"do not choose the lesser life. do you hear me. do you hear me. choose the life that is yours. the life that is seducing your lungs. that is dripping down your chin." ~ Nayyirah Waheed
“In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.” ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
I have this fear. A fear of failing. and. what I’ve realized is that this fear is similar in magnitude. No. It’s equal. Equal to my fear of success. Fear on all sides. Experienced from every angle. I am. Suspended. Here. My fear. Leaving me to reside in the comfort of my mediocrity.
I blame my successes and failures on the things outside me. The circumstances. Never having to take responsibility, for I’ve laid the burden upon my oppressors. Success. Failure. Fear. They’ve left me to live here. Safe. In mediocrity.
The safe life. The next step. Prescribed order. Animals in a zoo. Captivity. This is not freedom, but watch, I can sell it as such. We most easily sell the lies we subject ourselves to accept. The lies we encourage ourselves to believe. Until one day, they’re no longer lies. and. They suddenly metamorpihize into our “truth.” Subjective. Arbitrary. Ambiguous and entirely undeniable. Is this what truth has come to mean?
Truth, something based on fact or reality. You say “what is reality anyway?” I see what you did there. Clever. I know what you are doing. Running. Hiding. Selling it as transparency. Masking it as enlightenment. Oh, you call that self awareness? This preaching to sell and slinking back in the shadows, to live. Smiling faces. Fear filled eyes. Living here. Here in this mediocrity. Tricky. Cunning. Conniving. Falseness.
“Most humans, in varying degrees, are already dead. In one way or another they have lost their dreams, their ambitions, their desire for a better life. They have surrendered their fight for self-esteem and they have compromised their great potential. They have settled for a life of mediocrity, days of despair and nights of tears. They are no more than living deaths confined to cemeteries of their choice. Yet they need not remain in that state. They can be resurrected from their sorry condition. They can each perform the greatest miracle in the world. They can each come back from the dead...” ~Og Mandino, The Greatest Miracle in The World
Authenticity is not based on reality. It is. Undisputed. Genuine. Maybe truth can be molded. Although. I don’t agree with this trickery. Deception. Malleability of “known” fact. In poor taste. Justified.
But. Authenticity. Bold. Unshakeable. It is reality, outside of perception. Real. It can be hard to recognize authenticity when you don’t know what it tastes like, what it feels like, you don’t recognize the sound of its voice when it’s calling your name. It can be hard. but. Once you’ve come to recognize her sweet voice, you can’t feel any other. When she is gone. You miss her. You long for her. Authenticity.
Authenticity takes pieces of me. She peels back the layers of my skin. She reveals the inner workings of my life. She shows them to those I’ve chosen. Those I deem worthy for the display. She shows them to the world. She takes pieces of me. When I allow them to be seen openly, knowing I will be none the lesser after the viewing. This is true safety. The uninhibited life. To be fully ourselves. Tattered cloth. Scattered mosaic. Ancient stained glass. A mystifying kaleidoscope. Genuine. Raw. Real. Pulsating. I am me and nothing more. Simple. Meaningful. True.
"Don't settle for nice, for pleasant, for familiar. Keep looking until you find something that really moves you, that resonates with your core. And I mean this for people, for interests, for hobbies, for possessions, clothes, music, books, art. Everything. Curate every aspect of your life, as much as you can. It's in the things that deeply inspire us that we find ourselves. Surround yourself with truth, and you'll have built yourself a heaven." ~ Unknown
The discrepancy. Who we say we are and who we are. Who we want to be and who we are being. This discrepancy. I’m speechless. Do not show me your potential, we are all capable of incredible greatness. Do not hide behind the burning amber of your soul. We all have light. Show me how you’re showing up. Show me what you’re choosing. Show me who you are. Here. Now. Flesh. Bone. I want to hear the intricacies or your hearts longings. I want to feel the moments you feared you’d never overcome. I want to taste your pain. Show me something real. Something that matters. Something other than the mask everyone willingly shows. I am done forcing my way over the walls people have built surrounding their broken hearts. You are not special. In this breaking. Life, she takes no prisoners. In the game of Leila, she breaks us all. Show me brave. Show me vulnerable. I will only visit the rooms of your life. I will only dance within the empty hallways of our shared loneliness. I will only go. Where i am invited. Welcome me, my darling. I am knocking on your vacant doors. I am waiting for you. Let me see you.
I no longer fall in love with potential. I fall in love with people. Blood. Bone. Scars. Real. People like to package up their lies and offer them to you on the sacred alter they call “authenticity.” This is not sacred. This is no alter. You cannot call poison truth and expect to live after you drink it.
"It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, If you have been opened by life's betrayals, Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain." ~ Oriah, The Invitation
Where is your pattern? There is one. I promise. Anywhere there is the gentle and seductive tugging of mediocrity, there is a pattern. When you are settling for safety over authenticity. There is a cycle. Where are you trapped? Tell me of your cage. Four walls. All sides. Top. Bottom. Lifeless. Tell me of this prison. What does it feed you? What is it’s payoff? How is it keeping you? Complacent. Stagnant. “Safe.” You call this life. I call this dying.
Mediocrity. How sad. So many of us call this death. a life.
I will not tell you I am real. I don’t need to. You will feel it. I will not tell you how I am trying to be vulnerable. I won’t need to. You will see it. I will tell you of people I have been. The lives I’ve lived. The masks I wore so desperately trying to fit in. I will expose myself to you with this sharing. You will see the person that I am. In this moment. I will share with you my plans that are likely to fall down mid-flight. I will tell you of the woman I dream of becoming. I will offer you my secrets. I will show you where to hurt me. I will take you to the edge of my suffering and welcome you into the tranquil depths of my sorrow.This. Is vulnerability. This is authenticity.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness That most frightens us. We ask ourselves Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small Does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking So that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, As children do. We were born to make manifest The glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; It's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson
How do you show up for people that make your heart feel lighter? Who are the people who have shown you the map on where to hurt them? Tell me who they are and I will tell you who you can trust. For you cannot trust a fearful heart, one incapable of true vulnerability. An invulnerable heart is not courageous, it will betray itself and you for the addictive lure of the promises of “safety.”
The people who have caused me to experience the most pain in life. Those that I have led to the edge of my suffering, those that hadn’t the courage to swim in the tranquil depths of my sorrow. Those that pushed me under its waves as I watched them leave. This was never their intention. To hurt me.
For. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Glitz. Glamour. Gold.
They were not mean. They were not evil. They were not heartless. They were afraid. They valued safety more than real. They valued mediocrity more than the inherent vulnerability of love. For love is not safe. It does not make promises of forever. Love is true. Love is pure. Love is mad. She is brave. Fearless and all encompassing.
“I am too full of life to be half-loved.” ~ Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
Call me a fool for welcoming the breaking. Call me a fool for showing them where to hurt me. Call me what you will. I do not think I am a fool. Do I fear the tender pang of heartache, do I fear not knowing who or when or what he will appear as, when he greets me? Of course I do. I feel this fear constantly. Yet. What I have come to fear more than the aching pang of heartache is the loss of life while my heart still beats and my lungs still fill with oxygen, before the inevitable collapse. I have come here to live, and live I shall. I shall live fully. I shall live deeply. I shall choose a life of heartfelt authenticity.
Call me what you will. I do not think I am a fool. To this life. I have a responsibility. When people tell me who they are I believe them. I do not want to stop believing people. So I believe them. Until they show me. Until I feel the discrepancy. Then I believe them again. I believe what they show me. I do not want to stop believing people. Our hearts are compasses that point towards truth. When we are settled enough to feel it. I know what is true. I know real. I have felt it. My heart, she whispers it to me.
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." ~ Antoine De Saint-Exupery
I have this fear of not fully living. Of letting the beauty of life’s moments pass me by as I’m chasing the wrong thing. I have this fear of the comfort of mediocrity. His promises of safety. Security. Confinement.
I have this fear of losing everyone around me as I change. As I fail. As I succeed. There are always those who love to see you fail and hate to see you succeed. I am fearful of welcoming these types of people into my life. I am fearful of the ones already here. I am fearful because these characteristics I fear do not sway my love for these people. I have these fears.
And more than I have fear. I have experience. I have finally reached a place in my life where I have experienced abandonment when I’ve shown myself. I have recognized brilliance in another and acknowledged its reflections back to me. I have felt the vulnerability offered by another. I have seen with my own eyes the sacred alter upon which truthful offerings are made. I have shown people the depths of my darkness and they still talk to me. I have known acceptance. True acceptance. Not for somebody I was pretending to be. But. For who I am, even when I’m not so proud of it.
Tell me. Who is it that you claim to be? Are your actions and your thoughts in alignment?
I know this place with electric blue waters. A stillness in the air that sings. I go there to sit in the gentle shade of the wise white oak tree. I can take you there, would you like that?
Take my hand, let me introduce you to your freedom. She’s been waiting.