…alone in a room…nothing but the sound of the drip, drip from last nights rain outside my window….sometimes maddening…demanding that I march, pick up my pace, run with it. But I am not like the remnants of last nights rain, for surely it is harried because it’s own end is in sight…whether the sun comes out or not it will be gone by days end…and so there is an urgent need for it to be seen and heard one last time lest it be forgotten.
I understand. I too have lived in the shadow of this fear. Once I am gone from here who will remember me. Who will recall the way my voice sounded, or the way I carried myself. Will I have had an impact, and was it good. Will I have made a difference. I very clearly remember the day I said when I die I don’t want the only mark I leave behind to be on a tombstone. It was born out of a great desire to do good, and a faith in self that I was just coming to know. In honesty, however it was mostly born out of the unshakeable fear of being forgotten.
Every year it seems I start down a new path of discovery, as if there is a theme running through my life. There are years that have been more difficult than others, like when I was dealing with old wounds. It’s amazing how we can be so unwittingly enthralled by echoes. Then there were years that had me feeling on top, years of growth and rebirth, years of testing the limits of strength, years of conquering. Last year was one of those years for me, and I am grateful because so far this year is quite different.
This year the theme seems to be ugliness. Not the ugliness of the world, but the ugliness of self. I have always believed that most people are born with equal measures of good and bad in them. Always stood by the notion that each of us capable of great things and heinous things alike, and that our direction, the shift of the scales toward good or bad, usually comes down to two things, choice foremost, and then opportunity.
But I have stared that beast down before. This is a different beast.
The one that lives inside of me. My Beast. Full of all the things I do not like about myself. The real things. Not the things we all like to get caught up with, or distract ourselves with, the things we either have no control over, like our hair colour, or the things we secretly hope someone else will chide in on and tisk tisk away. No I am talking about the real ugly. The deep rooted character flaws. The things we would never admit to someone else. The things that despite our best efforts are inherently are a part of our make up, or more precisely they are who we are.
This is one ugly beast…
…and I have been struggling a great deal with it. I have been trying to hold back the ocean by using the blackened sky as proof the moon was never there – in other words I have been fighting a losing battle, attempting the impossible.
I have discovered that the reason for dancing with this beast is not so that I can change her but merely so that I may know her.
Acceptance in its purest form. Acceptance not of the beast, but of myself. And in doing so I can learn more of myself. Like I suspect the reason I don’t want to be forgotten when I’m gone is because I desire greatness, to be admired, not by a few, but by many. Vanity.
So I am learning to embrace this beast, in spite of myself. And so doing I am also learning to embrace myself. My whole self.
After all, how can I know, and love myself, if half of me remains hidden, even to my own eyes?
How could I stand tall? What pride is to be had in owning the garden but never having planted the seeds?
How can I be vulnerable? What risk is there in revealing that which is already seen?
And in fairness how could I ask someone to love me, if I cannot say with great conviction…this is my Beauty, AND this is my Beast.
…know thyself….still some of the worlds most powerfully written words.