The truth is, this is just the first half of the lesson. Joy is the first secret, but being defiantly yourself is the second. The thing nobody tells you is that you’ll have to fight not just for what you believe in, but for what you don’t believe in. You’ll have to fight to figure out the you that exists in a society rampantly opposed to self expression. And once you sort that shit out, you’ll be a fucking fireball of cool, enjoying your life as a matter of course.
I’m in that place now of defiantly being myself. Of fighting for me. Of fighting to BE me. It’s, at times, a literal fight for my life – in that my ability to continue living depends on it and the struggle to get the medical care I need to heal. It’s a literal fight for MY life too – to be who I am, to express my soul, my love, my light.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Everywhere I go I’m gonna let it shine.
Yes, I am.
It terrifies me. Part of letting myself shine, part of expressing who I am, is through my writing. All through school I was told constantly what a great writer I was. I went to young writer’s workshops several years in a row and received critique and guidance for my fiction and poetry. In my first year of college I wrote three fictional pieces as a final project around the theme of child abuse. The writing tutor I insisted on seeing each week would say, each week, “I’m not sure why you are here – your writing is great. You know what to do, you don’t need me.”
I never felt it though. I still don’t feel it. I’m so insecure about my writing. Expressing myself is hard, and putting it down in written word feels permanent and adds to my fear and feelings of vulnerability. I don’t write fiction or poetry any more. Now I write blog posts, and class room discussion posts and reflection papers and academic papers. And each and every time I have a mini-anxiety attack before I hit send or publish. Every. Single. Time.
Recently, the last few days this anxiety about expression has seeped out to go beyond my writing. I don’t know how many times in the past few days I’ve shared something with my husband, he’s responded and I have tears brimming in my eyes because I’m not sure how to take his response. I’m feeling so vulnerable.
So vulnerable. So scared.
There’s so much healing that needs to happen. Medically, spiritually. I feel a huge shift happening in me and I worry there isn’t enough time for me to do all the work I want, no I need, to do. I’m scared that this path I’m marching down isn’t going to have the success I dream for it – that success being me finally being in a place to not only heal myself, but help others heal their own pains and traumas and ultimately their bodies and souls.
I’m scared that no one will accept the gifts I have to offer. That people will think my gifts have no value, no importance. That I have no value or importance.
And then Jill writes her post today and touches my soul, speaks my soul, my truth. In sharing the lesson she was sharing with her son, she gave me the gift of that lesson. You’ll have to fight to figure out the you that exists in a society rampantly opposed to self expression. And once you sort that shit out, you’ll be a fucking fireball of cool, enjoying your life as a matter of course.
Tears. A million healing tears. Release. Acceptance of the fear, the vulnerability. Acceptance of the bravery to fight this fight and give the world my heart, knowing it will hurt and it will heal and it will glow with joy and peace.