What if we could show our soul to the world, without judgment?
What if there was no such thing as an eraser editing our writing, or a delete button stealing our stream of consciousness? Instead of hiding behind the page, what if we knew what character wasn’t?
Maybe character isn’t the old adage of who we are when nobody is looking, but rather who we are in the heat of it. The heat of the body lying next to you, or the heat of raging passionate anger, the heat of excitement and fear and deep love.
Character is feeling in the moment.
When did we learn that who we are when people are looking isn’t good enough? It is good enough. It always has been. Anything pouring and pumping from the bleeding depths of our hearts is real, and good enough. We are human and we forget, or maybe we never knew, that to be human means to be outrageously ourselves.
It means letting our voices be heard, because we all have the same throat and voice box and ears, at once identical and completely unique. To be human means to roll with the punches and whatever manifestation of ourselves is showing that day is who we get to work with, work on and love.
It means to love so deep that we are ashamed of how much we love someone. What—ashamed!?
And then to realize there is no shame in love. Wherever we picked that up along the way, today’s work is to be open to the gorgeous vulnerability that comes with loving so deep. That’s why we are here anyway—to love. Love like our lives depend on it, because really, they do.
There is no such thing as loving something too much.
Let’s let character be who we are when the whole world is watching, when our lover is watching, when our kids are watching. Unabashedly excrutiatingly, take-me-or-leave-me.
Oh, but I hope the choice is to take me because I have so much to offer if you hold my space and show me how to live, and how to love. But if not, that’s okay too because I know I could live alone in any given city in any given lifetime, knowing I am made of stardust and that fact alone tells me I am relevant, even if nobody else can.
Every day I wake up, own up, fuck up and give it up to the utter beauty that is around me.
I see my daughter at the glorious age of three and feign indifference when, testing the waters of control, she tells me she doesn’t like me and refuses to swap kisses with me. I pretend to be hurt, but really I am more amazed at her uncanny ability to never ever shield.
In teaching yoga I talk about unshielding the heart, uncloaking the spirit and undressing the soul. I say it every time I need to hear it said to me, which is terrifyingly frequent. It is in those flickers of total and complete awakeness and aliveness that I feel most free.
Free and alive like in Italy with my love of just 6 months when in the crisp fresh, albeit fuzzy, morning air or after a wild night, I would open the screenless windows wide and scream, topless, “ciao tutti!!”
Like in the nightclubs we went to where we could dress like Europeans and dine late and drink—so much details of the night, or the year, melded together into one unending evening where we had the best times with people whose names we will never remember.
Or maybe we never even knew. That wildness. That freedom. It is still here.
Now that we’re married, finally feeling that we aren’t playing house and that this is all real, nobody is telling us how to live, therefore, nobody is telling us the fire has to die.
At the ripe old age of three, we can love and hate and kiss and slap and throw back our heads in laughter and scream and cry until there is no breath left. We can paint our toes, our entire toes, hot pink and rush to roll in the sand before they’re dry. We can bore holes into our mamas eyes with our own old-soul peepers, then space out for a bit while the fire burns in our bellies, scheming, wondering, imagining, wheels-a-churning dreaming—and then ask for mama to hold us. Ask for mama to hold us knowing that she will quicker than the upbeat of this next beat of her heart.
Where there’s desire there’s gonna be a flame, where there’s a flame someones bound to get burned, but just because you burn doesn’t mean you’re gonna die.
That inner wild child is always lurking under the surface that puts the sexy in a gaze to a complete and total stranger, then reminds me that the wild child I love and adore is sitting across from me at the table. It’s beautiful to see how life has etched into his face, yet still see the wild spark in his eye when he sees me. It’s the grown up version of the love me or love me three year old manifesto. Because that’s the only option we’ve got.
I don’t want to live my life letting my dreams be made of competition, my desires be born of jealousy, my needs be elevated by media. I don’t want to live with my words be fed to me by someone who decided what was right 5,000 years ago or my story created by those envious but ignorant of my life.
Because nobody’s life is what we think it is. Nobody’s life is ever as glamorous as it seems on the outside. The complicated puzzle on the inside can be intoxicating and full of love, desire, dream, pain, jagged edges and smooth clear water.
My deepest desire is to let you see that who I am is free, wild, broken, beautiful, playful, torn, ripped, mended, strong, strange, and unlike anyone else you have ever met.
I want to see that side of you, too. The side you know is there and connect to daily, smiling that secret smile reserved for the knowing. Can we live like this all the time? I think so.
At the end of our lives, let’s never say, “I wish I lived a life more true to myself.”
Let’s just do it now—I want to shake out my hair and lean out the car window to howl to Hole’s Olympia like we used to before—before we grew up.
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Assistant Ed: Tawny Sanabria/Ed: Bryonie Wise