I am tired of stumbling through growing pains. The kind that happens as I move from one stage of myself to the next. It seems like a constant process these days: layers peel off, wounds rise to the surface demanding attention, examination delivers new insight, I feel positive about my direction and then it starts all over again. In the long run, I know [or at least I tell myself] this is all good and leading somewhere. Otherwise, I'm not certain I could stand any more of this shedding, cleansing and rebirthing. It's exhausting work. So, in the midst of this, I cynically and not too seriously scribbled down what I thought could be the opening of an autobiography [you know, for when I'm known and remembering when ...] written now. Here goes:
Ima Mess. A new moniker to name my persisting condition. It's just too much work, too much energy expended to pretend.
I really can't think I'm alone in this charade. At Monday night's neighborhood book club, we discussed whether any of us has hidden behind stereotypes. Easy talk about politicians, sales people and celebrities. Yet, I pushed the "us" button, hungry to understand if there were any universality to my current state of mind.
One brave soul volunteered her occasional jaunt into invisibility, attributing it to many moves during childhood, creating a constant "new-kid" syndrome.
There were gasps at the revelatory question that escaped from my lips: "Don't we all feel like that?"
Apparently NOT, the awkward silence responded. Some discussion of the difference between introverts and extroverts ensued and it dawned on me that, actually, it does not occur to everyone. A JOLT.
That's as far as I've gotten it on paper. Maybe that's all it will ever be, but the mother of all questions remains: "How many people show – consistently – who they really are to the world?"
I've been reading about inner selves and social selves, the tension, how to create balance, when to let your inner self out and how to effectively use your social self. All I really, really want to do is let my inner self, probably a child, run amok with no worries. Just let it happen. My pastoral counselor says my age gives me permission to become even weirder. I think he's saying the same thing.
My sleep has been deeper lately; I know because am dreaming. Dreams laced with messages that are freeing me from the yoke of how I see myself, the patterns I have inherited and social conditioning. They're providing the same message, which reminds me of a verse that flew out of my pen and onto the paper several years ago for my youngest, but that seems to be especially useful right now:
MORE OF WHO YOU ARE
Be MORE of who you are.
Not less or who anyone else says you are.
Listen deeply, inside, to know who you are.
Listen to your heart.
Love is always the answer.
Live in love.
Respond in love.
Act in love.
• How much energy do I expend trying to be somebody?
• Who is that somebody, exactly?
• How has it felt when I have been able to let myself out?
• Who serves as an example of that for me?
• Is invisibility any better than being someone else?