I wasn't sure I wanted to talk about this topic. Mostly because a couple of the scenarios on the road to its realization make me look like somewhat of a lunatic. But I said I don't care right? So fuck it I guess.
Latest big picture idea: We are not really becoming anyone. We are not growing into this Human 10.0 that has picked up knowledge and experiences along the way and has therefore become a more knowledgeable and wise person because we have accumulated. Lately, I have experienced the opposite. We become who we are by getting rid of.
It's not a new idea. In fact, a quote from Michelangelo keeps ringing in my ears over and over:
"Every block of stone has a statue inside of it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."
I am a sculptor. Not a hoarder.
I have always felt like there is something truly good deep down inside of me. Even when I was little and the girls would make fun of someone else - I wanted to stick up for the victim, but I was too scared. In my head I thought this made me not as bad as the mean girls, but now I know that's not the case. I used to think I would behave differently when they weren't around to judge me, and for a time I did. But keep denying who you really are deep down, and eventually that light starts to fade and the mask you wear actually becomes your face. Enter the sculptor to remove the mask. It's not an at home facial - it's a chisel and stone. It's Jim Carey thrashing around, trying free himself of the Green Ego suctioned to what used to be his human face. It's a painful removal process that takes weeks, months, most times years to even begin. But I truly believe who we really are is always in there. The truest version of ourselves is always somewhere under all the shit. Now how deep down it's buried depends on the person.
Moving on past my elementary years where I began to dim my light, past the college years where I had freedom to harness the light, but had lost it so much I didn't know it was gone, and into my late 20's where a heartbreak led me to re examine everything, and you find me here at 30, shedding layers and layers and layers of the weight I have been carrying so the real me can shine through. It will always be a work in progress, but I feel the need to talk about it now because it keeps coming up. Like seriously.
Lots of little nudges have occurred over the last few years, but what really grabbed me by my little cheeks and stared me dead in the eye was an experience I had (or didn't have?) the other night with Chris. Allow me to explain.
Here is where I ask you to be kind in your judgments, I am just telling you what happened. Upon waking up one morning a week or so ago, Chris started talking about a conversation I had no idea I had participated in. I could see the light bulb go off in his eyes when he realized I had been talking to him in my sleep. No big deal right? I have been known to do this and I'm willing to bet almost all of you have too. But here's where it gets weird. He was having a nightmare about me being in danger and him trying to get to me. When he woke up I was already holding him and I said something like "Oh, it all makes so much sense now." Have I creeped you out yet? Stick around...it gets better.
When he brought up the fact that I couldn't have known what his dream was about I said that I didn't know what he was dreaming but I could "sense the urgency." Apparently, he realized I was really speaking from the heart, so he proceeded to ask questions about what I thought he was struggling with, why I thought I was here on Earth (side note, my answer was "to have as much fun as possible." Um, YES). My answers, as told from him of course, were eloquent, well thought out, and very intuitive.
When I told him I asked for advice from my girlfriends about how to be a good partner to him and he asked why I felt I needed to, I said "Because it's not my specialty."
Chris: "Okaaaaay. What is your specialty?"
HAHAHAHA. I even proceeded to list out all the reasons I love him, most of them thoughtful and heartfelt but then finished with "....and you're a REALLY scary driver. But that's okay, because I love you." (Insert crying laughing emoji.)
All jokes aside, everything I said was true. It was me saying everything. But I didn't have all the bullshit blocking me from saying what I wanted to say and acting like I wanted to act. From what he told me, I fucking like that chick. She sounds pretty legit.
I always have felt deep down that if I let go, something bad will happen. I'll end up with my foot in my mouth, people will think I'm a terrible human being, I'll ruin everything. Everything! (Sooooo dramatic...) But I wasn't in control. I wasn't filtering or monitoring. And it was still okay, it was actually...better?
Could it be that deep down we like ourselves? Could it be that if we let go of all our defense mechanisms that we have built up to protect ourselves, that we are actually pretty fucking awesome under there?
One of the super awesome masks I wear is a winning combo of control freak and over analyzer. It's a really fun game - let me tell ya. I am always thinking about if something I said offended someone, if I am being a good friend, if so and so thought I didn't care enough about what they told me, and on and on and on. Then I alter my behavior based on what conclusions I drew from my last analyzation so I can hopefully control the outcome. It's so much fucking work.
What if I just let go? What if I trusted myself enough to let myself take the drivers seat? I do think it's possible, but I think I have to keep chipping away simultaneously. My autopilot is still currently clogged with way too many insecurities and defenses and EGO. But she's in there. That person I know I can be is in there.
So how do I chip? Well, for me, I have found that I have to tune into myself. Notice throughout the day what makes the light crank up, and what makes the light feel suffocated. Writing here, in the kitchen of a home I don't own anything in lights me up. Camping this weekend lit me up, talking to people who read my blog and want to do something similar and true to their own path lights me up. Trying to conform dims my light, trying to make situations be how the used to be instead of how they are dims my light, watching tv too much dims my light, viewing everything as a competition dims my light.
It has taken me almost THREE YEARS of tuning into what I like and what I don't like to finally come to a place where I have results I can put my finger on. It's hard. But not hard like trying to be someone I'm not - hard like it's worth it and I don't have to rush it. There is really no destination with it. I'll just keep chipping until I don't feel like chipping anymore.
This idea also popped up in the Yoga book we were required to read for Teacher Training. Humor me while I recap just a few of the hundreds of things I underlined in Baron Baptiste's Journey Into Power:
"I'd spent my entire life up until that point looking outward, seeking inner peace like it was a goal, never really daring to come face-to-face with the truth that was within me...my authentic self - my inner voice - my real wisdom. I went home that day and cried."
"The only person who can open the door to the inner truths and lead you to the light is yourself. But I will share with you the ancient pillars of life that will illuminate your journey. I will show you how to access the innate wisdom in your mind, the strength and suppleness in your body, the infinite and exquisite beauty of your spirit. But ultimately, I am not teaching you anything you do not already know somewhere deep within your being. Your genetic systems are encoded with this knowledge. My role is to awaken what you have simply forgotten along the way."
It is not about becoming more beautiful. You already are beautiful. It's not about acquiring degrees and having titles behind your name, because true knowledge is knowing we don't know much at all. It's not about being better at anything. You are already 100% enough. It's about removing all the obstacles that are standing in the way of being the people we already are deep down.
One of my favorite yoga teachers asked us to write down one thing we wanted to turn inward, face, and work on. She asked that we write it on a piece of paper and leave it at the front desk. She will then draw 12 of them, and they will be what she focuses on for the next year of classes.
I wrote that I want to shed all the bullshit holding me back from being my true self. Because a world full of people shining their lights is a much better world, and I think everyone has that spark - even if it's buried deep.
There's a lot going on in our world right now. It's blatantly clear what can arise if we let anger, ego, prejudice, and exclusivity overcome our entire beings. Those masks becomes a tangible darkness, a feeling so heavy it can become suffocating and leave us feeling helpless. There will be people we encounter that make us doubt anything good exists inside of them. But we cannot fight darkness with darkness. Therefore, I am not only finding my light for myself, but I am finding it for all the people stumbling around in the dark unable to find their own. And then, maybe some day, they will catch a glimpse of my small, but still existent light, and use it to flame their own.
Usually I would go into fun happenings of my week at this point. But I feel drawn to leave this here. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. But please - let me know if you have any thoughts on this piece. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a new message from someone who read the blog and wants to discuss it more - whether you agree with me or not. Now THAT lights me up.