“When it’s time to die, go ahead and die, and when it’s time to live, live. Don’t sort-of-maybe live, but live like you’re going all out, like you’re not afraid.” ~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
That’s really the problem now isn’t it… we don’t really seem to know how to live. We are afraid… but of what? are we afraid of something real? something tangible? something legitimate? or are we afraid of our own selves, of not being good enough, of being judged? of finding out everything we ever believed about ourselves and the world is just a sham?
So many us of sort-of-maybe live. How sad. I have been one of those people for most of my adult life. But as a kid I lived. I walked up to strangers and said “wanna be my friend? let’s play!” and guess what? That’s exactly what we did, we played. I spoke my mind, it didn’t matter if my ideas were popular or even acceptable, it was what I thought, how I perceived things and so I said it. Like when I was five, and my rather robust great aunt was visiting my grandparents, and she said she was gonna have a bath because it was too hot, and in my sweet innocent five year oldness I blurted out “you can’t have a bath you’ll break my granny’s bathtub!” I didn’t mean to hurt her, I just couldn’t fathom that bathtub bearing the fullness of my great aunt. (OK maybe not the best example, there is something to be said for restraint and couth, but…) We need to learn to embrace that childlikeness because it isn’t bad… its honest, and raw, and real. Having fun isn’t immaturity, its living. Speaking our mind isn’t necessarily rude, as long as its honest. (yes I know there is a line drawn in the sand on that, one that we don’t necessarily want to cross – why are we so afraid to just let go? unless of course we have consumed a copious measure of liquid courage in which case we tend to overly embrace this idea… )
We have developed these rules of what is and what isn’t acceptable. But all they really are, are restraints that keep us bound in a state of sort-of-maybe living… I want to embrace my life, I want to not be afraid, if I feel like singing while walking down the road then why don’t I? Does it matter who might hear me? Or if I feel like dancing in the park, or running barefoot through the wet grass, then does it matter who will see or how they may judge me? (unless of course I feel like dancing erotically while removing my clothing in the park, then perhaps restraint mixed with a smidge of fear is a good thing… this may be an example regarding the previously mentioned liquid courage…)
Which brings me to my next thought. Why are we so afraid of our bodies? Why are they never good enough? Too fat, too thin, too big of a butt, too small of boobs or vice versa, wrong color skin, eyes, hair, too many freckles, where do our judgments end? Why are we so hard on one another, so hard on ourselves? Why do we judge like this? We are beautiful and amazing the way we are (that goes for the guys too by the way)our judgements are rude and horrible and unacceptable. Why are we so afraid of just being ourselves? perhaps it’s because we judge personality traits as harshly as we do our physical ones. Again I come back to children, they don’t care how big or small or what color you are if you are kind and honest they love you. Why aren’t we like that? Four year olds don’t question their physical or personal identity… by the time they reach seven they start to… is this what we teach them? Is this what they learn in school?
WHAT ARE WE SO DAMNED AFRAID OF??? Life is meant to be lived, we only have one shot at this and we spend it judging, and cowering in fear sort-of-maybe living a sort-of-maybe life… I think we need to let it all go and truly take life by the horns, abandon our comfort zones and start LIVING!!!!
From My Spoken to Heart to yours, xox