also make other people suffer, even though I have to eat, even though I make garbage. I live because I can’t see any other way around it and I am going to have to stop feeling guilty about my impact on the world. Just like I deserve to be here, so too do I deserve the space to make mistakes, to hurt people, to cause death and destruction. This is a part of being a human being that I need to come to terms with. I am a destroyer.

Life is destruction as much as it is creation. It is the bloom and the decay. I am part of this cycle of birth and death and sometimes I am the site of creation and sometimes I bring death. My hands are workers of miracles and atrocities. It is not about morality, about right or wrong. It just is. I just am.

I am a being who has yet to realize my integrity, the wholeness of my being. I have not realized my fullness because I have not accepted my capacity to harm.

The invitation is to live, with everything that contains

Sunday, the 22nd of June, 2014.

Being Within an Evolution of Feeling

I am beginning to realize that every single situation that I get myself in, has a potentially limitless amount of interpretations. I believe that it may also be possible for each and every one to be individually true, to some extent. The number of interpretations seem to mirror the complexity of feelings that they are trying to make sense of.

My feelings about my recent breakup are as numerous as they are mercurial. Each moment seems to bring waves of fresh emotion, each different from the last. First, I am consumed by anger, annoyance, a sense of violation, betrayal, sadness, despair, longing, shame, despair again…

Each person that I talk to, gives me a different shade of perception to add to the picture I am forming, trying to make sense of something that strains to remain senseless and there is something terribly unsettling about a pain that does not fit into my understanding of what is.

With every new type of pain comes the need to catalogue the sensation into a larger understanding of the things that can hurt me. However, it seems that the more I try to understand what happened between us, the more it eludes me. To leave it alone seems like allowing some lurking danger to hover just outside of my perception.

How does a person understand heart break? I can understand people’s motivations: not being ready, getting in over our heads, being scared, and even essentially not being the right fit for one another but the heart doesn’t listen to reason.

My heart longs, while my body aches. My mind rebels from the supremacy of desire and tries to take control, to halt, to direct this overwhelming flow, to channel it into some productive course. I am making art, I am writing; this pain has sparked in me an incredible amount of creativity. At least that has the potential to make sense of what is happening, because art doesn’t have to make sense. Art can embrace the multiplicity of feeling effortlessly. In my pursuit of an expression for my feeling, I can define it and not in concrete terms but in the same slippery and undefinable motion that characterizes the world of sensation.

I don’t believe that the heart can understand heart break and I don’t believe that I can ultimately protect myself from being broken again. The heart learns from the ache by learning how to ache. I want to teach my heart not to shy away. I want to continue to dare. I feel the force of love that seeks to be known through me and I hope that I will not deny it through fear.

Perhaps daring in a grander fashion, and learning to heal from the scrapes and bruises that come from flinging myself into the great beyond, will give me a greater capacity for love, and perhaps during those moments, it will all be worth it.

For now, I attempt to remain present to an incredible pain that is at this very moment deepening me, opening me, bringing me closer to myself. I am trying to be thankful for it, even as I struggle against it. Pain is my experience as much as joy, it beings me to joy in the same way that joy brings me to this place.

I am going to stop trying to understand what is happening and just try to be it, to be in it and move through it. In slowing down to try to make sense of everything, I can never be fully present to the rapidity of evolution that seeks to draw me closer to the source.

May it continue to bring me towards the highest and greatest good

Friday, the 20th of June, 2014.

Gold in the Fissures

I don’t want to be fixed
I want to be surrounded by people
Who like broken things

I want to be cherished
For all the threadlike cracks
In my porcelain shell

I want to be surrounded by people
Who recognize that the cracks
Let the light through
That if I wasn’t broken
They would never be able to see me

I don’t want to be fixed
Because desiring to be fixed
Is not the same as desiring to be whole

I want to embrace all the parts of myself
And to be embraced
Because I am sometimes small
And sometimes ashamed
And sometimes angry and sometimes afraid

I want to trust that the tide will come and go
And the moon will change
And so too will I return from those dark places

I want to love broken things
Because holding the pieces between my hands
And feeling their jagged edges
Makes me feel alive

Because seeing them trying to hold their shape
Makes me hope

Because seeing them struggling to be
Makes my heart yell silent warrior songs
To honor their bravery

I don’t want to be fixed
Because I was made to be broken

And the only way that I can be whole
Is to let go of trying to be someone who has arrived
Without ever having left

All those little fractures are the roadwork of my life
They are the paths I have walked down
And the choices I have made
I am proud of my mistakes
And proud of all the times I allowed myself to fail
Because it isn’t about being something
It’s about being

It isn’t about fixing something
It’s about being broken

Wednesday, the 18th of June, 2014.

Endless Trickling Flow

I fell
My body bobbing on little ripples
Hands listless I breathe in and out
I taste but a sliver of fragrance
The silver links spreading metal
Underneath my skin
The grey, the solid grey
It swells like an Ocean
It fills me even as I lift my head for air
I am torn by our ignorances
My breath heavy with
All of my misunderstanding
Even though I know
There is nothing known
Even your eyes
Even your eyes
I still believes and cling to the belief
That I might lay claim to
This startling vulnerability
And protect myself
And protect you
But we are so open and raw
The world is so large
So unfathomably beyond me
I pour myself out and find myself
In an emptiness that is stunning

Tuesday, the 17th of June, 2014.

Being Left

I’ve heard that there is a thing called the dark night of the soul. I have had a couple of times in my life that I thought might be good candidates. I have certainly been desolate enough to believe that it was happening to me. I never realized how comforting that agony can be, the raw feeling of loss flooding through my body. It was almost devotional. My longing expressed my love, my love of someone, of a feeling, of something that I was attached to being torn away.

There is something unsettling about an emptiness without direction. It is as though, each time I reach out to try to anchor myself to something, that thing is being taken away. It is like I am being asked to stop trying to anchor myself.

In the past, I have always had a friend who I could call who would help me to put the pieces back together. Even still I was always striving for something outside of myself, some way to make sense of what was happening to me based on what should have been rather than what was.

I am starting to wonder what it is that I have been reaching for all along. I am contemplating these losses that I have recently experienced: a best friend, a lover and to some extent, my family. These are things that I used to identify myself, my purpose in the world. In losing them, I am left without purpose and without purpose all I have left is me, alone in the darkness of confusion.

Some part of me continues to desire that reaching out, to draw something towards myself to distract me from the pain and confusion of living. But another, and perhaps larger part of me wants to continue along this new path.

The other day, I started to really and truly believe that there was something more to this world, something more for me, something greater. In surrendering to what has happened to me, without questioning whether it was right or wrong, good or bad, it has all been given a greater validity. It is part of the thing that is my life. Perhaps it has been unhelpful for me to consider my family dynamic dysfunctional. I compare myself to an ideal of how things “should be” but things are never that way. Things always just are the way they are. There is nothing perfect, nothing sacred in denial.

I am slowly opening to the possibility of a love that goes beyond attachment and possession, insecurity and pain. I am starting to entertain the potentiality of there being something deeper, a love that permeates me and everything else. It’s something that I have rationalized for a long time and in some special moments I have felt it. Something about the emptiness of letting go has always seemed terrifying; letting go of attachment, of my ideas about myself and what I need, but it seems like this letting go is one of the ways to really find it.

I can’t believe that I didn’t see it before. In letting go of those things that I thought brought me closer to it, I became closer. It don’t understand how I could have felt so much darkness. The sensations of loss can be staggering. Perhaps I am ready to lose everything and instead of it needing to be torn away, it is more like a boat loosed from its moorings. It just drifts away silently.

It’s scary to let go. I have never been one to trust. I am a little bit worried that people are going to think I am going nuts. I just don’t think I am. It’s like every little bit of everything is so full and that the emptiness was just an illusion. It’s like it has been waiting for me my entire life and it was me who was rejecting it all along.

What is there left after you go through the dark night? It’s God, I guess. Whatever that is supposed to mean. It just feels like this brightness that is too bright. I still feel like me, and all of the problems in my life still exist. I still have an ego, as far as I can tell, but it’s like I know there is something else out there that expresses itself through me. Maybe I just have to figure out how to let it.

It makes me feel really vulnerable to admit this. I wonder what it means. I don’t really know but I hope I can connect with people who get what I am talking about. Maybe more people get it than I understand. So, yeah. That happened.

I am inspired to see how this can direct me as I move forward. Perhaps it is something that I can allow to subtly affect my dealings throughout the day. Perhaps it can help firm up my dedication to sharing my truth. I only really want to help, to be in the world in the way that I need people to be with me. I hope to reach towards that, the ability to allow love to express itself through me. It seems like a good purpose, if ever there was one

Thursday, the 12th of June, 2014.

Accepting the Gift of Life

I don’t want to feel bad, I think. At least, I generally believe that I am trying to feel good. I generally believe that I know what I want. I generally think that I ask people to treat me well.

I have noticed that in my interactions with people, however, that I don’t always protect my feeling of being comfortable. I haven’t been used to being comfortable. I definitely feel that there is such a thing as being too comfortable and have pursued some rather severe forms of asceticism. I haven’t given myself permission to indulge in my own comfort, because I viewed it as a source of weakness.

Because of this practice, I know that I have an incredible amount of flexibility. I am an emotional contortionist. I can withstand incredible amounts of discomfort and I do so often and for the benefit of others. I place the needs of those around me above my own and when I ask for what I want, I put it out into the world like a suggestion. I saw it as a form of strength to not need anything. I tried my very best to be purely adaptive. I would accept what was and not venture to reach my hand out for anything. In my pursuit of this superhuman strength, I have become disconnected from my humanity. I have avoided the vulnerability of admitting my weaknesses and potentially receiving healing for them from the outside world.

Getting older, and hopefully wiser, I am beginning to know myself, to know the kinds of things that make me happy. I know what kinds of things tend to support my feelings of security and growth. For most of my life, I have pushed myself into spaces of discomfort. I wanted to be strong, and I believed that in making myself uncomfortable, I could therefore extend my ability to feel comfortable, to be comfortable with discomfort. The problem has arisen, that I have forgotten what it feels like to be at ease. I have chased my edge with such intensity, that I have lost my centre. I started out with the goal of broadening my home base and in the process have lost my home.

When I tell people what I need, I expect them to ignore me. I don’t place my needs in a place of importance because historically, the people who were charged with my care did not regard my distress as real. I am habituated to fulfilling the desires of those around me and I do so out of a need to be accepted because it was not acceptable for me to want things, even things that were natural for me to desire, like love and affection. Because of my history, I feel that the only way I will be accepted by those around me, is if I continuously anticipate and fulfill their needs. I fear that if I present a challenge to someone, that they will reject me and rejection triggers that childlike feeling of terror at being abandoned, it is part of a story where I feel helpless and cannot take care of myself.

Even though I am continuously taking care of everyone around me, I don’t trust myself to take care of me. My notion of care is neglect, I care for myself in the way that I was cared for by others. I know how it feels to be neglected and I project my feelings of fear onto other people. I project my own feelings of helplessness onto others, using them as a proxy to pour out all of the love and care that I crave for myself.

I am used to love being conditional, being based on the assumption that if I pour all of my energy into someone, they will pay me back at a point that never actually comes. My idea of love has always involved a deficit. It is a dynamic where I will never get my needs fulfilled but am strung along by the hope that someday, when I have given enough, they will reciprocate. But they never do. I am chasing a dream, pouring my love into people who cannot return my care. More so than that, I am not even prepared to accept love from those who are prepared to give it.

Recently, when I received care from a person who was willing to put themselves out for me, I was triggered into the child state, the part of me that was desperate for affection. It is a scary place to be in for me, but it was also good for me to be able to go there and to make a tiny opening for love to come in. I feel like these things that feel like tears in the fabric of my being become gateways, and I am beginning the process of flooding those parts of myself with the care that they deserve and have always deserved.

I was deprived not because I was unworthy of love but because those around me were incapable of loving me in the way that I needed to be loved. I was always worthy. They covered their helplessness with disdain. Asking them to love me was asking them to face up to their own demons and they were not in a position to resist them.

Not receiving love is not a failure on my part but a breakdown in a dynamic. Having my needs met by an interaction is non-negotiable. I can’t settle for discomfort anymore. Fighting for love does not have to be my reality. I do not need to justify my needs. I do not need to feel shame for where I am at in my life. I am here, I am here and this is the shape I am in. I am deserving of love. I deserve to feel safe. I deserve to have my limitations respected. It is also important that I be able to disconnect from situations where I am feeling a deficit. I need to begin to remake my notion of the caregiver.

Being in the world and daring to ask for space, space to exist, space to feel at ease, this is a political act. I offer my gifts to the world by asking it to honor the truth of my spirit. My truth is an essential part of the dance, by expressing it I allow life to fulfill itself. I am not doing anyone a service by feeding them from my life force. All life must be exchange, reciprocity. We are here to serve each other, I must receive in order to be able to fully give. Being able to receive is its own kind of gift.

This is a very difficult space for me to be in. I feel almost physically ill from the energy it is loosening up in me. It is an old pain, a deep and heavy burden. I am slowly readying myself to let it go. I am raising my spine up and holding my head high. I am starting to believe that I deserve to be here. I called for this life and feel that I have chosen it. It is a gift that I am slowly being able to accept. I intend to accept the gift of life. I call it into myself and express my gratitude for my being. I love and am love, I deserve to let loose the will for love to flow both into and out of my being. This is my truth in this moment

Monday, the 9th of June, 2014.

What broke or didn’t break

You asked me to be a mess,
To embrace my sacred terrors
And flood truth, opening from my heart
Like liquid fire.
Violent rivers,
Drops lingering,
suspended in sudden molten spheres,
Before falling into a melting earth.

I let down my arms,
Like stone walls turning into tears,
Abandoning their empires,
Succumbing to little roots
Upending their foundations
Seeing everything fall apart
And knowing, for once, that it was okay
To surrender

I am an iron willed daughter
I am a friend
I carry stories
Dragging down my head sometimes
Like a chain
And shredding layers of my skin
As I embrace
Their explosive hearts

I need to be seen
As the tattered thing that I am
Without needing to be healed
Because it feels like a betrayal
To let you see me like I see myself,
A rejection to have you want to fix me
Like you also believe that I am broken
Like you also can’t accept, can’t see
The thing that has been pulled apart
And pieced back together
Like you can’t recognise my form
Past all the little pieces of tape.

I don’t want you to believe me
When I tell you I am damaged
I want you to see how proud I am
At having pieced together a life
How proud I am of the leaks and cracks
Because it can still hold water,

It’s like you fail to understand
What you demanded of me
When I sit with you,
With you slowly getting under my skin,
With me letting my chaos seep out,
When I need a container to hold me,
While I breathe onto my soul
The gentle breath that would ignite
Those hidden embers
Struggling for life amidst
The buffeting winds of need and desire
Threatening to unhinge me.

I only ask that if you ask me to open
That we may hold firm this container
To make sure that I don’t spill out
Everywhere and into the desert
And lose all my little water droplets
like melting diamonds.

You ask for the truth,
So you ask for all of me,
For me to let down the dam
Holding back the ocean.
And I was willing.
But there is no way to receive the ocean.
The only way to greet me,
Is to spill your tide,
Our spilling chaos making a pillar
Of all cleansing saltwater
That fills up the container of the sky.

I cannot ask the mountain not to be seen.
I am not large enough to contain
What wants to be.
I am pulled back by the moon
And feel my body ragged and sore
I curl in upon myself with a will
To let go of my shoulders
To let myself breathe and smile
And hope

Even though everything often hurts
I am willing to believe
That there exists a place where sometimes
I can forget that people rape and beat and kill
And just greedily drink in the moment,

Saturday, the 7th of June, 2014.

Defend Fiercely your Right to be Love

You may come by and use me,
Because I can’t stop you.
And you can bring your sour face
To the party,
And abuse my generosity.
There is little I can do to change you.
Even if I bring myself to the limit
Of our being,
At the point when you becomes me,
And I reach out to you
With open hands
My eyes wide open and exposed,
You can hit me,
you can kill me.

Whether or not I give you permission,
My refusal may not stop you.
I will always say no.
But your pain may overrule us all.
And that’s ok,
Because I refuse to take on your suffering.
I will not resonate with your anger,
Your ingratitude, your spite.
I will look unblinkingly at the torment
That has twisted you
and made you mean.
I will not flinch when you strike at me,
But, stubbornly allow love
To flourish where there is suffering,
To return generosity to the ungrateful
To slowly take you spitting and clawing
Into my arms.
Because the only way you can hurt me
Is to distance me from love.
The only way you can wound me,
Is to make me a mirror of you.

I will not hold it.
I will wait as it flows past me
Like a hurricane,
I will not brace myself,
But will tumble endlessly,
Helpless, tender.

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