the danger of writing a post about being authentic is then people will see you. & that is terrifying. before i pushed “publish” on my last post, i thought about what certain people would think. i mashed it around in my head, wondered if it was worth the risk. but i’m so tired of holding up a self that doesn’t mesh with my own soul. so i published.
what i didn’t anticipate was how much more myself i could be if only i’d be honest & straight-up with myself in the first place. all day after i wrote about food stamps, i felt lighter. i felt more confident, which is counterintuitive. how could i be more confident when i just told you we’d failed? but maybe the succeeding is in the telling. i don’t know. i have fewer answers lately.
but what i completely failed to anticipate was you. i don’t know that i’ve ever felt so loved, so surrounded, so a part. a part, instead of apart. i’ve gone such long years feeling apart. what i’m realizing is that much of that is my own making. i’ve missed out on so much deep connection because i was afraid you’d see me. but i didn’t realize if you saw me, when we see each other, we are free to move into the beauty of who we were meant to be. you spoke so many thoughtful, heartfelt words into the dark, terrified places in me. you brought light & chased away darkness.
& that’s where the danger is. when we see each other, when we connect & move toward each other instead of away, we become dangerous. suddenly we are empowered to be who we’re supposed to be. & that sets off a fantastical chain response: our significant others, our children, our friends & parents & second cousins & maybe even our dogs are freed up just a little bit, taking a step out of the tangle that mires them. where we can get down to the business of being ourselves. seen & seeing.
a sweet friend of mine fashions beautiful signs out of old wood, & she posted this the day after i last wrote. it is my new banner.
it takes courage to grow up & become who you really are.
–e. e. cummings.
yes. i want to become more & more who i really am, & i want you to be who you really are, too. we are art, the both of us. &, if we can see each other, we can connect. & that is one of the most important things in the universe. we were created for beauty, to be the art we were meant to be, & we were created to connect.
check this out.
“where no man is an island. it’s where you’re supposed to be.”
we were created for each other.
thank you for showing me a side of myself i didn’t know was there.
& thank you for giving me bits of your heart: in your generous words, in your generous spirit, in your generous help.
with much love & tremendous gratitude,