Friday, March 27, 2015

Warts and all

This has been a mercurial week, alternating between: rest and activity; being nurtured and tending to others; wrestling with frustration and releasing it; feeling empowered, then humbled; questioning my motives and having my integrity affirmed; savoring time in my studio and wondering where I will land next; valuing my freedom and flexibility, but yearning for routine and partners; experiencing chronic pain and observing it leave.

And, I actually had time pay attention, unlike last week's blaze of constant activity that prevented any blogging or reflection.

Midweek was pivotal. I ventured to yoga for the second time and caught up with a new Quaker friend, whose journey toward creating a new farmer's market I had followed with interest and enthusiasm. Just before class, she confided that she was laying it down, a Quaker term for releasing it. I was stunned and  saddened ... enough so that, after I learned part of the story, I decided to vent on, of all places, Facebook.

After doing so, the responses began pouring in, including from a brave council member who said I didn't have all of the facts. I felt that I'd had enough, besides I was smarting from the community stopping redevelopment of the school where my studio is housed, only to get word that it will close anyway June 1. No one has enough money to save it. And no one had funds for the farmer's market.

Money seemed the root of it all.

It's also the impetus for my exploring full-time job opportunities vs. limping along with little of it for Artsy Fartsy and any salary. Last week I had an interview and two grants due the next day and more waiting to see what pans out. Waiting, uugh.

So, I bellowed with all of that in the mix, not really recognizing the amalgamation.

And the post began to be shared and circulate and I heard from all kinds of circles outside my typical one. I received an e-mail and message to call someone I trust and respect to get the full story. I did and realized that I had gone off half-cocked, just like some of those desperately trying to be the school's savior that had driven me crazy. What else was there to do, but cop to it.

I acknowledged that I had made a mistake and was sorry for spewing without knowing the full story. The reporter in me was ashamed. The community activist was grateful that a wonderful conversation had begun. And the good twin knew she had to 'fess up and clean up the evil twin's mess.

What was remarkable was the kindnesses that came as a result of the apology. Only tenderness and very affirming messages. I had no idea I was important enough for people to care what I think. My husband playfully gasps when I say that because he doesn't get why I don't get it.

The afternoon of the original post, I met with my shaman/pastoral counselor/massage therapist. I hadn't seen him in eight weeks, much too long. He always asks what my intention is and areas that need specific work. My neck and back, I said (shoulders, hips, hip flexors, sinuses are always givens). Your neck, he repeated, suggesting that its misalignment was connected to my not being able to fully be myself in the world. That is your struggle, he repeated.

Why don't I trust being myself?

Oddly enough a Facebook post this morning helps me understand. The author writes about
"the challenge of always seeing beyond, or outside of, what is currently accepted as 'the way'" yet wanting to belong. "... your preferences for unusual ideas or ways of doing things, your passion and intensity, your sensitivity and your unusual level of perception are all qualities that have made it difficult for you to fit in or to be like others." YES, I think.

Until you can live with your true self, the blog post continues, you experience a highly critical inner voice, disappointment with the lack of high standards in others, inordinately high standards of yourself and despair from feeling like an outsider.

Does this writer know me personally?

She continues: 

"Growing up in a world that did not have a way to understand or support all the unusual qualities ... you most likely lived with your gifts in one of two ways. You may have responded to your otherness by unconsciously creating a false self that blended in. You used your gifts to fit into the world. ... Otherwise, you may have felt like a failure, or that you had missed the boat somehow, because your gifts prevented you from adapting or feeling that you belonged. Your gifts may have overwhelmed you and left you unable to cope with the world’s expectations, unable to find “your groove”.
" ... you are compelled by an inner creative imperative to explore the unexplored and to give form to the previously formless."
" ... you may interpret your complex inner life and thoughts as signs of craziness. In a culture that does not value the abstract or complex, you may have grown up thinking nobody else was like you.
"As you step into your gifts, you learn to trust your unique ways of relating to the world ... You come to understand how you differ from those around you, without placing value judgments on these differences. You understand your uniqueness to be part of what you offer to the world."

Wow, this explains so much, including the intensity of the week, my reactions and others' generous responses.

You can read the post in The Architecture of Meaning at http://architectureofmeaning.com/gifted-soul/gifted/#

• When have competing issues and feelings twisted your psyche?
• Did you act out? How?
• On reflecting, what would you do differently?
• What wouldn't you change?
• What did you learn about yourself?

swirling with

good, bad
and ugly

I had to

had to

knowing it
wasn't how I
typically behave

when I want
to fit in
instead of

just being

this once,
I gave in

and the world
didin't come
crashing down

it accepted me

warts and all

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