Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Theme and Variations, Permutations, Combinations

Did you  ever feel like you were working equally hard to belong and to be unique?  To blend in and stand out?  To be normal and special?  To be understood and enigmatic?

I think that some of my friends would be surprised to know that I struggle with these aspects of defining myself.  Some may think I wholeheartedly embraced my quirks; maybe others think I'm not that different, what's the worry?  I have been writing and rewriting my own story for a long time.  About a year ago, my most desperate need was to be authentic, and felt like life wasn't letting me.  As I became braver about sharing, surrounded by many very kind people struggling to be true to themselves, too, I discovered that I can tell my stories over and over in different ways.  Changing the delivery does not makes the story (me) less true.  Withholding certain details from certain people does not erase my reality.  Choosing to perform in certain situations does not make me a fraud. 

Some of that anxiety is still there.  Sometimes, when I want to connect with my friends on Facebook, I stare at that faint question: "What's on your mind?"  I try to catch the thoughts as them go by.  I try to pick one that is clever or amusing, or Important.  The perfectionist editor kicks in again, and won't let me post unless I find the best status.  I get to thinking that if I pick one thought to share all the other thoughts will be jealous.  Did you bring enough candy for everybody?  Then, sometimes, I say, forget it, I won't update my status, I'll just pick a friend to catch up with.  And the same thing happens.  I read some of this and some of that, I consider chatting but can't decide which of the people I love can have my attention at the moment.  Next thing I know, it's bedtime, and I haven't shared a smidgeon of myself.  The lessons here are:
  1. The indecision, perfectionism, and identity questions come from the same place:  FEAR
  2. I can choose, and choose again, and choose once again, who I am and what I share, and how I make myself matter.  I choose LOVE, not FEAR.
  3. A vital choice, time and time again, is to LET GO.  There are so many things I've wanted to do, but thought I couldn't do, because it had already been done.  When I let go of the need to make things happen a certain way, I get to emerge as a creative variation of the universe.
  4. If you happen to be one of my Facebook friends, chat me up when you see I'm online because I really need someone to snap me out of it!

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