Where are you afraid of being seen?”
I’ve always considered myself to be brave. From the time I was a little babe, I’ve loved being on stage. Oh man, how I loved it. Any kind of stage. From dance recitals to theatre performances to talent shows to public speaking to whatever subtle systems of leadership exist within elementary school mini governments, I’ve loved having “All Eyez On Me” as the late, great philosopher, 2Pac Shakur once articulated. Until fairly recently, I would have told you that that was still true of the woman that that bold child became. A bold, brazen, animated child grew into a bold, brazen, animated adult. Same same. Not much has changed. Or so I had blindly believed.
This question began to low-key haunt my dreams a few months ago. I’d read it through this very gifted woman that I follow - Lacy Phillips of Free & Native. It was one of those moments where you experience something and cock your head to the side a little - like a dog does when it’s listening and trying to understand. I was viscerally aware that there was an answer, unable to see, hear or feel it fully. In that immediate slice of time and space, I didn’t yet know just how huge a blow had been landed upon it’s receipt. But then it began to run on loop. Like a song stuck in your head (for the last 48 hours its been “Take Me Home, Country Roads” - John Denver. So good.)
The wellspring of deep knowing that runs as a steady undercurrent to my entire existence had an answer. I could feel that live wire sparking in my breath, but clarity takes time - despite how desperately we cling to the concept of speed when there’s something we want. The answer my brain kept leading me to was “Girl, you ain’t scared!” I mean, let’s consider the obvious facts. I write really vulnerably. My words let the world in on my most painful moments. On the REGULAR, okay? There is no pause in considering whether or not to tell you about coming unglued on my kitchen floor, or having a panic attack in my closet, or feeling the sludging ooze of shame. When all that information is laid out, you’d say I must be pretty brave, right?
Nah, bro. Something was lurking around in my cave places. Just waiting for the right moment to tap me on the shoulder and step into the light for me to witness it. I knew it because I could feel it and because the ways that my life was taking shape around me told me so. Rather than begging for it to come out to play, I whispered that I’d be here to receive it when I was ready.
And then one morning two weeks ago, I sat down to meditate. The doors of my consciousness burst open and let the monsters out.
They were not fucking around.
What came through in the clearest cognition was that I’d been hiding my light behind my darkness. I’d spent so, so much time in my own processing that what felt like vulnerability was in many ways, just another wall that I unconsciously built to prevent you from seeing me in fierce authenticity. The last year and a half was INTENSE, man. Relentless I’ve been in the pursuit of my own bullshit. In that work I’ve gotten to know myself intimately, and what I realized is that the thing I was keeping sacred, like a secret just for me, was my joy. It’s easy for me to let you in on my process, but seeing me feeling free - THAT is where I resist. Suddenly on that morning with my legs crossed on my green velvet couch, I could see that.
My god, I want you to know me. I can only be on your team if I myself am not hiding. Yes you need to know that I too have nights where I lock the door and beg my body to let me cry, but I have MORE moments where I thump Ludacris on the speakers and make pancakes in my underwear and share them with Apollo. I have MORE moments where I cry from laughing so hard. I have MORE moments where I should replace “fuck” with a different vocabulary word. I have MORE moments where I lose my shit over how good Creme Brûlée is. Like WHY is it so good?! I have MORE moments where I fucking pinch myself because I cannot believe that I am the creator of this freaking life. I can only be your guide towards such freedom if I am not afraid to admit that I am so free.
I am free.
Where are you afraid of being seen?”