Riddle Me This.




I’ve been tasked with the following (“simple”) assignment: Begin to feel safe in the world.
It’s been pointed out to me that my magpie-like attention to
artistic endeavors (“Ooh, Look! Shiny!”), my lack of focus on any one interest
is a way to offer myself protection. If I don’t take ownership of any one
thing, then I don’t have to let you know how much it really means to me; I
don’t have to let you see that I’m actually good at it; I don’t have to be
vulnerable or honest about who I am.
So, I’ve created a system whereby I can never accomplish
much, because to have actual ambitions –which, of course, I do– means I have to
try to let you in, and… to let you help. To let you see me.
It was pointed out that my ideas around lack
of safety in the world also affect my ideas around and experience of money. It’s another (potential) place of ownership and
esteem. If I don’t have focus there: if I don’t really pay attention, if I
allow myself to float, then I’m not at risk of seeming inept, because I’m not
really trying to not be “ept.”
The problem, of course, is that neither of these ways of
being actually provides the protection
and safety I want. They’re broken systems. The pattern of self-abandonment as
self-protection means, simply, that I don’t move anywhere, and I become
frustrated and self-flagellating… which isn’t really a booster, fyi.
So, here’s the conundrum. In a reality where I have
developed cancer and had the foundation of life and my existence called to the
chopping block, how, pray tell me, do I
trust in the safety of the Universe??
It was hard enough before. These patterns didn’t form in a
vacuum; it’s not like I haven’t been working on them. But, now, you want me to overcome my fear of being harmed,
visible, annihilated 
in light of
Come on, son.
So, you see my dilemma. I want to feel safe in the world.
But I just had the fabric of my life called into question, the veil of safety
between the reality of this world and that stripped from me – and you want me to trust what?? That things “turn out well,” that if I do the proper
merry-go-round of prayer, meditation, self-examination, that life will “get
better.” F that Sht.
Un- Non- Utterly Anti-Believable.
I don’t believe that “life” will get better. Because if
there’s anything the cancer has taught
me, it’s that living according to what you think is the “good thing,” waiting
for the cash and prizes gleaned from being the “good” girl, with the “good”
job, with the quiet, calm, friendly, dependable meekness, is a load of horse
crap. LIFE doesn’t get better, because I do good things.
I get better because I do healthy things.
That’s it. There’s no fucking guarantee. There’s nothing
that says, This way to freedom and joy. The only roadmap are the things we know
light us up. The things I’ve been too scared to share with and show you.
There is no guarantee that I will be safe. There just isn’t.
None of us have it. As a book I read last night put it: “Most of the time we
live in a tiny pocket of normality that we wrap around us like a security
blanket.” If there’s anything that’s abnormal, it’s cancer in a healthy 30-year
How do I reconcile these realities, then? One, I am safe in
the world. Two, the world is not safe.
My friend who brought this up (and I really like her
interpretation of my “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” M.O.) said that I can begin to feel safe by taking small steps.
Um, like what?
I don’t know yet. But the crux is that my way doesn’t leave
me feeling safe either. Jumping from thing to thing, having little focus and
clarity on my life, my finances, my goals… dare I even have or say
ambitions?… this manner of engaging with the world doesn’t work. I have to begin to trust it, to trust in it, or to trust my place in it – or simply
to trust that these interests of mine are valid and worth validating, worth me
taking the time to explore, and let you know about, worth my heading to SF to
play bass, and worth my recording simple songs to put on facebook, and worth my
acknowledging the paintings I’ve made in my apartment are good, and worth my accepting
and proclaiming that I want to act, sing, be seen, be heard, and be, in the
end, authentic.
To be authentic is to be vulnerable. It is to lay myself
open to the lines of the universe, and the people in it. It is to stop being
the hummingbird that never alights, and trusting that when I do, I won’t be
I am safe in the world.
I am ready to heal my relationship to safety.
It is safe to be my authentic self.
I don’t have to be alone to be safe. 

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