The Paradox Of Feeling Safe

This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

How being hurt by people we think are safe can shut us down completely and make us unable to trust anyone in our lives.

How everyone that then comes into our lives is viewed with suspicion, met with caution, held back at a distance, deemed unsafe.

How much we need that protective mechanism to not get hurt again – but how it can often hinder us from the blessing of relationship with those who are safe people in our lives.

How relationship can heal us, but we have been so broken by relationship that we find ourselves in a paradox of self-preservation and extreme loneliness with no balance between.

It’s hard to learn to trust again, to feel safe in relationship. We inch ourselves forward a little, get scared, retreat back into our dark hovels where we are alone, but safe.

We need to feel safe. We need to know we are safe. It’s easy to be safe when we huddle in the corner of our lives and dare not let others come near us.

But it’s lonely.

To love is to risk hurt. To trust is to risk betrayal. To open ourselves is to risk stepping onto a battlefield unguarded and praying we don’t get shot down.

There is a need to be safe.

But there is a greater need to be loved.

We are warriors who have fought hard, survivors who have only known the battle.

But somehow, we must become courageous humans who embrace the surrender.

For surrender is not defeat, but the end of the fight.

We must find a way to lay down our defences and surrender our weapons of self-preservation. For we have battled long enough in our solitude. We are stronger, wiser, aware, empowered. We have learned to trust our intuition, our instincts. We know how to stay safe. We know how to survive.

But now, dear heart, we must know how to live.

Trading The Hustle For The Silence

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Image courtesy Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness” ~ Brene Brown

As I have settled into November, settled into a month where I have put aside freelance writing and blogging to work solely on my novel, there is one thing that has stood out the most for me.

The silence.

The silence that comes with not hustling for my worthiness.

Because in this digital age, this is freelance writing – the fight to be heard, the struggle to be seen, the relentless pursuit of views, shares, readers, followers.

It is busy, it is noisy, it is exhausting.

I have found myself relieved to come away from that, surprised to find how much more I am able to breathe. But in the silence that has been November, I have also struggled to keep hold of my worthiness. Because it is easy to justify my existence when my articles are being published; better yet, when they are going viral. It proves I am worthy to call myself a writer. It proves the hours I spend in front of my computer are valuable, warranted, not just time wasted on a self-indulgent hobby.

It proves I have what it takes.

But in the silence, when I write, and I write, and I write, without any proof of this, without any publication, without any affirmation, I panic that my existence – that what I do – is not justified. That I have readers, followers, people who support me because of what I write; and yet, here in November, here in the silence, I write no words to be seen, and I wonder if I let people down, if I fail, if I need to show somehow that I am still validated to hold a space in the lives of others.

And so I struggle with the ambivalence of November – on the one hand, the silence being a welcome comfort. On the other hand the way it unnerves me, agitates me. Like two strangers face to face in awkward reticence, I feel as though I need to fill the quiet space with some kind of clang and clatter.

But instead, I choose to look down, and continue in my silence. Try to remember my worth is not based on any prerequisites. Try to remember my existence is justified because I am being, not because I am doing. Try to remember the long term dream the silence allows me to work toward, how much that dream means to me, how much closer I am for the silence.

The hustle can be all-consuming if we allow it to be.

We must find a way to be comfortable in the silence, to rest in knowing no matter what gets done, or what doesn’t get done, we are enough.

In the silence we must come to understand our worthiness is not based on how hard we hustle for it, but in how willing we are to embrace it.

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PS – Thanks to everyone who has asked how I am after laser eye surgery <3

My recovery has been slow, a few post-op complications, but a week later I’m doing much better. I went for a run last night and could see every. single. blade. of. grass, as well as birds on the swamp, hills in the distance and the Mt Benson tower which is 10kms away.

My close-range vision is taking some time to adjust which makes computer work frustrating as I have to rest my eyes quite often. It’s slowed my writing progress down quite some, however, mid-November and I’m over halfway to my NaNoWriMo word count goal – further along than I’d hoped to be at this point – so here’s hoping next week I’ll be full steam into it again!

You Are Not An Imposter

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You are not an imposter.

You think you are. You feel as though you live breath to breath, heartbeat to heartbeat, waiting to be exposed for the fraud you are.

You tread with fear. “If only they knew,” you think to yourself.

If only they knew of the life you lived when you were lost, when you were broken, when you were hurting. If only they knew the mistakes you made in your confusion, the choices you made in your desperation, the people you hurt because it made more sense to hurt them before they hurt you.

If only they knew.

Then they would see you for the imposter you really are.

But you are not an imposter.

You are not defined by what you have done, but by the person you are.

You are a journey; a winding road that has passed through rugged and breathtaking terrain filled with both valleys and mountains.

You are a story; words placed in beautiful alignment on handmade paper, filled with tales of both triumph and defeat.

You are a warrior; one who wakes every day to a battlefield unseen by others, where the strength required to fight is sometimes more than you have and some days you give up, while other days you fight, and you win.

No dear heart, you are not an imposter.

You are merely human; the sum of all you have ever been and all you have ever done and all you are yet to become.

Do not be ashamed of your humanity.

Do not hide it from the world, afraid of being seen.

Your humanity does not make you an imposter.

Your humanity is the very thing that makes you real.

Image courtesy freestocks.org

 

 

 

 

Lay Me Bare

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Lay me bare, pull back my layers and see all I hide beneath.

Lay me bare, force away the surface of my pretense. Expose me. Expose the parts of me I conceal. Excavate through the rubble of my make-believe, find the truth I leave unseen.

Lay me bare, rip away my skin, tear away my flesh, reach into my bones, into the marrow that lies within. See it. Touch it. Feel it. For it is not pretty but it is real and beauty deceives while flesh and bone cannot lie.

Lay me bare, hear out all I do not say and all I say but do not mean. Strip me down and see my fears, see my pain, see beyond my subterfuge.

Lay me bare until all that remains is everything I am afraid to reveal, and then lay your flesh next to my flesh and let us love the bare bones of one another’s soul in the wakefulness of this moment.