The Acute Divide of Me

I remember a time when my online persona was such a good match for my offline persona it was a bit disturbing. Somewhere along the years of Facebook I have lost that. I don’t know if it’s the medium, the horrors of menopause, or I’m just more careless and quick to answer with my words, or all of these, but it is something.

I started shifting this in January, smoothing some of my edges, but not stopping my desire to spotlight issues of social injustice. It worked for awhile. Then it didn’t, then it did. I’ve all the right reasons in my head, but then it slips and I don’t even notice at first. In person I notice quickly. (I’ll give ya sometimes I’m clueless, but that is unusual, not typical.)

I was being quiet more, with spurts of RAWR, but I didn’t shift enough internally. I was choosing where to post what, hidden from much of friends list, with the occasional two day outbursts on my timeline. Basically I changed where without changing how. Which is duh, but there ya go, I was being duh. I wasn’t feeling this shift in my body and for me that is an important piece to permanence.

Today after visiting a hospice patient I felt it in my body. Like huge I felt it. Not the shift, but the gulf between the state of grace I am in when I am in service to the dying and the state if non-grace I am in a place like Facebook. How I am face-to-face in my community where my hands fly around, my eyes are bright, and my face lights up with passion when discussing things. When I discuss all things, from SJ to how the squirrel wiggled itself up a tree. It was core blowing how acutely I felt the divide between the two places I am “seen”. And it was unnerving. And humbling.

My wish is that I hold this state of grace more purposefully going forward, in all my places. That I try to do better. That I will do better.

Forgotten Lessons/Recurring Blindspots

Sometimes we learn a thing, internalize it even, then before we’ve done it for enough time to become expert at it, life happens and we return to old habits without notice. It can be hard to notice a thing that slithers up your leg and find its way into your soul when it used to be an intimate and integral part of you. It knows where the secret entrances are to reclaim their residence within.This isn’t a revelation to most folks, who can recall the times this has been true. Periodically I go back and read my old blog posts to remind myself of those hard fought lessons. Often this proves to be a really useful action at just the right time. This happened again today.

This is from a response to a post I’d written that is only tangentially related to the discussion that occurred in the comments. As part of her reply, my friend Cyn said: “Time and time again, I am valued and loved only commensurate to how Super Woman I can be. ” Her comment prompted a dialogue about vulnerability and Shadow Work I had done surrounding it.

My reply: [My Work was] allowing myself to be seen in my vulnerability and more importantly, allowing myself to be loved in it. Sure, there are some out there who WILL reject people with exposed fragility in them. Just not everyone, nor even most. I was operating under the erroneous belief that most of the people who loved me would stop “if they knew”. And that no-one new would love me if I allowed those parts of me to be visible. I was wrong.

There were people who auto-rejected me because I showed no vulnerability at all. About the same percentage as those who may reject me for my fragile parts. The difference now is not in them. They remain the same. The difference is in me – if I am to move forward with any bit of grace and become who I wish to be fully I had to not only accept my fragile bits, but to handle them with love. This requires a level of exposure I hadn’t had since before the sexual abuse and the coping mechanisms adopted by virtue of living with an alcoholic parent.

So, that’s been my learning and my progress thus far. And yes, “Time and time again, I am valued and loved only commensurate to how Super Woman I can be, “ that was me. But I stopped. I chose to no longer gauge my lovability quotient based on other people’e expectations of who I should be. This was/is part of the same work. I have lost things because of it. And I’ve lost some people because it. Those losses hurt like hell. They do not hurt more than the manner I was hurting myself when I was living for them instead of me, though.

So while I don’t want a t-shirt screaming, “I am vulnerable! Take your best shot!” because I’m not completely unsound, I neither want one that screams “Vulnerability sucks!” If I had to have one I think it would say, “Vulnerability just is. Deal with it.”

I had forgotten my commitment to vulnerability while interacting in some spaces. I had forgotten my commitment to not act based on other folks’ expectations. I had forgotten my commitment to my lovability quotient being determined by me alone. Now that I’ve been reminded, I can see how those commitments were slipping away in my life. Until the reminder, I was ignoring the slithering, leg-climbing, blindspot from my past. Beautifully useful hindsight, I can tell you the occurrences that I believe started the slippage two years ago. I won’t use that hindsight to flog the me that lives in the now. I do hope to use it to keep this habit strong until I am expert at it so it doesn’t slip away again when I’m not being vigilant. That’s part of the point of holding a new thing until one is well practiced at it, once that is achieved, vigilance can be released to make room for other things you are tending into permanence.

To banish this most recently returned blindspot, I am renewing my commitments:

I will not act based on other folks’ expectations.
I will gauge my lovability quotient based solely on my own desires.
I will allow my vulnerability to be seen.

Love can break you open, if you let it

Anyone who doesn’t believe Love is an actual Force, and can be a catalyst for swift change hasn’t been paying attention. For me, I started a long lonely climb out of the place I had been with the turn of the new year. It felt like an ascent in mud. Then the despair in me broke open. It happened shortly before this past weekend and it occurred via Love. For you-know-who-you-are, I am grateful.

This is the me I always am in my head. I haven’t been the me in my head on the outside of me recently, either in dress, or in what I let loose to the world. Today I returned to dressing the part – the part called Me. Today I let loose the new-old me again. These fabulous pants (I ordered 5 different pair recently from ) are so comfortable!

(I tell myself someday I’ll master the Art of Selfie™ w/o a mirror. Some lies are okay to believe.)

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Let Love break you open!

Impact and obliviousness

It’s been an interesting 24 hours. I have spent decades underestimating my impact in various spheres of my life. I never fail to “dog head” when my oblivion is brought to my attention. Like, wut?

It has now hit the level of embarrassing. In efforts to keep my ego in check I have put on blinders, and as beloveds shifted away, I thought I spoke into a vacuum. What and how I expressed myself mattered little, I surmised, ignoring that all of us have impact larger than our awareness.

I have been purposely removing those blinders and paying attention in my offline life for about 4 months and with a concerted effort starting 2 1/2 months ago. (Yes, I know the exact date I moved from “things take time” to “START NOW”.) It hasn’t yet bled over to my online life.

In the last 24 hours I’ve been having front-and-center plus behind-the-scenes conversations with a number of folks ~ their impressions of how I present myself online consist of a gamut of viewpoints, covering a great range, but a couple of core things overlap.  It has been fascinating, in the best sense of that word.

What I do know is that my online self used to be a really close match to my offline self, and the chasm between the two has grown. (There are a hundred reasons for it, but none matter to the point I’m writing about.) I started righting that with the magical turn of the calendar page, but it is a slow process, with backslides. Time is the only proof that will show it, so you’ll just have to trust me. Or not. Your choice.

Here on this blog is mostly Boneweaver, keeper of the Dead, chronicler of the learnings and foibles of walking my spiritual path. Other venues have seen SJ PJ, *rawr*ing up a storm. Neither of those is all of me. Both of those are not all of me. (Never will *all* of me be out there. C’mon, I’m pretty open, but I keep more than half of me to myself.)

I desire to pull the edges of that chasm closer together. I don’t wish to eliminate the chasm – the abyss in the center is where the Mystery lies – but I wish to move back to where when I met someone offline who had known me only online they would say, “You’re just as I thought! Except nicer.” (What can I say, text reflects me harshly. I try not to use too many extra words. *looks at length of post* I have really edited this down from what’s in my head – I swear!)

I wish to reflect more of me in all of my online spaces. Compartmentalization of me has not been good for me, and as I have impact with what I choose to put out in the world, it has not been good for others, either.

One thing that I am just getting brave enough to put out here is the art I do. I don’t often see myself as courageous, but with my art, every post is a steeled-nerve act of bravery. I’m taking lessons from someone who has been refining her skill for decades. They are donation-gratefully-accepted-free lessons through Facebook. You can find the first lesson HERE. It is my gift to myself, conquering the fear and rewriting the old story that I can only art in abstract because the skill of realism died with my father.

And now it’s your turn — what would you like to see more of from me? I really am interested to know.

(And I’m going to hit publish before I chicken out, so read through the typos, please.)