Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
~ Walt Whitman, “Song To Myself”
Inspired by her truth…
I want freedom. I want safety.
I want independence. I want partnership.
I want to do it myself. I want to be held.
My head knows the truth for others but my belly knows the truth for me. I listen to my head too much.
I ride an emotional wave that crests and crashes all the time, and as much as I’m learning to honor this gently, a lot of the time I feel like I just don’t know how to live in the world.
Almost all of the time by now, I love my body. I love its curves and its stretch, I love beholding what it can do that it couldn’t or didn’t do when it was 20. But I still cringe at the thought of another seeing me totally naked. I don’t doubt that that’s a metaphor.
I firmly believe in the Law of Attraction, that I am a powerful creator of my experience, that I can generate myself however I choose to. Except when I don’t believe any of those things, which is more of the time than I like to admit. The don’t times are probably when I’m in my head and not in my belly.
Enjoying food and drink with loved ones is one of my very favorite things to do, and I’ve learned how to make the fact that I’m sensitive to grains, dairy, eggs, soy, and refined sugar not a big deal. Every time I forget to tell someone and they’ve lovingly made me something I can’t eat, I wrestle with whether to eat it anyway or politely decline or take a little bit and push it around the plate.
Because I can see all sides of an issue so easily, I get mired in indecision a lot. No, I mean a LOT.
Sometimes when I communicate and don’t hear back from people, I get hurt and worry that it was something I did and they’re never coming back. Except on the days when I don’t and I’m totally fine with it.
Sometimes I have apple slices and almond butter for dinner, with red wine.
I often forget to be grateful.
Singing and embodying other characters on stage with beloved friends is actually when I feel most myself.
I don’t send out holiday cards anymore because I don’t like the environmental impact, but then I get a holiday card in the mail and I feel so loved and it makes my day and I worry that people don’t know how much I love them because I didn’t send any.
I didn’t get my tires changed even though there were definite warning signs of impending doom. I didn’t get them changed until one blew out going over the Golden Gate Bridge at 11pm. That might be a metaphor, too.
I have so much fear of running out of money that I make sure I never run out of money, by working for the dough instead of the joy. But I think that somehow I also make sure that I am always running out of money. That’s not a metaphor.
I don’t want to work. I want to live in the ease of my innate genius and allow my gifts to be shared in the service of all. And make a lot of money and take six weeks of vacation a year.
I work a lot.This is why I have developed a fierce love affair with my coffeemaker, because it makes me 2/3 caffeinated coffee just the way I like it every morning, and gives me 3 gentle beeps to remind me to smell the coffee and come get some. This is why I always make sure my favorite coffee mug is washed and ready. This is why having six different savings accounts makes me feel safe. This is why I cherish the girlfriends who go deep and see all of me and show me all of them. This is why I write three pages of longhand morning pages almost every day, to get it all out. This is why I find “successful” outfits and wear them like uniforms. Like dresses and sweaters and boots. This is why I spritz myself with sage smudge spray every night before bed and do energy work lying down to clear my day out of my system so I can sleep. This is why I’m creating a new savings account called “Tires”. This is why I leave friends four-minute-long voicemails and send texts that simply say “xoxo”. This is why I take long walks in cold weather and measure my steps so I can crunch as many leaves as possible. This is why I sing in the car, in the shower, at the computer, and while on walks. This is why I say yes to my niece and nephew as often as possible, because saying yes to children’s requests is good medicine. This is why I love to listen to people’s stories, and witness their truth, and reflect it back to them again and again. This is why I practice self-compassion and teach it to others. This is why I place my hand on my heart and take a deep breath, just about every day. This is why I let the crying come and cleanse me. This is why I believe love is a verb. This is why I’m learning to howl. This is why I pry myself open and share the softest part of me, even when doing so feels so raw that I clutch myself closed again. I open, I close. I open, I close. I open… This is why I choose to be whole hearted even when I’m broken hearted. This is why I surrender. This is why I’m learning to say “I don’t know” more often. This is why I want to gather and hug and cry and laugh and kiss and clink glasses, often. This is why my “yes” tattoo is on my stepping-out foot. This is why I’m choosing to live the pain as wide open as I can, because it’s the only way I can also live the joy and the love wide open. This is why. Because I contain multitudes and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because the cracks are how the light gets in. Because I want to live an unconditional, unbridled, unfettered yes. So I live yes, and I expand, and I shrink back, and I live yes again. This is the only way I know. *first published December, 2013