"Ask yourself again and again: Are you sure?" ~Thich Nhat Hahn
Updated: Apr 3, 2019
What if it isn’t true?
What if it isn’t true that I’m horrible?
What if it isn’t true that I’m secretly terrible.
What if it isn’t true that I cause problems because I am too sensitive?
What if the truth is not what I thought I was supposed to think all along because it’s a lie?
What if my people weren’t demonstrative or supportive?
What if they didn’t leave enough room for me to be creative, open-hearted, and full of feelings?
As a kid (it’s always this way, I know, think of the poor little lambs everywhere). As a kid…
I wasn't pretty enough, not in a conventional 1980s Southern California way (perfect); not when they needed me to be (ever).
So they stopped looking (it was too painful).
And when they looked away for long enough, I went and became beautiful anyway. Beyond my wildest dreams beautiful. Because I figured out a way that I could. So I did. Without their permission.
When they finally noticed, they loathed me for it (instead of loving me, which would have been pretty fucking cool).
They really were not too pleased.
Which was a betrayal.
So I was lonely as fuck.
So lonely that I almost wished I could turn back into what I used to be…
Until my spark flared and I knew. I knew. I knew.
I was me.
This was the real me.
I was never meant to be horrible or terrible or ugly.
Those were assignments.
And I could turn them down.
I was meant to be fucking gorgeous.
I was fucking gorgeous! (It’s possible that I am.)
Truth has a way of rising to the surface; it insists. Demands. Outs itself, of course. It’s true.
So there I was (here I am): shining. BLAZING.
But the price was/is high. My beauty was/is to be paid for. I had/have to pay for my joy.
It was/is decided.
The tribe revealed their decision: If I was to continue shining so brightly, sticking out and not falling into line, the price was to be banishment from the tribe.
The collective human horror.
This tribe, my tribe of origin, is one that only communicated feelings of angst over my ugly, overweight, painfully insecure, physically and mentally unhealthy, overall less than self.
This tribe is one that kept back feelings of pride, joy, compassion, kindness, and pure love.
This tribe was not and is not the soft cushion needed on a day when a weary head needs it most.
This tribe will tell me again and again that there are no soft cushions in life; so go fuck yourself.
Yet, this tribe will (secretly) steal all of the soft cushions for themselves. Just in case.
This tribe winces and turns the other way when I look and feel my best. Every time. Now I see.
This tribe turns away from me when I shine.
They greet my radiance with denial, shame and, most hurtful, silence.
Most hurtful, because they were once so very vocal.
How easily the less-than language flows from their tongues.
How difficult to express kindness.
The tribe I speak of is no longer my tribe. And yes, that's big and painful, but I am caring for the pain and it's slowly getting smaller.
In any event,
I seek a new tribe.
One that supports truth, joy, beauty, love, compassion, kindness, and inclusion.
You're out there, new tribe.