I Am Not Perfect, I Cannot Save You, and I Am Allowed to Change.
|Not Your Beatific Goddess|
"I would like you to know, the only reason I'm doin' this is 'cause folks think they know me. They think they know what I'm about, and the truth is, they don't know me."
The series goes on to chronicle Nola's explorations of Self through her art and relationships. I love a lot of things about this show (the soundtrack alone! oh man.) but what I love best is how nuanced the characters are, particularly Nola. You can't help but root for her and her success, even while wincing a bit as she sometimes unskillfully fumbles her way through sticky interpersonal moments. She is imperfect, and she's allowed to be! She gifts herself the space and grace to try things and make mistakes as she learns herself in new, deepening ways.
This has been a strong source of inspiration for me this summer as I've been navigating a similar exploration of identity. While I very much believe in clinical depression and anxiety, I've become convinced that so much of what makes us anxious or sad is in trying to live as others expect while suppressing anything that doesn't align with what others need from us. Suppressing what's true for us sends a message that there's something wrong, shameful or dangerous about those parts of ourselves, and this creates a war inside our minds and hearts.
It's been almost nine years since I started this blog, which also marked the Let Go of my home in San Francisco. Nothing has been the same since I chose to gut everything that made my life what it was in favor of unlimited space and freedom. Early on in this process, I began feeling a strong calling from the energies of Shiva and Kali, and took Them on as my teachers in burning it down to start anew. What I initially thought (hoped?) would be a sort of semester internship with Them, I'm suspecting may be more of a lifelong calling.
See, everything I've learned since about my own power, and the magic and medicine that I offer the world, points towards me being a Destroyer. I don't say this as a denigration, but as a simple, neutral fact. I have a preternatural understanding of Time. Like the third of the Three Fates, Atropos, I can sense how much vitality or possibility is left in a thing, and determine what must be let go. My arrival in a moment is almost always a sure sign that change is coming swift and decisive for that place or person. I can smell it on the wind. I crave it. I live for helpful, necessary destruction that opens space for the fresh and new to flourish.
The tension comes in here in how I've been in the world before this versus how I desire to express my existence now. I haven't changed so much as peeled back the layers of identity applied from the outside to reveal my true nature. I was raised to nurture and support without condition, beyond what was healthy, tasked with making OK out of what was decidedly Not OK. That was my role in the system, and in order to get fed, you have to play your part. And now I cannot. Don't get me wrong; I am by no means perfectly committed to The Truth, but I have a deeply earnest desire to be, and this desire has broken me for that which is Untrue or Not OK. I'm done. Find someone else to CPR your dying thing. It ain't me, babe.
Over the years I have not been especially skillful with my fire power. In my Kundalini yoga teacher training, we were encouraged to "be a forklift, not a bulldozer" and that subtlety escaped me for a long time. I have developed more sensitivity since, and an understanding that just because I can see the end nearing, it doesn't mean that it's the moment for people to know that, or that the ending I see is absolute. I've watched conditions change in ways that breathe new life into what looked done for. It's important to remain curious about what's possible even as you hold a knowing in you that seems clearly, concretely certain. Because, realistically, nothing really is.
Part of the pain of traversing the shifting landscape of how I see myself is the knowing that not everyone receives change well. I have had friendships dissipate over less, and I know there will be losses as I draw new boundaries and redefine my offering in the world. My purposeful, liberating, destructive chaos medicine is not for everyone. Some people really need you to make OK out of that which is decidedly Not OK. They need you to keep playing that part, for they themselves are not ready to face the Unknown of change, of letting go.
And that's ok. I get it. It's always my desire to keep finding a way back to love and connection, especially with long term loves, and I also recognize the seasonal nature of all things. I'm not here to convince anyone of anything, and I'm also not here to enable unhealthy patterns, situations, relationships, etc etc etc. I love the people I love enough to love them with Oh No Not That No More.
We don't exist to provide comfort to others to our own detriment. Let me say that another way. You're not here to make others comfortable in ways that hurt you. You don't have to make or uphold agreements about anything that doesn't resonate as true for you just because someone else needs that validation. You are allowed to tell the truth of who you are today, and what you're seeing or experiencing. You are allowed to say no.
Anything that can't grow with you, can't go with you.
Say it with me:
Anything that can't grow with you, can't go with you.Take a cue from nature. When shelled creatures outgrow their home, do they carry it around with them? Heck no they don't. They drop it and build a more spacious place to comfortably fit their changing form. Anyone who would ask you to stay compressed in a cramped space is asking you to be uncomfortable for their comfort. I have 100% done this. You probably have, too. It's super common. And yet, we must strive to caretake our own shit and our own needs so that it doesn't restrict the growth of the people we love. Just as much as we are allowed to change, so are they.
May you have the courage and curiosity to peel back the layers of other people's projections, and honor whatever truth you find there.
May you have the grace and kindness to support others in doing the same.
The absence of growth is the absence of life, and you are still very much alive.
Keep changing. Keep growing.
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