OK, i get that this is a totally overly dramatic sounding title, but let’s rein that in a little just for today. I’m having major surgery in 3 days, although it has remarkably low risk of death considering they go in with an actual saw. Anyhow…
One of the things that doesn’t get talked about much in the feel-good world of growth and renewal is that in order to authentically grow and renew, what we used to be has to die. It’s this way all over the natural world. the seed has to die to release the sprout, the caterpillar has to die to become the butterfly, and I have to die to who I have been to truly become who I might be.
Is it a literal death? To some degree I think it is. In this case, the death of a certain amount of bone and soft tissue in order for a substitute and new tissue to take root. But more importantly is the metaphorical death of the foundational misnomers that allowed such an important part of my structure to be so misshapen, misinformed and inflamed.
I’ve probably written about this a ton, but I rarely go back so I really don’t know. But, I’ve been operating under some really restrictive foundational beliefs about me needing to be someone other than I am, some modified version of myself that was, for example, kinder to people who inflict core wounds in my life. That it is my responsibility to be kind to them, regardless of how they treat me (or my perceptions of it). That there is something wrong with me at a core level – and I spent decades trying to modify myself and wondering why it just wouldn’t take. what was wrong with me? Trying too hard. Giving up my truth to try (unsuccessfully) to make other people be ok with me. Yes, I can die to that. My pleasure.
I wonder who i might have become without the neurosis of my development, but no matter. I’m here now, finally. I’m fully on board with being myself. I’ll never know what’s the gift within until i quit trying to change the wrapping.
I’ve been thinking a lot about cell differentiation. There’s been a nice swell of encouraging a “stem cell way of being” which I love – stem cells can turn into any kind of cell (as I understand it) a liver cell, a heart cell, a blood cell… But, once it becomes, say a liver cell, there is really no point in yelling at it for not being a heart cell. Yes, heart cells may be extra specially important and delicious and liver cells are just taking out the trash, dude, taking out the trash is wildly important! And without the liver doing its thing, that heart cell is going to die an untimely death. All because the liver cell was true to itself instead of neglecting to take out the trash in its desperate attempt to be the cleaner, purer heart cell.
I am a liver cell. I call shit out. I am Disappointment Panda (from ‘the subtle art of not giving a fuck’). I am good at it. There are plenty of things I’m not so great at, too, I get that. And, while I would love to just go around being that very flexible and resilient stem cell, without it taking on a role in the body, it’s not as helpful as it might sound.
I am finally willing to die to the person that constantly strove to be an improved version of myself, and take on a new life in fully inhabiting the self that I am. Any improvements that come will be the natural unfolding of evolution within me, not via an agenda of my mind to make me more acceptable to anyone including myself. I’ve always been pretty independent and I think plenty of people would be surprised that this inner torment has been going on for so many years (and actually, i’ve been unknotting this particular cluster since the onset of this disease). So many diseases are invisible. So much torment goes unnoticed. But I know I was trying to re-make myself at a core level because my family of origin’s story about me is that I’ve got a “viscious underbelly” and Lord knows I didn’t want to have any viscious parts! And I literally got to destroying myself to try to appease them.
Uhm, nope. No more.
I’m sorry, dear left hip, that I systematically dismantled you. And aren’t we humbled that through the genius and brilliance of our flawed civilization, a skilled individual can go in and clean us up in a matter of moments. I just want to make sure that the part of me that would do such a thing to myself dies on that table. And that this new hip carries me forward in a healthy and balanced way as a whole and balanced person, to serve (gently and non-prescriptively) and add to more ease and wholeness and acceptance in each other and the world.