Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight


I have been hiding lately. I have felt uninspired. Tired. Trapped. Small and overwhelmed. It is so interesting how when you are confronting all the things that really are important in your life, something inside of your starts squealing and clip-clopping away, like the knights in Monty Python's Holy Grail. "Run away! Run away!"

I do this to myself. I think it is a normal part of growth. I can see how society on the whole does this, whenever it is faced with sweeping change. Many aspects of society get scared, try to hold on to the conventions and comforts of what they already know. The same thing happens to a single person when she is about to transform. Sometimes, I feel as if every person consists of a thousand little identities inside of us, all working together into a usually coherent whole.

Sometimes, our parts don't agree, though. "No No No!" we scream when change arises, and if the parts of us who are resisting are strong enough and have enough power, the revolution is beaten down. For awhile. But I do believe, like the revolution of the seasons, the revolution of the soul can not be held back forever. It takes a warrior, though, to make sure this revolution is a true one. It is a warrior who steps up and takes action, and drives this life, instead of letting life drive her.

This night I sat down to look through some of my favorite blogs and came upon this post by Dancing Mermaid and all of a sudden, it was like a light went off in my shadowy, hidden-in-the-closet head. Ah yes, I said to myself. Be brave. Right. But like the mermaid, I realized I am already brave. I do not have to fight to be something that I am not, I just have to turn to those parts of me that already know what to do. The parts of me that are already battle hardened and fierce.

So in the face of that, I want to honor that warrior self. I want to remember her. I want to acknowledge her. I want to summon her.

I am brave, I am.

I am brave because every time I fall down, I get back up. Every single time.

I am brave because I am willing to face the dark, and my fears, my flaws and my failures. Oh, I wince, but after I do my shift and sidle I will come back to it, and go forward.

I am brave because I am going into the unknown, the untrod path, the direction of my dreams. I may not know where exactly it will end up, but I know what step I need to take in that darkness, and I take it.

I am brave because I know when to apologize. When I have done something that is not in line with who I want to be. When I yell. When I take things out on people who should not be the target. When I get all wrapped up in my head and freak out. I believe in a real apology, even if it means I have to admit when I am wrong.

I am brave because I am willing to let go of those things that are no longer working for my life, the place, the things, the ideas, the actions, sometimes even the people. I get my feet underneath myself and step away from the comfortable.

I am brave because I am not guided by the expectations of society, all the shoulds and have-tos of conventionalism, but by the deeply held convictions of my soul. I am not led by the surface, but by the meaning.

I am brave because I struggle to trust in the process, that no matter what the outcome, it is the journey that matters. It is what we learn and how we get stronger and how far we go.. not where we end up.

I am brave because I believe that people are intrinsically good. I believe that if you walk a mile in their moccasins, all people begin to make sense, even if that sense is a sad and tragic one.

I am brave because I reject the shallow cool of sarcasm and nihilism and pessimism. I am brave because I believe in the beautiful.

I am brave because I am writing my own story. The book is half filled, but those pages ahead, they are still blank.

I am brave because I am open. I am brave because the honesty is reality, and it is good, even when it is hard. The truth shall set us free.

I am brave I because must connect, even though it is scary. I am brave because I realized that in order to feel the good, you have to allow the pain in, too. And I want to feel the happy, so I welcome the pain.

I am brave because I have faith that even when I am hurt, even when I am wounded, even when I am knocked to the ground, I can get up again, because I am strong, and I am good and I am enough.

I am brave because I just am, and so are you.

Thank you, Dancing Mermaid.

6 comments:

D'Arcy said...

I hid from this world this morning. I couldn't get out of bed. I realized fear, yet again, was my old sleeping companion. I realized that I haven't hardly done any of the things I planned for myself this summer, things just for me, because i gave too much attention to a man who didn't truly appreciate what I was about. I thought I was stronger than that, braver than that. I looked at the calendar this morning and saw that I have just a week and a half left of summer and what have I done with it?

Today HAS to be one of those days to reassess for me, to figure out why I couldn't do the painting and photos and accomplishing that I wanted. I have no good excuses, it's just me. I don't have anyone else to report to or feed or take care of. I just have me. And I feel like I am letting me down.

You're right, warrior girl, there are a million personalities inside just this one person..and it's hard sometimes to bring the really strong ones to the forefront of the battle of life.

Rowena said...

Just remember, D'arcy, that sometimes on that battlefield it is necessary to retreat. Sometimes we have to stop, pull back, reassess... I'm not actually big on the battle terminology, but I do believe that these low spots serve a purpose. They may not be fun, but I think we gain something from them, so don't be so hard on yourself, that always makes it worse. It makes me feel better to understand that it is part of the process, I am normal and not defunct because I can't always be productive to my liking. To know that other people experience the same thing gives me comfort.

D'Arcy said...

yes, there is comfort. I think that is why I have been so drawn to your writing this summer ( I was just praising the fact that I found you through Sugar!). you seem to know this. your life has ups and downs, and just like you said, you still keep getting back up..


well, i am off to photograph a beautiful bride with perfectly pink roses and candy colored balloons.

fallondenise said...

You are very brave indeed!

It's a nice thought that if we fall, all we have to do is land on our backs. Because if we can look up, we can get up.

Keep writing your own story. You are an inspiration.

Natasha said...

You are brave. You've inspired me. I'm brave too. There I said it. Thanks

ophelia rising said...

You are, indeed, brave. For all of those things. Very brave.

I love all you wrote here, and there's so much to comment on, but one of the things that sticks out for me is loving the beautiful and rejecting the sarcasm, nihilism, and pessimism. I feel this way acutely, especially in this modern age, and so almost shed tears when I read it here, being expressed so eloquently. I always feel somewhat like a freak when I find something beautiful, or when I love something with my whole heart, and express it to another person. I know I set myself up for ridicule, however full of jest it might be. But I am not joking. And I am not a freak. I am living my belief. And that is brave.

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