So, I don't know how many times I have imagined writing the post, Wild Road is taking a break, will reconvene back here at such-a-such date, or Wild Road is taking an indefinite break, or Wild Road is going off-line. Thanks for the memories!
But every time this happens, it is followed by very poignant and opening moments of experiencing others telling their brave stories, of caring enough about others and wanting to connect enough with others, to let their voice be heard-- profoundly touching me in the process.
I find myself reminded of why I show up here to be as real as I know how, as real as I dare--knowing that somehow in telling the stories, in continuing to share the depths of my soul for anyone and everyone, or as is mostly the case, a small few, that there is something worthwhile in this. I find myself adding just one more post, like I take one more step, or one more breath.
As I stand back and take in the big picture of this process of sharing myself here, there is a definite roller coaster pattern of shutting myself down and then being opened up again. Perhaps I'm opened up a little bit more each time, but it is mostly preceded by retreating into my solitude, and returning to some version of pretending like everything is fine, perfect even, that I don't cry, that I don't feel shame and unworthy of love on every level, that I don't think there is not room enough for me in this world, that I don't believe that I cause more harm than good. Then I even pretend to myself that it isn't a big deal that there isn't a moment when I don't struggle with at least one of these thematic elements.
It feels good to say this, because I am still so afraid of this part of myself, and how hard it can be, even when I can see the mechanics of the mind in action, when I can predict patterns, when I know that I can just let it go. It doesn't mean that it is easier.
And this is where I find myself tripped up by my own game, and feeling like I must hide the truth about how hard life is, and this unleashes the suffering, until I am ready to admit to myself that it is okay. Anyone else saying it, just feels like more judgement. It has to come from the depths of my own release of myself.
As follows any good storm there is the dawning of the light--and perhaps the light is brighter now, as I shift on a continuum toward allowing what is to be.
What I am learning, however, is the braver I become, the more I am honest about my experience with others and myself, that shutting myself away doesn't last as long, and allowing myself to be opened up to the beauty comes faster, because I recognize that I am not alone in this.
Today was an interesting day, because with all the friends and support that I know I have, the one person I found myself unloading all of my pain to was my ex-husband, because I don't have to be anything special to him. I believe on some level that I have been released of his expectations of me, because, well, he has seen me at my worst, and we are divorced. Clearly an ex has no lofty illusions about who we've yet to become, or are even capable of being, right?--Very unlike my feelings about myself. This sounds silly, but it was so freeing to talk to someone who has no expectation of me, isn't waiting for me to be anything but a pain in the ass.
And the funny thing was that being free to be vulnerable and to unload helped me to release the grip of my mind. I was asking for this release from myself, to just be enough right now. This release and vulnerability allowed me to access a supportive part of him. He shifted my day profoundly, being willing to listen. He reminded me of the beauty with stories and compassion. He took the time to call after we hung up and share the magic and hope of a rainbow that appeared before him on his way to work. "I don't mean to sound spiritual." he said. "Sometimes you can't help it." I laughed.
This opened me. There was release in just being able to be me--all of me--embracing the pathetic parts.
I had shut out everyone who supports me, because I expected that they would expect more of me than just being pathetic, sad, and disillusioned. I'm trying to find a balance with this, because to be all of me, there is pathetic and sad sometimes. For right now, this has to be enough, or it becomes just another race I can't win, that my heart isn't in.
This morning on the way to school, a father of a child in my daughter's class pointed out the rainbow for me again. I stood with my two daughters on the school grounds looking at the giant arch of color across the sky, and I felt it gifted to me, as part of the calm after the storm, as part of the release of my mind.
Then I visited my precious friend, Julia's, site, (who is such an amazing gatherer of wisdom, including her own, that always points me back to my connection with my heart), had posted a beautiful TED-talk by Brené Brown, who spoke to everything I was feeling, putting my experience into clear language, and reminding me why I even care about showing up in life, yet alone here to write; why I want to make connections with my fellow humans. What a gift to have her words that felt so familiar, that I could easily grasp, that I could refer back to, and that most amazingly exists in the 'practical' world of a university. This always shocks me so much to find the soul in places that have in my experience disregarded the soul in the name of academic integrity.
So, I find myself opened, and wanting to share how the light comes in, and how hard it is to let it in, how hard it is to not grasp on to it, and hold it for dear life when it does come, and how sometimes the lovely part is the surprise of finding the light after the darkness, in places you were sure held nothing for you, like in 'broken' relationships.
And I am reminded again and again that face-value doesn't mean anything, that structures that exist are not limited or separate from love, except in our minds.
For now, Wild Road remains up and running, and for the moment I'm letting go of any meaning in that, beyond this post-- other than the knowing inside that it is a gift to have some beauty in my life to impart to you today, and if only that by sharing myself, I might inspire you to share the gift of you.