(My oldest son in the video.)
I am one of the strongest people I know. And I don’t say that lightly. I have endured many trials and challenges. I cry a lot. But I don’t see tears as weakness, and don’t think I ever shall. I feel a lot, but I don’t think emotions are weakness either. In fact, I am not sure what weakness is anymore, beyond the giving up of self to take in the dictation of a world that is full of destruction and mayhem.
I have integrity. This is clear. By integrity, I don’t mean following manmade laws or rules, or upholding some established truth or way; by integrity, I mean honoring myself by speaking my inner truth.
It’s not an inner truth I could readily find before, nor do I think it’s an inner truth I would have found without great soul-searching and desire. It’s ironic to me, that the very things that spiritual entrepreneurs eventually long to dismiss, that being the emotions of anger and longing, are the very activators that motivate the self to seek to awaken the sleeping soul.
Recently, and for many years in my childhood, I had no choice but to be me. For when I am not; when I try to pretend, hide, deny, or create an illusion that is neither what I see or choose to see, I diminish my very light and openness to truth. I suffer. I suffer physically and spiritually, entirely twist myself in every portion.
By truths, I do not mean my truths of how things should be, or what people should do. I do not mean spiritual proclamation, and particularly not the spectator sport of religious dogma. What I mean by my truth, is my current understanding and perception of what is transpiring with me at a deep inner level.
This openness, this speaking of truth, this reality I reveal, even when I know that it is not the ‘whole’ truth, even when I know that it is only a limited, self-biased, environmental-, and social-influenced truth, a truth combined with biological factors, faith, and other past, future, and present influences, allows me to feel free. When I am my true self, it is if some dark prisoner within has been released and no longer made to suffer. It isn’t that I need to be heard, not even seen; it isn’t that I need to be understood, and I have no want to influence—it’s that I must purge the part of what is that lingers within.
It is confusion. It is murkiness. It is ugly. It is imaginative. It is fear. It is love. It is illusion. Or it is fact. Whatever it is makes not a difference. For this ‘what’ in whatever form, still is in the cell, still locked behind the iron bars of captivity. And until I dispel of the trapped essence, I feel trapped in myself.
This needing to dislodge of the ‘truth,’ of my inner workings, of my thoughts, I see not as a flaw, a disorder, or a burden. It is simply how I am made. And in this unencumbered, soul-filled sharing, I become unhindered onto myself and filled with a light of passion. In my sharing, whatever the sharing, however it is taken in by another, or even evaluated by self, the relief comes, and the once-standing suffering, the boil that was causing the distracting internal ache, bursts.
People mistake me as someone I am not. Not that I claim to be anything in particular. And, in full honesty, likely I am nothing beyond the interpretation of others; I’d still like to think I am not the negative spin people perpetuate me to be. Yet, in this world, there isn’t much to base a person’s worth on, beyond words, self-collected materialistic goods, appearance, mannerism, actions, and deeds. I suppose deeds is what I would prefer to be my legacy—my fruit…what I reap, what I leave.
Still, I know enough to know that what is said affects the bystander as much as any other attribute. I reason, I was judged, particularly in the past, on things that were beyond my understanding at the time.
I gather, and am quite frankly certain, I was judged by others by:
My tone of voice, my elation, my in-depth analysis, my passion, my ramblings, my obsessive interest in a topic, my need to dig deep in inquiry, my rapture of delight in the simplest of things, my uncommon queries, my quizzical expressions, my apparent disinterest, aloofness, or lack of attention, my inability to stay focused on the current topic, my want to review, repeat, and enlighten, my lack of gaps or pauses in thought and expression, my interrupting, my unyielding desire to solve through discourse and dialogue, my re-centering and refocusing on topic filtered through understanding and scaffolding of self and past experience, my intensity, my compassionate movements, my sighs, my large shocking eyes, my gestures of comical silliness, and on and on.
I imagine I was much like a tsunami in my youth: some bucket poured out and turned quickly into a gargantuan of pubescent demise and uproar.
In looking back now, I understand. I understand that I honestly thought everyone thought like me. I thought everyone had a million ideas in their head, endless creativity, the want to explode out the ‘whats’ and the ‘truths,’ and harbored that prisoner that yearned for release and badgered the master until unchained. I can’t imagine, still, what it would be like to not be this way. To not have the need to express what is inside.
Now, I know how to balance myself in conversation, at least usually. Actually, as of recent, I have grown rather submissive, quiet, and somewhat more of an introspective recluse. Perhaps even a bit physically aloof in my stature and demeanor. But my behavior isn’t a form of repression, or oppression, or trying to fit in, anymore. My way of being is a natural balance.
I am finding peace in expressing myself through written words and visual arts now, more so than trying to spew out through verbal processing aloud. Talking doesn’t soothe me like it used to. Certainly at times a conversation with a close friend uplifts my spirit and helps me find my balance, let’s me know I am not alone in my thoughts. Yet, for the most part, I no longer have a need to spew and spin and loop most days.
However, I am finding through creation I am able to explode bit by bit, piece by piece, and find refuge. I am finding solace in silence, more and more. The opportunity for analysis and deeper understanding, if it arises, seems to happen more with my spiritual discourse with my higher source, in my ability, shall I say ‘gift,’ to directly connect to something beyond me.
Creation has been my outlet at last.
I was born an artist, but the world didn’t let me know that. The world did little but try to tear the artist out of me. To dig right into my chest and tear the heart right smack out. To leave me with a hole filled with rules and regulations. And how I was made wrong.
Even in creation, once in a while the ‘ways’ try to sneak in. The ‘how to’s,’ ‘the when’s,’ ‘the where’s.’ I am working more eagerly and happily to dismiss the lingering worldly voices of the ‘right way.’
I never went through a period of my life where I allowed myself to be rebellious or free. I quickly slipped from youthful innocence to a shell of protection, the shell primarily built on good deeds and goodness. I think I have finally reached the ‘bullshit’ phase of my adult years. When I can at last say ‘bullshit’ to the guidelines of who I am supposed to be.
I am recognizing slowly a rebalancing of self: a merging of the spiritual-wise self with the earth-bound warrior. I am recognizing I can be fierce in my kindness. I can allow moments of fleeting anger and disappointment. I can be all of my emotions and all of me. And in this I am finding a greater degree of freedom. I am coming full circle, back to this me I was long ago, and forward to the me I am yet to become.
And I am finding all of the aspects of self right here in the moment, in the realization that all of me, every part of me, is beautiful. The lust, the love, the angst, the anger, the desire, the letting go, the release, the needing to connect….all of me is splendid, and continues to be so. Ever so gently I am becoming my potential, when all along I was already there.