May 1, 2015

Endure Some Mayhem.

Shadow side mayhem

I am a delicate petal. But I’m also a fighter and a survivor. I have to be. No one else is going to fight for me.

I have to carry both sides with me even though it isn’t always comfortable. I didn’t used to want to, and I spent years waiting for my saving grace—waiting to be loved enough, waiting for the someone or someones to witness all the ways I’ve suffered and meet all my needs. I wanted people to stop expecting me to be functional, see how twisted my heart felt, carry me to certainty, and nurse me back to acceptance.

When I served two years in prison for selling ecstasy a decade ago, I was devastated…and secretly a tiny bit excited to go. Sometimes I still miss it. It reflected my shadow side so clearly: sick, sad, complicated, unruly, out of control, obscene and absurd.

But as media and news reports of violence and inequality escalate, I’m losing patience with the sensitivity convo. Once something is identified and owned, it’s no longer the axis mundi, it’s just another piece of data.

We need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others. Being healthy, clear and wide awake makes us effective community members, cultural voices, collective denial watchdogs, peacekeepers and change makers.

Astrological signs, IQ, personality quizzes and psychology labels are not permission to wallow in the containers of those limited definitions, but tools to more clearly articulate our stories and develop compassion for the human nature of all people.

So let’s all stop being small, labeled and full of excuses.

Being unable to compromise, unable to recognize our suffering and wanting to be so f*cking unique is boring. We’re better than that. We can endure some mayhem.

Maintaining comfort, witnessing our grief, is part of our self care—the healthy relationship and support system part. It may not look perfect. But we’ve got this.

I know we do.

We’ll be fine, albeit imperfect and wanting, until we die.

And then we’ll still be fine.

How much longer do we really want to be powerless and afraid? There are plenty of reasons for us to be both. And there are plenty of reasons we can carry on anyway.

If you’re reading this right now, guess what? You have enough time.

You are not alone. Your daring is appreciated. Your suffering is real. You are seen. Your acts of bravery and success are not accidents. While you may be bolstered by your particular set of privileges, you have taken risks to carry on.

There are days when getting out of bed is the best we can do. None of that is taken for granted—even when we show up like a goddamn gladiator of purpose. I promise.

Our brilliance doesn’t mask our humanity. Nor do failures eradicate our potential.

So, let’s all get into the arena. The only right direction we have to go is onward.

I’ve been accused of impatience. I’ve been accused of being too interested in action. It’s true to a fault, perhaps. But I wonder, can we take all the spinning and the excuses and just decide? Just decide that that ends today.

And then get to work on this revolution. Together.

“There are two
types of tired,
I suppose one is a dire need of sleep
the other is a dire need of peace.”
—Mandeq Ahmed


Author: Meg Worden

Editor: Evan Yerburgh

Photo: Flickr

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