carving a window with a new view for which new words are needed
or at least
paralyzed with privacy
drafting yet another attempt
ignoring the elephant
searching for the exit
“… write because you owe the gods an answer…”
asked by the providence
running like ink through the veins
spilling a response
dripping an essence
of a life
so you look around and you see nothing but bright promise. challenges, sure, but meaningful and constructive and most of all, excitingly acceptable. so very warm and safe and wonderful. so you look around again. you’re looking for the crack. you know, that dark crack. the place where all the other stuff is coming from, the scary stuff. the stuff that will make you crawl through an endless night, hopefully, emerging brighter than before. it’s tiny but you find it. curiously moving closer. listening for something calling you. it appears bigger now. a mesmerizing vortex of damage. and so, you jump in.
you, my darkness, i want to know you. i want to feel everything about you. i want to put you on and wear you with the same ease as i wear my skin. i want to make you familiar. intimately dig through your confused mud. taste the regret dripping from your ignorant body. feel the pain you breathe into mine. i want to lose myself in the universe that surrounds you, call out for help and never be heard. i want to find you in your cradle. and then, i want to whisper comfort in your ear.
i want to love you. and not be scared of you. and not run away from you.
and finally, i will open that crack and invite you into my world. and make you shine. and make you, me.
For the bigger part og my life I’ve been determined to be not weak. Over the years I’ve become more aware of what it is then that I consider being weak and I’ve found that what I feared the most was not being in control; conveying to people around me that I wasn’t in control; of failing – and maybe most of all of simply being imperfect.
Realizing this and saying it out loud makes it seem like a very irrational fear because no one is perfect and we all know that. The truth is, I rarely have any control whatsoever and when for some reason I feel uncomfortable in a situation, it’s absolutely impossible for me to hide that.
When I was younger, like ten or fifteen years ago, I was very talented at keeping my emotions well hidden and often people would have difficulties reading me and as a result perceiving me as being arrogant. I could probably have become a very successful poker player if I had pursued that career more than that one time in Israel on that very sketchy casino boat..
Getting to know myself better and accepting myself on a deeper level also sent me through a very lengthy process of coming to terms with this weakness thing. A funny thing (obviously meaning horrible and painful) is that the more accepting I was on being imperfect and vulnerable, the less able I was at keeping up appearances – and thus provoking even more feeling imperfect and vulnerable. My once poker face would turn lobster red, making me very conspicuous and incredibly uncomfortable, not to mention the heat my body was generating. For a while I actually thought I was sick or maybe I’d hit menopause fifteen years early. The heatwaves were scary.
The whole thing seemed like some kind of cruel joke, constantly rasing the bar of acceptance, really challenging my determination to accept showing vulnerability. On several occasions I’ve been leaning up against a social fobia because that would just be so much less stressful.
Well, it did get better, I guess I finally paid my acceptance dues. However, I do still get that jolt of fear from time to time and have to remind myself of letting it go all over again. This summer, with starting a new job as well as going back to school, has really been a challenge in terms of wanting to be that person who’s got it all under control, who’s completely in balance and undoubtably invincible – but accepting that that’s not always the case. Rarely, actually.
It’s been fun (again, horrible and painful) to relive this process but more importantly, I think it’s been healthy. It has reminded me of how free I feel when I let myself be vulnerable, of how many new possibilities present themselves when I change my perspective and let go of the fear of failure.
Last week I had a conversation with a colleague where we among other things shared who or what had been a great inspiration to us. She told me about Brené Brown and how much she loved her work. I was instantly intrigued and also amazed that I’ve never heard of this Brené so the next day I eagerly found her website.
And this is actually the whole reason why I’m writing this post – because it turns out that Brené Brown is all about vulnerability. She has done an amazing research job on this subject and has a way of presenting it that’s completely clear as well as full of insight and humour. She has done several speeches on TED and since I’m in no way able to pass on her knowledge in less than five hours, I’ve put one of them on here.
I really hope you’ll watch it because the value of understanding this issue of vulnerability is not just for some of us; it’s not a woman thing nor a man thing – it’s a human thing.
In case you didn’t watch the video, is there something in your life that you haven’t done because you’re afraid you’ll fail?
No seriously, I’m not going to sit here and ask questions about your life – but I do hope that you’ll give the video and what Brené has to say a chance. Maybe you’ll get inspired.
For me, being presented with this woman and her work seemed to happen as an incident of perfect synchronicity. I have been confirmed in everything that I have reflected on myself – above and beyond – and found new motivation to have the courage to be vulnerable. Even when it scares the living shit out of me.
I went to an art exhibition yesterday. I went there without expectations and I left sooner than I usually do when going to a museum. The exhibition was about the women of the avant-garde and although I like the concept of avant-garde, apparently I’m not really into the actual avant-garde art.
So, not loving the art but still fascinated by the expression of these uncompromisingly weird women and very inspired by this quote;
Now, I can’t be sure that I actually know what this lady is talking about but to me it sounds a lot like a complexified version of ‘follow your heart’.
The way I see it, one of our main projects in this life is to uncover our own unique essence and then express it as truthfully and uncompromisingly as possible.
So, today I cut my hair. Not entirely sparked by the exhibition but still with an air of synchronicity between the artsy expression and what I have been doing with my life in the past few months.
My new hair is not exactly avant-garde but about 12 inches did end up on my hairdressers floor.