Whatever I cultivate as my experience, I have the ultimate power to accept or shift the paradigm. Every experience serves me even when on the surface it may look grim. When I align an experience with the goal of knowing love, the love that is there always – not between people but that creates people – everything comes into balance, harmony prevails.
I no longer need to label my experiences as good or bad when I know that all experiences unfold before me so that I can explore what it is like to be my best self.
I am experimenting more and more with loving myself these days…not being safe or shoring up relationships to develop a sense of connection but authentic appreciation for who and where I am. I am showing up in the knowing that I have my intuition (that I will call Self) as a guide and while connection with community is an important element of the human experience, connection with my Self is just as crucial.
As I am learning to love myself, I am maneuvering through the awkward balance between selfish and selfless to find the sustainable space between…where ego informs, intuition guides, and I hold onto no preconceptions of what that will look and feel like as I determine what best serves.
The chain that secured the familiar is rattling. Full of insecurities, yours and mine, it informs as I release its grip on my heart, rusty links untangling for all of us to see that freedom is possible.
As I am rattling the chain around my heart I ask that you consider letting your chain rattle too to make room for a new way of showing up for you and for me.
Either way, I will be free but it might be more fun to conspire in the unchaining together.
The Ackland Museum at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill just hosted an exhibit entitled “Good Object/Bad Object,” inviting visitors to examine works of art that defy customary decorum and could be called “bad” because they are unpredictably designed yet they achieve an emotional depth and resonant beauty equal to “good” art.
Bad objects are opportunities to explore the edge of our comfort zone and try on new ways of seeing the world.
When the role is taken on responsibly, a bad object can be the catalyst of change and inspire different thinking.
Isn’t it interesting how quickly we humans need to label things as good or bad when often those characteristics are circumstantial. Nature doesn’t operate that way.
In humans, often when a bad object occurs without sufficient planning and understanding, the artist might become defensive or even resentful, denying accountability for their creation. If they have not been provided the encouragement and freedom to create outside of traditional constructs, the artist might try to hide the bad object, its potential emotional depth and beauty lost.
More often than not these days I find myself stronger, more confident, and more accomplished when I step into the role of “bad object.” It is not that I am not good at these times. It is that I willingly take responsibility for non-conforming, breaking a patterned interaction, and inciting a shift in perspective to achieve a familiar level of resonance in an unfamiliar way.
There is a role for each of us as good objects and bad objects. The contrast reminds us of our undeniable ability to contain emotional depth and resonant beauty in the most surprising ways.
My dad loved to go for Sunday drives. When I was a little girl, we would pile into the car and head out to explore the twists and turns of rural mountain roads. As the countryside went zipping past, surprise sightings of animals, vegetation, and well-lived-in buildings would materialize around hidden bends in the road. Occasionally, we would crest the top of a hill and for just a moment the road before us would disappear. As if the laws of physics had just changed, my belly and chest would tumble and flutter. My breath and thoughts would be suspended timelessly in space as the car found its way gradually back to the grip and predictable friction of the road. My body and mind would move from fear to excitation to release with a bit of a longing to feel once again that unpredictability.
We called these surprise bumps in the road, “thank you ma’am”’s.
There was a shared commonality in our experience of the rising and falling emotions and actions, a feeling of security yet completely lacking control.
These hills provided a delightful playing field in which we could not just momentarily share a thrill and a giggle but practiced the skills needed to navigate the straightaways, hidden corners, and security-defying bumps on the road of every day life.
I had no idea way back when what fabulous training that would be to exercise letting go, share in facing and appreciating someone else’s challenge in my own, and how much fun the bumps in the road can be when you let them take you where you might not have planned to go.
I know now that the road always returns underneath me, in some form or fashion, and there is a guarantee that on the horizon is another “thank you, ma’am.”
I don’t make mistakes. Hold on now – I’m not saying I’m perfect!
Actually, I make choices and I make plans founded in my choices.
My plans may result in particular experiences which allow me to make more choices. Some of those choices may produce complicated results and challenges beyond my imagination, but they give me the opportunity to grow and change, perhaps, even heal and thrive.
So, go ahead and call my choices, my challenges, or my experiences a mistake, but to me, it is just living fully.
Sanding and scraping at the scars, dents and built up layers of protection releases not only the renewed beauty of the untouched core but reawakens all the senses as the scent, taste, and feel of the raw nature is revealed.
It is hard work to peel away the layers and return to that soft exposed space of vulnerability. It also comes with a lightness and freshness that invites expanded breath and awe at the ability to renew and return to untouched purity.
It is the purity and vulnerability that allow the true Self to be revealed, rekindled, and invited to be seen, smelled, tasted, and heard.
I sand, scrape, and rub at the layers of my existence to expose the grain of my soul, renewed with freshness, clarity, and beauty in my raw, natural state.
While I may still need a soft coat of protection for survival, this time it will be applied lovingly and gently by me, and leave room for my natural imperfections to shine through.