Sometimes you get kicked in the teeth. Not in a bad way, but in a way that says "wake the hell up." That happened to me last night. Someone I love very much, struggling with his own frustrations and fears, took off the kid gloves and made me look at myself in the mirror. After I got over being defensive, hurt, and angry, I realized that, though he maybe could have been kinder about it, that he's right. I am holding on to the pain, I am choosing to be here, in this morass of confusion, hurt, disappointment, and anger. I have lost my way, become somebody I'm not proud of. I continue to cling to things that no longer serve me, and I'm deathly afraid to let them go. My ego is ascendant, trying to force him to be someone he's not because it would feed my ego, because I think it would make me happier. I've become a whiny, depressed, sad little child, hungry for something I can never have, and I continue to seek solace in the cave of my own fears.
In talking about each of our fears, I remembered going into a trance once, at an experiential workshop in Portland, and encountering, in a deep, dark, dripping, primordial and feminine forest, a laughing fox and a beautiful laughing naked woman who took me on a flying, laughing tour of the forest, and who told me I was perfect, that I'm in the right place, that there's nothing wrong with me. I had forgotten the feeling of being OK, deeply, profoundly, perfectly OK, the way the enlightened ones say we are.
Remembering it again made me sad - sad that I had let go of the memory, and sad that I can't seem to let go of other memories and other stories of who I am. Me the lonely, misunderstood one, the ugly one, the one nobody loves. My friend, who sees auras and energy, looked at me with tears in his eyes and told me that he can't understand how I can't see myself the way I am, can't see the kindness, compassion, beauty, and light that he sees. I felt like crying, too, wanting more than anything to see that.
He told me something that others have told me: that one day, I will drop the baggage, just open my hand and drop it, just like that, and that only then will I be free to embody my true self. As he said it, I felt a deep sense of fear, fear of letting that pain go. As if that pain is my only identity - what makes me who I am. Fear of having to discover a new way to be, one where the self-pity and sadness, so comfortable to me, are no longer valid paths. The one where my ego is not the most important thing in the world, where my longing for someone to make it all stop hurting, and my tendency to take out of rage and hurt on others, is simply no longer acceptable. The one where it's my responsibility and mine alone to be my joyous, kindhearted, compassionate giving self, and where I can no longer blame the world or anyone else for how I feel. That kind of responsibility is terrifying.
I don't know if I have the strength yet to let go. Even knowing all this, I feel the fear and the resistance. I make plans to hole up with vodka and movies, to numb myself yet again because I don't want to face the truth. I worry that I'm losing my friend, yet know that this worry is just my own grasping on to something I'm comfortable with, even if our relationship has been painful and confusing almost from the beginning.
For awhile now I've felt that I'm transforming into something, someone else. This kick in the teeth is part of that, I feel. Maybe, as my friend said, I'm not yet ready, but maybe I'm getting closer. Maybe I need more kicks in the teeth. Or maybe I can steel myself to face myself, finally, in a way I never have before. And to let all those old stories of pain go.