“You don’t want to be like me,
‘Cause I know the world is afraid of me.” –Twiztid
Those were the words that got me through high school, when I was pouring everything into being Normal, Smart, Pretty, Safe – everything that is supposed to define a girl.
I was completely unsuccessful, because my soul was well aware that not only was it a lie, but it was toxic to who I really am.
Those words reminded me of the truth. Not you, not anyone, would want to be like my façade. Neither would you like to be like who I am on the inside, because I see too much, I think too much; I am too much of a threat to the world we pretend matters to us, so I can never be a safe member of society. I can’t be accepted as is.
The truth is, we all have a façade. There’s a movie called The Grace Lee Project (it’s on Netflix), by a Korean American girl named Grace Lee, about all the other Grace Lees, who all seem to be smart, quiet, nice, successful, and utterly boring, even to other Grace Lees. Yet each Grace Lee feels she is different on the inside, she is unique, she is weird and imperfect.
We are all like Grace Lee. The façade for the world and the lava fields inside don’t match. It’s a common secret we each bare alone.
The irony is that it’s only the fear that is toxic, not the truth of who we are. I am afraid of the real you, you are afraid of the real me, so we get together and spew trite, pointless, blather all over each other like some kind of ectoplasm goo to protect us from reality.
I’d like to talk about what matters again. I need to get back to writing. So we are going to have to scrape off some ectoplasm.
Like a Boa-Constrictor with Telekinesis
What you are afraid of doesn’t really matter.
For example, if you can’t leave your house because you are desperately afraid of death, it’s not because you really care what kills you. It could be a bus, a rabid prairie dog, an asteroid, sudden appendicitis. There are infinite possibilities. But it’s the Fear that matters, that paralyzes you.
So talking about what you are afraid of is just a circus act.
What really matters is recognizing the fact that the fear is there, strangling you, like a boa-constrictor with telekinesis.
Of course, I would rather not mention this. I don’t even think of it as fear, and that is why it is so powerful.
It’s a doubt, sometimes, like “Is this off-topic?”, or “I couldn’t explain that”, or “Do I know for sure?” or “Would anyone like that?”
Sometimes it’s just a vague sense that if I cross a line somewhere I can’t see, the apocalypse will ensue. So it’s best to stay still, like a deer in the headlights.
Mostly it’s a static in the background, like white noise. A vague sense that life is never quite right, that something bad must be coming, that nothing will work.
On Love and Pathways
As Jen Louden points out, the best reason to go forward is for yourself. Not because of fear or panic or terror, but because you want it, you love it, you feel the good it could bring.
I have been lost for so long, in this finding-your-path-in-life business.
And the truth is, I am not very different from the girl I was before I gave up art and all my dreams to meet someone else’s definition of a safe, practical, good life. I still think the same way, do the same kinds of things.
The only difference is that I forgot how to trust what feels right in the moment – the web we weave and call reality be damned. I forgot what it felt like to walk in love, rather than running in fear.
I have spent these last few months digging in the dark places of my soul, looking for that feeling again, so that I would recognize it if it jumped out of a bush and slapped me.
Whispers from Nothing
I spent the longest time convinced that you should run full-tilt towards anything, anyone, who might throw a little money on the pavement for you, to grovel at their feet. Which is why I’ve been paralyzed with fear. Who I am, what I love, what I feel and think – it doesn’t even exist in this world. How could I discount it, forget it, save it in the backroom for a hobby, when it means so much less than nothing that it isn’t even there? And when this nothing is all that I live for?
It has been this particular brand of nothing that I have been seeking.
And, in warm whispers that, surprisingly, don’t make me feel at all like a horribly inadequate, delayed, misguided person, that nothing has been leading me home.
And as souls often do, mine has gently called for a change in direction. Not a radical change really. Despite of all my hysterics, my soul has done a pretty darn good job of steering my life.
One of those changes has to do with you and this blog.
As far as I can tell, I was going for the whole ra-ra personal development/productivity thing. And it felt kind of like painting my house beige. I can’t begin to explain to you how deeply I am disgusted by the rows of beige houses we sometimes call the “American Dream”. It’s the symbol of giving up everything unique, subtle, and wonderful about you to meet some grotesque, arbitrary definition of Perfect.
Point being, it wasn’t working for me.
Ekhart Tolle actually explains how to be yourself and be enough pretty well. In a nutshell, stop trying to be someone, playing a role, reacting to your ego, and accept fully that you don’t know who you are and you don’t need to. After that, the person you are, living in the moment, is you, is enough, and is infinite with possibilities.
So this blog is really about releasing the things that aren’t you, scraping off the ectoplasm, so to speak.
But if we are talking about the systems and structures that have lead you briskly by the hand to a life of inauthenticity, there’s no way I can stand here talking about productivity and action steps and do any good. I’m sorry, but that’s not how I work.
No, we are going to have to talk about astrology and mythology, the deep rhythms of life. We are going to have to talk about prejudice and oppression and fear and darkness and the systems that lead us astray. We are going to have to talk about manifestation and magic and the patterns of life.
And I was scared to bring it up. I didn’t want to throw you. The fear says all this is too much, too deep, too real, too strange, so it’s best choking on it like an enormous chunk of stew you were too distracted to chew.
But, I have to go forward with this. This is who I am, like it or not. It’s who we all are, which is why people have been obsessed with this stuff for thousands of years. Call it the patterns of human consciousness, the collective unconscious, life. Probably, it’s enough that it’s my calling.
So, friends, this is my road sign: Warning. There be curvy roads ahead.