Friday, the 11th of July, 2014.
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.
Thursday, the 10th of July, 2014.
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.
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.
Sunday, the 22nd of June, 2014.
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.
I don’t want to be fixed
I want to be cherished
I want to be surrounded by people
I don’t want to be fixed
I want to embrace all the parts of myself
I want to trust that the tide will come and go
I want to love broken things
Because seeing them trying to hold their shape
Because seeing them struggling to be
I don’t want to be fixed
And the only way that I can be whole
All those little fractures are the roadwork of my life
It isn’t about fixing something
Wednesday, the 18th of June, 2014.
Tuesday, the 17th of June, 2014.
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.
Thursday, the 12th of June, 2014.
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.
Monday, the 9th of June, 2014.
You asked me to be a mess,
I let down my arms,
I am an iron willed daughter
I need to be seen
I don’t want you to believe me
It’s like you fail to understand
I only ask that if you ask me to open
You ask for the truth,
I cannot ask the mountain not to be seen.
Even though everything often hurts
Saturday, the 7th of June, 2014.
You may come by and use me,
Whether or not I give you permission,
I will not hold it.