I want to roll around in green until I'm covered with grass stains and have pine needles stuck in my hair and fireflies dancing around me. I want my body to sink deep into sweet, clear water and float cradled, held, safe, and buoyant. I want to climb to the top of the highest tree north of San Francisco. I want to run away to the forest and run until I'm so lost I've forgotten my way home, and only be found when I'm damn ready to be found.
Soon. Soon I will. Until then, I've heard it said that freedom is despised by those who are not free. I've thought about this as I flex my glimmering, defiant, free-spirit wings. I arch my back and lift my face to the wind. I gather strength from my bones; I reach deep into the dark and hurl my anthem at the sky:
Don't take my journey away from me!
Don't take my soul-discoveries, my befores, durings, or afters, my awakenings or my transformations away from me. You can't have my healing, slow-blossoming, the timing of my becoming, my seeing, or my new-light-dawning.
You can't have my restitutions, repentances, forgivenesses, deep-soul-dives, light-bursts-forths, rages or gut-wrenching sobs. They are mine. They belong to me. Your fear and preconceptions and arrogance can't have them.
Don't try to live my journey, control my journey, or tell me what my sojourn should be like. Don't take my rising, fumbling, falling, my living or my dying. They are mine. Mine to own, mine to experience with every nuance of every moment. They are mine to fully live, mine to sacrifice and mourn.
You mean well. You have a good heart. You love the only way you know. I honor that. But my story isn't your story. I will guard my freedom like soul-currency and let its richness sink deep, deep under my skin. I will want my wants and hold my living close. Let me have this. Let me have my field, where
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about. ~ Rumi
the world is too full to talk about. ~ Rumi
But I thought you were ...
Recently, my kindreds and I talked about the supposed-tos, the used-to-bes, and the I-thought-you-weres we encounter. I get lots of them.
I thought you were sweet.
I thought you were gracious.
I thought you were there for me.
I thought I could rely on you for anything.
You used to be so loving.
You are supposed to _____.
You used to be _____.
I thought you were _____.
I could fill a whole book with those blank spaces. I used to do and be all kinds of things. Endless things, a whole life-full of things. Some of them healthy, some not so healthy.
I used to let others bully me in the name of turning the other cheek. I used to choose sweetness over discomfort. I used to debate and defend. I used to rally around "the truth." I used to accept certain things without question. I used to care too much about what random people thought. I used to seek the approval of others, hoping to be held in high regard. I used to see things in rigid black and white. I used to hold others to my same standards. I used to need you to agree with me because, of course, I used to be right.
I used to say all kinds of life-destroying things in the name of "love."
My fierceness and my freedom are about taking back my soul.
All of the things above? All the don't-take-aways and you-can't-haves? I've done them. I've positioned myself deep within the most intimate soul-place of another person and tried to pry apart tightly wrapped soul-petals, insisting that now is the time to blossom and this is the way to live.
And that fills me with the choking kind of sadness.
I have arrogantly proclaimed "truth" to others, but as it turns out, I bullied them instead. I have set myself up to discover things for other people, robbing them of their own soul-journeys and discoveries. I've stood in the way of their suns. I've filtered others' experiences through my own black-and-white grid, keeping them from color and flavor and adventure and joy. I've poured my fears and qualifiers and dogmatic principles into countless lives. I've dismissed people as selfish when they were finally trying to understand themselves and their purpose in life. I've judged and labeled and offered tearful warnings. In pride and arrogance I've proclaimed other souls this or that and stripped them of their humanity, their journey, their unfolding.
That's what it means to gain the whole world in exchange for your soul.
And I grieve. From the deepest parts of me, I weep for all that I've done and perpetuated through my misguided understandings, arrogance, and pride.
But now? My fierceness and my freedom, even my rebellion if you want to call it that, is me taking back my soul. It is me rising into new light. It is my awakening.
I'm okay with being rough around the edges for awhile.