innerlight

dream

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'sea of dreams' by vcrimson

'sea of dreams' by vcrimson

Monday, March 12, 2012

I was about to give some kind of a speech about a new cd and the social commentary it was making, prior to a show at the arts centre in the place I last lived. It was a new centre, and I had to pass through a café on the way to the stage, then wait in a back stage area before going on. It was a big and open space, and I passed by an old colleague, who was sitting at a table off to the side. She didn’t look up in time to say hello, but only as I was just past her.

There had been some technical issues getting my speech printed out, but I was expecting an event producer I had been working with to come through with it before I went on.

It soon became clear that this was not going to happen; that I was going to have to go on without any notes whatsoever.

No one had seen me since I had left.

It was like I was simply not capable of stressing out.

I just had to be transparent, and radically accept my predicament, instead of trying to cover it up and fake it, as I would have done in my years there. Had I done that, it would have been painfully obvious to everyone how much pressure and stress I was feeling.

I woke up and realized that my whole life there felt like that. Like I was on stage without a script, trying to hide the fact that I was unprepared, caught off guard, feeling inadequate and utterly horrified. found myself thinking about how uncomfortable people must have felt; how they would have had to forgive me for my anxiety so much. How hard I tried and how evident that must have been. How much awkwardness there was. There was always an underlying level of stress that I tried to hide — actually, I can’t even say that hiding it was a conscious effort at all. My anxiety was so buried that I was not even aware that it was there in the first place. It’s not till now that I can understand how this must have felt for others. That I couldn’t just drop into the moment and be there in its fullness, and in the fullness of who I am.

I half dreamed about how the speech went. How I joked with the audience, played a bit of the clown, made everyone laugh, said hi to (colleague), and announced him as my boss. In some versions of the dream I replayed in my half waking state, this type of demeanor went over well; in others, it was completely inappropriate, but I worked hard in the dream to make it so that it may have been inappropriate, but a welcome addition to the evening through the spontaneity and genuine presence and connection that I brought to the circumstance. Life is one big long improvisation, responding to the moment without judgement, exploring it, seeing where it leads you, channeling the Universe, as I have said recently.

I thought how this is a side of me that has emerged here, and how I simply would no longer find myself in a situation that would not allow for this. On the contrary, I seem to be drawing people and situations where this is the desired presentation – always radically present. That people would no longer expect me to be the saavy professional I once tried so transparently painstakingly to be. I was always trying so hard, and that was the ultimate sabotage of me and everything I tried to do.

Now, I have been embracing the fact that I am a creative soul who cannot be expected to be professional in that “arts event” kind of way. I don’t try to be that any more. I am farther and farther from that sense of what is “normal.”

The weight and the sadness of how many years I was not honest about who I was landed in me.

The feeling of the dream was walking into a situation I had been before, feeling a little shy to “come out” as whatever kind of authentic being I was in that moment, because I had never been authentic before. What would people think? It would cause a stir. People might expect me to be this way always, but what if this strength and calm transparency, radical acceptance is gone tomorrow, or the next day? What then? What if I find myself back in the feeling of being so small and needy? Then I will look like a liar, and people will say that haven’t really changed at all, and I will wonder if it’s true.

I realized that if there were a movie made about me, my struggles would not be so hard to understand. All this time, I thought that no one knew how much I struggled, when actually, I think most people did; they just never knew what to say or how to help me. They just stayed away. I was the elephant in the room. It’s as if I was on stage all along, but I am only realizing it now, in layers, and with each layer, I feel mortified all over again.

I just spent 7 years being the elephant in the room (actually, more like 22 years). There was an unconscious yet unbearable pressure to be what I thought people kept telling me I was – exceptional, intelligent, beautiful, talented, capable, a leader. I kept thinking, “What is wrong with me, that I can’t seem to be what is appropriate to be? I can’t let people down. I can’t let them see that I’m not what they think I am. I have to pretend that it’s not hard, pretend that I am.” I was so misguided, so off my track, so lost, and no one could do anything. What were they to do? I was the elephant and an island unto myself because I couldn’t see what was happening. I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t feel how fake I was being, how much I was hiding, how much strain I was under.

I feel like I’ve stood naked, walked the streets naked, pretending I am clothed, as if no one can see, hoping that if I pretended hard enough, if I was strong and determined enough, if I thought positive enough, tried hard enough to overcome my fears, it would be true, and no one would ever have to know about these embarrassments of my past, and I could finally be free of my failures and forget about them.

In step four I am currently taking in my CoDA program, this is going to be a huge chunk of my “moral inventory” – an inventory of the resentments I hold, and the people and places I betrayed myself, betrayed what was in my heart (a fellow member’s definition of the word moral).

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Author: innerlight

A capricorn horse. Creative dreamer, over thinker. bpd, insecure attachment and any other labels for deep and chronic wounds and other gifts of brilliance that propel intense and eclectic lives and make for good art. We are high needs and high return, all the way, all the way. Surrender, integration, repair, rebuild, connect, create, evolve. Deeply.

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