"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." -Saint Thomas
It has been a little while since I have shared my heart on here. The truth is, I have been writing long, personal stories, but then I freak out and delete the words, and instead share only the images. I haven't judged the silencing, or pushed it. I have just been waiting and seeing what rises to the surface. There are times to share and there are times to receive.
This past week has been utterly transforming. In the stillness and vastness of the Vermont mountains, so many truths emerged. Questions that have been oh so patiently waiting for answers, were finally realized. Inner combat zones laid down their weapons and waved their white flags. Breath, restored. Hope, glowing.
A few days ago, I was casually chatting with a woman sitting at a table next to me in a restaurant. When I told her I was a photographer her eyes sort of glazed and then she said, "I have always wanted to be a photographer. I have always dreamed of capturing exotic birds. I have a notebook at home of ideas, and places I would visit. I've even got maps glued in there! But I've been working at the bank in town for so long, and I have this life here, sooo..." She stared at her pancakes and swirled the syrup with her fork. "I have wild dreams, too!" I shared. And then I realized that while I'm not stuck in a cubical or doing the 9-5 grind, I am just as guilty of ignoring my truth.
It is time for me to be courageously sincere with myself and my dreams. Those wild dreams of mine? It's time.
Truth be told, my wild dreams are always evolving. I have now come to accept that as s a soul-centered woman, this constant evolution is as natural as drawing a breath.
I have now come to terms with the fact that I have always, always been evolving. Burning away what no longer serves, cultivating good, healthy soil for new seedlings, self-reflecting openly while lighting bold fires to keep the predators at a distance. Diligently doing the soul work to bring me to the next level of truth.
And the wildest of wild of outrageous dreams that arrive like tsunamis in my bones? Those aren't to be feared any longer.
But here's the part I wasn't expecting: When I finally said, "Yes!!" to embracing my most fabulous and juiciest of desires, I began to feel sharp pangs of shame for the facade I had been parading around town for so long. Sort of like visiting your Grandmother and seeing that awful school picture of when you had braces and insisted on having your bangs as high as a can of hairspray would hold em.
The only thing I could do, was counter it with radical self-forgiveness and acceptance. I spoke to a radiant soul-sister and mentor about this, and she belly laughed! "All part of it! All part of it."
She's so right.
I used to be a little pageant girl with a perm and a collection of lipsticks. I used to be a sorority girl with acrylic nails and bleached hair. I used to subscribe to homemaking magazines and wear pearl earrings. Blah, blah, blah.
We have all thrown on costumes and played pretend. So what? We cannot allow a loyalty with these facades to overpower our responsibility to express our most radical authenticity.
The important thing is that you make it out, wake up from sleepwalking, put your brave heart on your sleeve and warrior-up. As clumsy as it can be at times, we must move in the direction of our precious individuality and calling.
Forgive yourself for selling Tupperware when all you really wanted to do is play the tuba in a polka band. Forgive yourself for buying that fancy car just because you thought it upped your worth.
Forgive yourself, burn away what is not longer needed, and then smudge your cheeks with the ashes and march on.