I live to create. To write, to sew, to draw, to sing, and last but not least to love. I spend so much of my time worrying about how to love others, or create for them a moving experience, that I guess I sometimes tend to place my own ability to take love in, that it becomes overwhelming.
I sit down with my drawings, or my writing and it purges itself in to whatever form I allow it, or need it to take.
It's an addiction. A drug. It is my vice, and it is my release.
I scribble shit down on random pieces of papers, bills, or put it in my non-working smart phone.
I draw, only to scoff at the drawing the next day, and the lack of ability I seem to have at times.
But it's therapeutic. It's a way to create.
It wasn't until I discovered Dr. Brene Brown that I realized why I started doing it in the first place.
It was my first steps into truly embracing who I am. It was the tiny baby steps towards vulnerability and those first steps are hard. Although, I think the subsequent steps are even harder.
After taking the first steps it was pretty simple, and I encompassed it into my very existence. I started to live through the moments, and I started to accept that some of my family and friends who had disowned the new "hippy Tiffany" were just going to choose to follow that path. And I needed to stay on my path.
~When the remedy you have offered only increases the disease, then leave him who will not be
cured, and tell your story to someone who seeks the truth. (Rumi)~
But here is also what I have found out. It IS hard to stay on that path of vulnerability.
Later this last year, I found myself stumbling off of that path. Maybe after losing Daniel, a little part of me stopped and asked "What the fuck are you doing?". What happened to the tough Tiffany? Where did she go? The Tiffany that others had learned to lean on so that they either felt better about their own lives, or so that I could help them through whatever they needed, because I was so hard-nosed. I was dependable. I was empathetic. I didn't cry. I didn't feel.
In fact there was a moment two years ago...
I was sitting on the back deck with a very dear friend, and I couldn't cry. I couldn't pray. I couldn't feel ANYTHING at all. I was married. Four children. I had the house, the car, the dogs, clothes and furniture, we had traveled...but we were burying ourselves in debt keeping up with a lifestyle we couldn't afford, fighting like we were hell hounds, and I had literally shut every single part of my heart down. I had simply turned it off. Why? Because if I were vulnerable, I would feel. I would cry. I wouldn't be reliable, and stoic, and hard. I wouldn't be me. Or so I thought. Because the me I had led everyone to believe I was, was in fact, an illusion.
When I started to allow myself to become vulnerable was when I started to notice the negative people falling away from my life. But here is the dirty little secret, that no one really talks about with a "spiritual awakening", or as Dr. Brown teases about it, a "a break down".
The people who were depending on you to continue to be stoic and un-moved, start to fall away once you show that vulnerable side. And it could very well be your closest family and friends. At first you can cope with it, but then you start to doubt. They make you feel selfish for choosing to love yourself and attempt to ground who you are, and allow yourself to feel. They judge your decisions to remove the negative imbalances that are controlling your existence.
Eventually you have a relapse.
That is what happened to me.
Until this week.
The shut down process for me is a protection mode. It IS my armor. But it also keeps the joy and
happiness from seeping in as well.
There can't be harsh judgments and fear ruling our personal relationships. It affects and takes away all of the good attached to these moments. It keeps us from accepting love. And what a shame it would be to knowingly spend our Holidays in self pity and turning away the receipt of love.
I think about the last Christmases I spent with my uncle and my cousin. Both now have passed, I write about them frequently, and if I had only known.
But the truth is, we DO know. We have limited time here with out loved ones. We have limited time here with ourselves.
The say it, do it, mean it mantra is exactly how we should be living, but alongside of that you will ride the waves of vulnerability. It's a challenge.
A challenge we should choose to accept.
Empathy. Vulnerability. Love. Acceptance.
Simple words of great importance.