After all this time. After all these years. I still feel like a problem. I still fear the future. Fearing things that will probably never happen. I still fear being inadequate. I still fear losing everything. I still fear bodily injury. I still fear being physically unable to protect myself. I still fear not being worthy. I still fear that there’s more abuse to remember.
Not run n hide fear. Not shuddering, shaking, shivering fear. This is a different, insidious terror that habitually shortens my exhale. That lives in my chest wall, drawing my left shoulder up. That creeps inside of my lower facial muscles, adding tone and twitches and tight. The terror that steals the white of my eyes, their vibrant sparkle, absent once more. Replacing the white with a dryer, dusty pink.
Fear of not measuring up, of being found out for not being the best, not being in the know, of not being brilliant, not being happy, fear of having fear… Fear that others might see my imperfection, my angry, my jealousy, my procrastination, disgust, my light, my compassion, my heart, my gratitude, my self love. Fear that others might see my HUMAN.
Looking for some inspiration today I stumbled upon this Wintery scene. Quiet, frozen and crunchy. Alive underneath but who would know? Who could tell? My desire for inspiration, stirring. Alive, underneath these Winter layers. We sit. Simmering, planning, fantasizing about the greatest of possibilities. Maybe adding some sparkle and intrigue to our lives, our existence. What rubbish can we dispose of? Can we be doing more? What’s really important? What’s fluff in our lives? What do we keep? Feed? What do we watch die off? Freeze? These cold, crunchy layers of Winter-ness masking, the ME, the YOU, the US. But yet the seduction of mid-Winter hibernation, stagnation, complacency is victorious. For ME? I’m still spying for some inspiration, the ME I aspire to be. Underneath it all.
Do you cast a shadow on your own beauty? Dim your shimmer and light? How are you dumbing down your authenticity, your tender vulnerability and joy? Allow a sparkle to emerge today. Fluffy, light, pure. Timeless you. If just for today.
I can fabricate the scariest circumstances as possible outcomes in my life. And it’s all in my mind.
So why don’t I know this? Why don’t I stop myself before I get on the 3 a.m. terror train? This is something I learned as a young child and perfected as I got older- we are all good at something, right? Lol. In sitting and observing, noticing how I do this to myself today, I realized that although at one time (the scaring) was useful as a motivator to be prepared, organized, have a plan and keep me safe from harm, this is of absolutely no use to me as an adult and actually has me functioning from “fight or flight” response.
None of it EVER transpires anything like the scenario I’ve created! None of it EVER will! Things always work out for the best in the end. Things always work out for me – yet when I’m faced with difficult circumstances …I scare the shit out of myself.
Just watching. Noticing. Remembering that everything always works out, everything. Every time, over n over. But for some reason I need to scare the shit out of Me so I can prepare all the possible scenarios that MIGHT transpire. This is no longer a useful pattern today. I need to lean into this is scary and watch myself be scared and also be a witness to myself preparing and controlling NOTHING. I’ll wait it out and know that everything will be just fine.
STOP scaring the shit out of us!!! preparing for an ancient, silent battle that no longer needs to be fought. You know things always work out. Cut the shit and know we are ok. Sometimes just naming the fear lessons it’s grip on us. Call that fucker out, it’ll be less potent once named and seen. As many times a day as you need to, call on your breath to replace the need to “do”.
My ringtone is crickets. No accident. Yes, I do love insects but this was different. Healing past wounds- the devastating kind- CHANGES who you most deeply are. Much of your old life falls away, an unavoidable side effect, sometimes feels like a mean trick. I assumed my life would improve, things would get better, people would support me, my efforts, right? CRICKETS. Slowly, everything I knew melted away – some with the stench of hot garbage on an August afternoon – ok, a thousand August afternoons. Transformation was mine…my mistrust, anxiety, terror, shame and anger – making way for new levels of aliveness and renewed sense that the world is so much more than what I was led to believe. My family of origin supportive of this? Crickets.
Then, I took a long hard look at who I had chosen to surround myself with. Oh boy. Tough to realize most around me were asleep, not fully living. I had attracted folks who wouldn’t expect more from ME. I was safe, I didn’t have to change. I was just existing, functioning. And so were they. We all were doing the best we could with what we knew at the time. Living on autopilot. Autopilot, for most my friends, was running on substance. Not to be judgy, cause substance is a great support, an essential life-saver for many- but as I moved further from that, as I began healing, I ached for people to be better, do better. I suffered FOR them, for their emptiness. The baggage they continued to carry around, slowly killing them. Yet I could see their potential, I could see the beautiful hearts, the generous souls, the depth of their story, the way they let someone else dictate how their life turned out. Still honoring the hand that continued to hold them down…Living? NO. Existing? Yes. Crickets.
Crickets. Deafening. It’s my fault. I’ve basically swapped one hell for another. Healing deeply has it’s potholes. I wanted more. More from those who were unaware and unable to be present. Suffrage central. I wanted connection with people who have no connection with themselves. I wanted to be heard and seen. With invisible friends. I wanted them to be present, feeling, deep. Too much to ask. Way too much to get from those who just cannot function where I am. Way too much to ask from those who just cannot function wherethey are. I was never victorious in the war against their love for substance, I never would be – with them fighting against me. Such a great fantasy tho. I watched them cycle – the distractions, numbing, dumbing down their light with food, alcohol, busyness, shopping, gaming, cleaning and playing victim – work for them. No way in hell can I compete with that…Who am I to want more from them? Who am I for wanting more love, more of their time? They are doing their best.
But yet, I am so worthy. Worthy of closeness, being cherished, being leaned on, trusted, loved, seen, heard. You know, all the things friends do, have and are. So I suck. I lose. I am alone. Crickets. Free from so much of my weighty baggage. Yay, but wasn’t I always alone? From the very beginning, I have been on my own. Surrounded by so many, I guess I never knew, never felt it. I would have denied that I felt lonely. Apparently fine with minimal connection. I was fine with taking the back seat to alcohol. If I had only remained asleep. If only I had not broken out of my family unit. If only I could live in the non-reality of it all. I might not be an option in so many people’s lives.
Who the fuck am I kidding? Crickets… Maybe the crickets have the answer. They sing at night, alone at first and eventually, there are many. Some singing in unison, some continue their own tune. All respectful of each other’s voice, creating beauty wherever they land. Staying true to themselves, hopping away to find comfort, staying only where it’s safe and pleasant. No asking other crickets for permission, just crickets, doing their crickety thing. Every day a new day – maybe going it alone, maybe having some company to sing their life song. This, I wish for all.