What does it mean to be a free spirit? To really soar in freedom?
Is it found as we bow to our darkness? Standing inside of that dark space where our light shines brightest because it is there that either we find our light or we perish?
We kick and scream, hold our breath. We resist. We hold onto our shadows. We keep telling our dark shadow story.
It reminds us of the beautiful contrast in existence. Our shadow needs light to exist. “Just be” they say. “You’re a human being not a human doing.” What does it mean to …be? As I explore my being, I uncover layers and layers of selves.
Be tired after a long day with nothing interesting to say.
Remember the uninteresting moments because one day you will wish them back with all of your might, as the scream in your pillow becomes a deafening vibration creating waves throughout the stratosphere.
Be mischievous and make mistakes that some may call thoughtless or selfish or worse.
Stand and be judged. Shut your eyes tight and will those pointed fingers out of your face.
Allow that sick feeling in your gut to bubble up until you can taste its toxic effects. Let it swirl around in your mouth and spit it out when it becomes too much to bear. As the aftertaste remains, let it help us remember how it feels to be judged.
It is only then that we can pause before raising that seductive finger.
Be the one who points a finger and shames others for their missteps.
We feel gloriously better than the condemned and hold our heads pompously higher.
Be better than “them.” We feel that our sin isn’t quite as shameful. Then we get cut down to size by life. In that state, remember the self righteous feeling of separateness.
Be conditional love and selfish love. Be the love that keeps another reluctant to close their eyes because they might miss a moment with you.
Be the kind of lover who is legendary and maddening; be the kind of madness which has inspired prose and suicide.
Then be loved by all of those examples. Feel the suffocation and adoration of it all.
Don’t play it safe. F*ck it up royally and curse your own stupidity.
Be reckless with yourself and stand in your choices with nowhere left to turn.
Be safe. Watch and calculate every step with such precision that your very consciousness is an algorithm with only one answer and nothing left to imagination.
Be all of it.
Don’t wish you knew then what you know now.
Be a mess. Screw it up. Collect your issues and nurture them like they’re your children. Keep f*cking up. Keep asking and searching. Get to the end of your rope. Crawl over that bridge of desperation toward healing. Then run back again. Earn your wisdom and just when you think you’ve learned something, ask what lies you’re telling yourself. Laugh at how little you know, and smile about how far you’ve come. Don’t wait for the other shoe to drop. Throw it. Life is beautifully messy.
Live a life that is sleepy in its wakefulness and then wake from your slumber.
Pretend to be the person you want to be until you finally become her. Or meet one another other at some point.
Be where you are and know that you will be somewhere else shortly.
You’re a child of the universe put here for contrast…for all of it.
Expand and watch everything that you have been.
Maybe someone just like you is everything too.
Maybe someone nothing like you is everything.
Maybe there’s no difference at all.
When you continue walking your everything path, bring all your selves. Bring your tortured lover, your self-righteous world, your scarlet letter, your kindest act and all of the uninspired, tired, dull moments in between.
Bring the ones you aspire to be. Play them all out and allow a softer self to emerge.
A soft layered self.
It is in that space where your spirit finds freedom.
“Won’t you fly
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editorial Assistant: Paige Vignola/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives
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