If you follow this blog, you know already that I’ve had something akin to writer’s block for a few months. This particular brand of block has been a constant companion of mine since I began writing in the second grade. It most often presents itself as Impostor Syndrome, sometimes commonly called “Who the fuck am I?”
Every time I’ve bought a new notebook ~ the paper kind, not the electronic kind, a feeling of endless possibilities has coursed through my body; quickly followed by paralyzing performance anxiety. I gravitate to fancy journals adorned with artistic interpretations of winged creatures, Hindu Gods and Goddesses, and anything that speaks of Spirit. The art and the blank pages conspire to light my soul on fire and then yank the rug out from under me with the hot fury of perfectionism. Just who do I think I am to assume I can match the beauty of this journal? What words could I possibly conjure that would do it justice… blah, blah, BLAH.
Someone I respect and admire said this to me recently; “All of this is Divine. The time you spend knowing you are a beautiful creation and the time you spend picking yourself apart for your flaws are equally divine.”
To put it another way, the reward isn’t the destination, it’s the journey. And my theory lately has been that if I don’t embrace the journey and see it for the beautiful creature it is, the destination will always elude me. But, if I can embrace the knowledge that the destination is actually present in each step I take on the path, well then, I’ve already “arrived” haven’t I?
This is confusing. I can hear all of you thinking “Where exactly is she trying to go if she thinks she’s there already? And what does any of this have to do with sacred space?”
I think we as humans feel like we need to improve. I know I’ve spent pretty much every waking moment of my life feeling like I’m on this linear path toward improvement, getting better. It’s kind of what drives many of us. I’m not here to say that feeling better isn’t a worthy goal. But, the idea that we are somehow so flawed on a basic level can be very defeating. What I am here to advocate for is that you begin to see yourself as the perfect combination of Light and Shadow. I want you to stop punishing yourself for your shortcomings; because they’re not that short. They’re there to help tell the whole story of you.
Am I suggesting that we allow the shadow part of us to run amok?
Yes. Yes, I am.
Or at least let it be. Let it be, without judgment and persecution long enough that you can just watch it and learn from it. Hear what it has to say to you. Are you like me… scared of not being enough? Sit with that for a second. Sit with it for as long as it takes to stop judging it and trying to stuff it down or change it. For me, this took a couple of weeks of resisting the urge to talk myself out of feeling this angst. But, it’s actually not that scary if you invite it in and really get to know it. When I did this, gave myself permission to just feel “not enough”, instead of fighting against it, giving myself pep talks, chastising myself for not loving myself enough, I realized that part of loving myself, was loving THIS part of me. We don’t withhold love from our friends and family members because they feel bad about themselves. But man, are we ever good at withholding love from ourselves for any reason we can dream up. We crazy humans think that we’ll be able to love ourselves once we’ve resolved all of our flaws. We think once we… stop drinking, binge eating, smoking, being depressed, being angry, not feeling good enough…. then finally, we’ll be able to give ourselves the deep love we deserve. Have you noticed that no matter how hard we try to correct these so-called flaws, they just hang on? At this rate, we’ll never be worthy of our own love. And since we don’t feel worthy of our own love, can we feel worthy of anyone else’s?
I don’t admire the part of me that feels never good enough. But, I love her. I really get her now. And because I do get her, she has released her grip on my writing hand. We’re sort of walking this road together now instead of pulling against each other.
So, what makes space sacred? All of it. All of it is divine, my Love. Everything that swirls around you is a gloriously perfect part of your path. Each piece is necessary. The secret is to embrace all the pieces. When you do, it’s alchemy.