Society/Culture · Spirituality

When You Stop Fighting

Sometimes you read something that’s so unexpectedly profound and resonant that you have to just stop all the things for a bit and take it in.

That was me this morning, stumbling across “Sometimes a Wild God” by Tom Hirons. (Go ahead…I’ll wait.)

I’ve been wrestling (again) lately with something I think we all eventually have to face: The concept of self that we have come to know, the socially acceptable incarnation, is sometimes just a carefully-cultivated facet on the surface of who we really are.

Oh, society will tell you who you are, if you ask it (and even if you don’t). Everyone has thoughts on who you should be. (We are all bad about doing that to ourselves, too.)

But who are you really? Who are you when there’s only the face of the moon by which to judge your worth? Who are you when the precious resounding silence of a winter evening settles into your bones and all things seem clear?

I fought my poetry for a long time. I’m an adult now. I’m not talented enough to put my words out there (yes, I fought this blog too).

I fought my non-Christianity, and I definitely warred with even the notion of Paganism in my life.

I fought my non-conformist nature, the wildfire of my soul. I fought singing in front of other people. I fought so many things.

And for a while, I managed to keep these things, these aspects of myself, beaten down. I was compliant and as I “should be” for many years. So many lost years!

Eventually, the truth will out (“they” got that right at least). The verity of your uniqueness, your own soul, demands to speak and to be heard. I learned through a lot of pain and tears that the foes I prided myself on bloodying and keeping at bay were the most crucial and luminescent parts of me. I felt bad, at least partly, all the time, like my skin was too confining.

It wasn’t my skin. It was the straitjacket I had placed on my life. It kept getting tighter.

Nobody should live like that for a week, let alone years. It is incredibly damaging.

We are all our own worst enemy. But we have the power to change. Turn the flawed, barbed-wire narrative on its head and be who you are. It sounds so simple, but it’s the hardest thing. Just be you. Out loud and in beautiful, bold living color. You can do it, and it will be amazing, and the world will be better for it.

I started working on my second book of poetry today. It’ll be a while before I have enough material to sort through and cull, but it’s happening — because poetry is part of who I am, and putting my words out there feeds the fires that keep me warm and brightly lit. Scribo, ergo candeo.