It’s been a while since I wrote anything for my blog. And this might be a bit choppy; not the smoothest exposition of words and thoughts I’ve ever committed to screen or paper. Things from the heart rarely are. But I need to get this out.
In light of all the events going on in the world…the revolution that is literally unfolding before my/our eyes every day…. In my own life, I have been grappling with things no one would ever guess (like most people). A lot of it has to do with FEAR on different levels.
“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”
“False Evidence Appearing Real.”
“The emotional experience of the expectation of loss that hasn’t happened yet” (my own concept and understanding of fear).
“Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
Why do I bring these up? It’s complicated, but not really. To say I am, or for most of my life have been, a private person, who chooses my words and personal connections very carefully is, perhaps, an understatement. What I have recognized, though, is that “deeper-down” a lot of that was fear of being misunderstood, not being accepted, rejected, made fun of…..you get the picture. Much of which was completely unfounded.
But it left an indelible mark on my thought process and became part of “who I think I am.” The same goes for the idea of getting by, making do, doing without….and calling it being a minimalist, when in reality it was, at least in part, the FEAR of creating expectations I would need to continue to live up to—for myself, the people around me (who I tried to keep to a minimum, as detailed above) and avoidance of putting myself in a position to keep going higher and expand my life socially, emotionally, financially. And again, this became part of “who I (think I) am,” even after having a family. In some ways, it was part of why my marriage didn’t last—we were, and are, very different people. Just a tiny bit more on that later.
There is another saying: “to get something you never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done. “ For me, that requires both an expansion and a release. On one hand, I need to embrace that many people have something to offer my life, and that it is actually mutual—my gifts are not always obvious because they are of the heart and soul and mind, but we are in times when these things are more important than ever. Being humble doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, it means you think of yourself less (I picked that one up somewhere also—probably Facebook). I owe it to my family, and the community I choose to live in, to not live in fear of being MORE than I think I am; to keep stepping out, keep being honest, keep being increasingly transparent. Keep asking myself: “what am I afraid of?” Is it losing the image of having it all together? Of what people might think?
Here’s the deal…front page. I have a job I love, but I struggle financially. Constantly. I have made some choices that seemed necessary at the time but which are all compounding seemingly at the worst time. I paid off some large debts only to incur more due to various life circumstances to the point that it is affecting my children in ways I am, to say the least, not comfortable with (any more). I rationalized, for a long time, that things I do without were because of sacrifice, but in reality it was because I just felt like I couldn’t afford it. And even typing these words, my critical voice is saying “STOP! What are you doing? Why are you telling the world our secrets?” And that is exactly why I need to. Another old saying, this one a proverb from Ethiopia: “He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured.”
I don’t want to be in a situation where having to spend $25 on new shoes is going to break me, but here I am. I “should” be way past this point. I am “supposed” to be at a stage in life where I am building steadily and aggressively toward a secure future for retirement, for my kids’ college…. But I’m not. As “weak” as it may sound, my mother helps me when she can, even my “advanced” age of 44, which I am profoundly, deeply, eternally grateful for… just being honest (which to me¸ more than anything, means telling your own truth, not giving your view of someone else’s).
Back to my co-parent: I appreciate her for the security and stability she has provided for our children in ways I was not prepared for. Even though I had a hand over the years in helping her get to the point where she could, she definitely deals with certain things a lot better than I do at this stage in our lives, based on her current level of career and financial preparation. We look at the world differently, but as far as handling “business” she is uncontestably more on top of it than I am.
One thing I do pride myself on is that when I decide to do something, and when I am faced with a situation that is perhaps difficult but unavoidable, I do my best to face it and move through it instead of around it. And that is what this is about. Moving through. Not hiding, not going around other people’s beliefs, thoughts, criticisms, questions, judgments, but out in the open so I can be free to release whatever I need to without telling the same half-story over and over.
If gang leaders can come together to protest the brutality and dehumanization of Black lives, I can get over my own sh… and do whatever I can to put myself in a better position to be of use to everyone and everything I love.
Starting a vegetarian cooking business (a long-time dream) —which I am just getting into shape now with help from a lot of caring people– was, in a way, the crack that opened the rest of this flood. Not sure how coherent this all is, but I feel 30 pounds lighter inside. Last year, I shed a lot of physical weight and reclaimed my body to where I wanted to be; I made my health part of who I am, not just part of what I do. This is the same process, only broader.
Unclear what it all looks like, but I am—my soul is– happy for the decision to allow it. I would rather have people see me fully for who and what I am than who or what they think I am. I have also learned, somewhat the hard way, that peace can only be achieved (at least for me), not by “adding it” but by releasing whatever it is that prevents it. Perhaps more than anything, for most of my life, having peace has been my #1 priority. Sometimes I just went about it the wrong way.
Respect and blessings to one and all.