At times I am fine. I feel content. I feel distracted enough to be okay with things as they are. But eventually, like clock-work, something comes over me.
“Oh maybe I just need a new shirt.” “Oh I just need to eat some chips, then this craving will go away.” “I feel like I need to get drunk tonight.”
And I follow these threads. Maybe I buy things in excess. Maybe I eat things in excess. Striving. Searching. Trying to fill the void. But what is missing? Why does this feeling keep coming back?
Surely, it is not that my soul cannot be satiated.
Surely, my human form was not created to be forever unfulfilled.
What if I’m missing the most obvious answer?
I am missing me.
What brings me joy? What ignites a fire within my being? What makes my soul feel nourished?
Do I even know anymore?
Have I become so disenfranchised in my life that I have NO IDEA what brings me joy?
Is it a big gluten-free vegan pizza?… Is it travel? Sex? Drugs? Alcohol? An intense work out at the gym? Maybe a good book on a rainy day?
When is the last time I truly laughed? When is the last time I sung and danced and played and did not care what anyone else thought?
When was the last time I followed my soulful curiosities and followed the thread of breadcrumbs back to the me I was when I was a little girl?
I used to play. I loved playing with dolls, with friends, with plants, and twigs. I spent hours and hours every day ~ inside or outside did not matter. My imagination had no limits. I wrote stories. As young as five years old, when pencil touched paper my hand became a life of its own and story emerged as if writing itself.
And then, slowly, but profoundly, I became shamed. Embarrassment of “child’s play”. Embarrassment of the vibrant imagination that coloured my days. Embarrassment of my sensitivity, emotion, and the way I experienced life.
So, I shut it down.
I shoved this part of me deep into the shadows of a closet within myself and I locked the door.
“Shh. Keep it down!” As this part of me screamed and banged.
I turned to alcohol, drugs, television, computer games, food, diets, self-sabotage ~ anything to quiet this self. I wanted to be numb. And I wanted to grow up faster so I could be the way adults were advertised to me ~ free.
But, I guess I missed the fine-print. The feeling of freedom did not come from following this regime. It did not come from numbing out, quieting my inner-self, fitting in.
Misery. That is what I received in exchange for locking these parts of me away.
Sometimes, misery does a beautiful thing for us. It might cause us to give up. And when we give up, we tend to stop moving. We tend to stay still. Maybe, in that stillness, we start to listen.
The inner-self started to knock again. This time, I listened ~ what did I have to lose?
And things started to shift. Very slowly, indeed. But, that closet door began to unlock.
As Clarissa Pinkola Estés writes about in Women Who Run with the Wolves, the Wild Woman was freed.
Like any animal freed after years in captivity, there is much learning, and unlearning to be done once the Wildish is released. So here is the work. Lovingly, patiently, and compassionately guiding and sitting with this inner-self. Granting permission for whatever comes up. Granting permission to go slowly, to move in non-linear dances.
Permission to play, sing, laugh, dance, experience emotions, paint the world with my imagination.
Permission to be the unapologetic and Wildish me.