A Middle Finger to the False Self

 

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It’s weird. Probably not uncommon, but still weird.
This being compelled towards a certain way of expression and feeling so utterly self conscious about said expression. Part of me thinks that real artists don’t question their artistry, at least in as far as the doing. Most of us measure the product and its worth, of course. Wonder about, assess, measure. Maybe it’s naive to think that no one else thinks this much about the process. The just “doin’ the thing” part. But I just can’t help but think that if I could just settle into the thing that my battles with self expression (with self?) would be largely (or just more) over. The weirdness that I not only wrangle with, but frankly am totally sick of, is weird. I feel compelled to write a certain way while being totally and completely uncertain about it.
When (and how? How, I ask you?) does a person Just Do It. (If only there was a t-shirt to remind me.) By what miracle of changed thinking and upside down modus operandi (how? How, I ask you?) does someone suddenly just stop all the years of shame and doubt and ridiculous indoctrination and start living fully into his/her self? And THEN create something authentic and real and of value?
New Year review and reflection stipulated honesty as my “word of the year.” Sounds good. Good like all those other words that find their way colorfully and persistently into the margins of journals and legal pads in various pen colors in order to (hopefully) then find their way into my psyche and then (hopefully) eke into my living. And I’ll stay open to that notion. Honesty sounds right, if even ever so slightly loaded and terribly tenuous (for me anyway. See elephants in the room, “social graces,” and skeletons in the closet [wow. Even the references don’t tell you anything.] and you have a terrible battle with what being true to yourself means. True to myself? Heck. I’d just love to wake up with any sense of self. A true sense unfettered and/or unmarred by loads of proverbial baggage.).
Which brings me to my point. (Maybe.)
After being figuratively smacked into an uncomfortable oblivion yesterday, I had to take another uncomfortable but much needed look at my difficulty with transparency and vulnerability. I’m tempted to delve in here about the bummer-of-a-disagreement my husband and I had because of my seeming inability to be emotionally intimate due to years and years of self destructive behavior but I worry that I’ll lose you. I’m assuming you’ll understand without being privy to details. Wait for the book. Because, you know, a book about addiction, promiscuity, victimization and the like would be so read-worthy. It would, you say? Only if it didn’t stop there but continued on to the happy ending of redemption and healing and rescue, which is where my story ends, er, will end once I get to the bottom of this vulnerability thing.

Vulnerability thing? Oh, right. That’s where I was going with this. I was going to talk about how to get to a place where I stop second guessing every. Single. Thing. I. Do. Say. Write. Think. The place where all this being gets to just be without all the maddening ing-ing. Thinking wondering, second-guessing. That little suffix has added too much extraneous ing-ing on my ability to just be.
Just be, Amy. Just be, you who’s reading. You who’s out there wondering about your inherent value and all its attachments and/or inevitabilities. Not in a mystical touchy feely way, but in a true way. That we might get down to the business of living: comfortable enough in our own skins and comfortable enough with whatever our contribution to the world is ours to give and stop all this ridiculous posturing in order to add what’s ours to add.
Maybe I’m just getting old and tired. Maybe that’s really what wisdom is: getting worn out enough that you stop expending energy (because you no longer have any extra to expend) on posturing and instead concentrate on just be-ing. That ing-ing being the only sort you can muster up enough energy for. No frills, no pretense. Just you and just me with all our wondrous and remarkable magic. ‘Cause it’s in there. And it’s fabulous.
It’s terrifying, but I’m pretty excited to toast to transparency (or maybe I’m just excited to toast. Here’s at least to an enthusiastic and celebratory beginning.). Pretty excited to find out what all this before-now-elusive “be true to yourself” business is all about. Excited to move forward with my eyes wide open instead of frantically darting around trying to read cues about what skin I ought put on to satisfy any onlookers. How are chameleons not completely exhausted? I’ve not learned to adapt so well to this way of being. Or at least not thrive. I’ve maybe learned too well how to adapt. Regardless, I find it leaves me significantly less colorful than more…
So here’s to richer color sourced from an inward treasure instead of environmentally imposed ones. To more transparency and honesty. And though I don’t wish the fiery abyss part on anyone, I do like the spirit of; “ta Hell with all ya’s. I got my own beat and I’m dancin’ to it.” (I don’t usually talk like that, but this finding my voice thing may take some practice…)

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How about you? Do you struggle with “being yourself”? Desire truth in your inmost parts? Or if this isn’t a struggle for you, what has helped you to be a person of integrity/honesty/transparency?

 

Thanksgiving

 Hard things turned sweet

Lap around my edges

What’s true and good

Trumping the dark and the hard

Life is everything I feared

And everything I hoped

And more still

Coming into my own

Even more momentous than I thought

This little voice in the wilderness

Is louder and clearer than I expected

My mouse squeak carries through the noise

My fibers pulse with lion strains

Hope doesn’t just rise

It travels ahead

And should I follow

Should I meet this melody

And sing strong with this (His) voice all intact

Other noises will continue to quiet

And take lovelier shapes

No longer fit just for silencing mine

Will sweeten in deference to the love song

Written and sung by the most unexpected and perfect and dependable

Of lovers…

Jesus, Lover of my soul

my Lion

my Song

my Savior

Culmination and realization of all the hopes and dreams of 

A world gone sour

– But that still longs to sing –

Can.

The evidence in a tiny voice finding its voice 

Clear and strong and Found

Thank You.