Thursday, April 2, 2009

opening

We are a group of eight. We used to be a group of five.

We were five for three years, right up until the beginning of this year. At first three of us identified ourselves as queer in some way, and then I came out. I share bonds with these women that I can't begin to describe. They knew and accepted me when I weighed 300 pounds, they accepted my decision to have surgery, and they know and love me for who I am in this minute. Whoever she is...

I've always had a hard time being open. Not just open about my sexuality, but open to the world, open to loving and being loved, open to everything that my senses can hold. I had a dream a few days ago - it reminded me that I closed myself up to protect myself long ago. It was right for me at the time, because I needed to be safe, I needed to close that vulnerable part of myself off from other people. but I don't need those habits any more. No one is out to get me. I don't have to shield myself from pain any longer because I am strong enough to bear what comes my way for the sake of the joy I will find.

It's very easy to be joyful, once you get the hang of it. I wasn't, for so long. I stayed in a safe relationship, closed myself off completely for the sake of staying within that safety. I kept people at bay. I stopped writing, stopped singing, stopped listening to music I loved, stopped thinking. Having done that for so long, it's hard to move in the other direction, and without really thinking about it, I cut people off.

I've done it again, with someone that I recently met. I mean, she's this amazing person, has an incredible job, has had tons of life experiences that I can relate to. We got along really well. And I cut her off because I was getting the uncomfortable feeling (without asking her, of course) that she wanted something I couldn't give her.

I'm just not ready.

So I did what was safe, and I stopped talking to her. Of course, I have a million excuses, the lamest one being that I am just too busy.

You know I'm not. I've even caught up on my blogroll.

So what's holding me back?

What prevents me from admitting to someone (a different someone) that I'm attracted to her...never mind the fact that she lives miles away, is partnered, and anything with her would be short, passion-filled, and doomed for destruction. Why can't I just say it?

Because, I just don't do those things. I can't....which is the lamest thing I've ever heard. Let's rewind the tape a bit, go backwards to when it wasn't safe to be open. That was so long ago, and I really don't need to hide anymore.

The women in my group know me well. And they feel comfortable enough that they sometimes ask me uncomfortable questions. The three new women are challenging for me. Where I used to feel completely relaxed an comfortable, there's a small barrier now, just a wee block, that seems to separate me from everyone else. I can't flirt like I used to (if you're new to this queer thing and you're not quite sure what to do with yourself, get thee to a coven, it's a great place to safely explore...) I digress...

Our ostara (spring equinox) ritual was outdoors, at a local labyrinth. I've never walked one. You take the same path in as you take out. You can walk quickly, or pause at each curve and reflect. Ostara is a time for letting go of what you don't need, for bringing the things into your life that will give you abundance in the coming months. Creating balance. So on the path into the centre, it is a good idea to walk with your palms down, so that you can let go of what you don't need.

Do I need this fear? Not at all. So I began the process of shedding it. At first, as I walked, I would say to myself "I really need to let go of...." and then I caught myself. Without realizing it, I was hanging on to those fears....so I changed the chant (or whatever, call it what you will) to "I'm letting go of this... I walked, and thought about the person I am, the person I have become, the person that I want visible to the entire world. And how my perception of myself has been skewed for so long - I hang onto the image of the 300 pounds, the face obscured, the averted eyes, the silence when I really want to speak. Now I have no shield, and I obsess about wrinkled skin, and about crooked teeth...what superficial thing can I find next not to like about myself. Geez...I'm 43 years old, I have not a strand of grey, when I take my clothes off, or when I keep them on I really like what I see (loose skin aside, but I can live with that, especially now that I have a ribcage and biceps).

I have no shield. The weight is gone.

It's scary. or so I've been telling myself.

But is it? Or am I just tied into knots because I think that it's supposed to be scary, I'm supposed to be frightened of revealing myself to people. I reached the centre of the labyrinth, drew a rune, and began the return journey.

The blank rune. The Unknowable.

Drawing the blank rune is a lot like drawing "the fool" in a tarot deck. There (s)he is, walking with his head turned skywards, not even caring that (s)he's stepping off a cliff. So much trust in the universe that even when there's no ground to walk on, you know you'll be upheld in some way, safe, protected. Maybe you'll fall, but if you do, you'll begin a new journey. And the fool, the fool's errand, is the beginning of a journey of faith. In yourself. The Unknowable rune reminds me that I don't know what's coming next, but that if I want to move forward, I need to take this giant leap of faith.

Into openness.

I know who I am.

7 comments:

ediretnati said...

I think you're not necessary to stop singing...... common, enjoy your day with singing.... aahaa..

Anna said...

Oh, I sing now. All the time. I'm making up for all those years of silence.

Tina-cious.com said...

hmm -- It's hard to unlearn a behavior, isn't it?

I'm glad you're trying :)

kimber p said...

this is an absolutely beautiful post.....

Propane Amy said...

Anna, coming to terms with your fears and learned behaviors, is the first giant step into releasing them.

I'm on my own qwest now to find my true self. i know who i am, i just need my outside to reflect my inside. I'll hold your hand if you hold mine....

Maria said...

Sometimes you know, you just have to keep walking. And if you aren't ready, you aren't ready. But, maybe you could find the strength to tell her?

Old Crone said...

What a great post, and I love the award..