'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”
~ Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit
I sit here considering how to start this blog post… thinking ‘What do I actually want to say here…? What’s most important for someone to read if they’ve been feeling the way I’ve been feeling? What would I tell myself if I could step outside of myself long enough to get some perspective to then share back?’
And really, I think it’s the same thing that it always is…
You don’t have to do things the way others do.
You don’t have to pretend that you feel like ‘everyone else’ does. You don’t have to pretend to be a machine. You don’t have to pretend that you don’t need more sleep, more joy, more deep rest, more love, more good / real food, more meaning.
You don’t have to pretend that work is the most important thing, you don’t have to put your job over and above your own well-being and prove (over and over) that you’re a loyal employee.
You don’t have to pretend that you want more stuff, more money, more house, more car. (You don’t have to pretend that you don’t want these things if you do, either).
It’s ok to take off the mask. I know that the idea is scary as shit, believe me. It is for me, too. I can’t tell you how many times in the past I’ve hesitated to tell someone in my real life what my website is because I’ve had so many fears around them seeing it and seeing The Real Me, and then judging me as some woo-woo weirdo.
I guess I’m getting more and more ok with that now though… and it’s ok, too, that I’m finding that my real people happen to be scattered all over the US and across the world. Maybe I’ll find more people in real life with whom I can connect in the same ways that I can connect with some of those I’ve met online over the years. Maybe I won’t (to my introverted, HSP self, that would also be entirely fine ;-)).
My (long, drawn-out) point, though, is this… You can technically take all the time you want to become more fully who you are. There’s no one standing over you telling you that your time is running out (though in a way it’s running out for all of us because we’re all gonna die - let that light a fire for ya ;-)).
The world needs you. Now.
In case you haven’t noticed, it feels like shit is burning. And you can think I’m as woo-woo weird as you like, the only answer that is ever actually gonna fix all of this is love. Love will help to elevate the consciousness of humanity to the point that we no longer feel the need to hurt ourselves or each other. An awake and aware consciousness is what will help us to remember that Mama Earth is part of us, and we are part of her… and that will give us the impetus to better care for her and all of her children.
And love, my friend… love is that light inside of you that’s calling out. It’s that thing that you’ve been trying to silence for all of these years. It’s that thing that gives you a little bit of hope before your ego squashes it down & quiets it again. It’s the exact thing that we need.
So please… please don’t let your ego, or your parents voices, or the echo of the memory of that mean teacher in the 4th grade who told you that you couldn’t write for shit… (I really hope he / she didn’t use those words but you know what I mean…) don’t let those continue to silence you. You were given that light, that means you were also given what it takes to USE IT.
So please do.
“Some of being an adult, though, is about protecting and preserving what we discover to be the best parts of ourselves, and here’s a hint: they’re almost always parts we’ve struggled against for years. They make us weird or different, unusual but not in a good way. They’re our child-sides, our innate selves, not the most productive or competitive or logical, just true. Just us. Just very simply who we are, regardless of how much quantitative value they add.“
~ Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect