¿why is stepping into our truths so f***ing scary?

this is the question stirring my soul as i sit with The World in reverse.

The World is the final card of the major arcana of the tarot. it is the place you end up at the end of a long journey that begins with you as a fool, naive to all that the world is gonna throw you way.

as you emerge from this journey, you re-enter the world, better off for it: more whole, more mature, more aware, and wiser.

pulling this card reversed indicates there is tension at play, resistance to stepping into the world as a truer version of ourselves.

the journey of the major arcana from The Fool to The World is one we’ll make many times in life. it is a cycle that ultimately brings us closer and closer to ourselves, to a more concentrated sense of purpose during our time here.

the calling of this card, to take what i’ve learned and apply it to my external experiences, scares the shit out of me.

there are many things i can write about with confidence to strangers that i fail to articulate to some of the closest people in my life, such as being poly, queer, a cannabis lover and advocate, a writer, a poet, a dreamer, a romantic.

i learned early on in life to protect myself from the judgment of others through learning how to adapt my external-presenting identity to whoever’s company i was in.. i could be the cool girl, the good girl, the smart girl, the funny girl, the articulate girl — whatever the situation called for, i’d put on my mask and perform away.

allowing my truth to shine outwards means coming to terms with people’s discomfort and resistance to it, because people are often off-put by someone bringing their full humanity into a situation.. i know, because i’ve often been on the other side of this — sooo threatened by the person who doesn’t shy away from who showing up fully.

grappling with this, i’m reminded of a phrase offered to me by a woman in a 12-step program, “it doesn’t all need to happen today.”

i take solace in knowing that authenticity is a process. it can be incremental, done in small doses so as to not overwhelm, to not terrify my inner child who feels like being more honest around others could destroy us..
there are lots of small choices that make up this big experience of life, and it is in these small moments that i’m being called to move the dial..

i am learning and i am open, and i am leaning on my spiritual allies to guide and hold me through it… i’m sure i have many queer ancestors who did not have the ability to live their truth, to reveal the fullness of themselves, and so i move forward with a sense of redemption and reclamation in their honor.

“may you be a force of resistance and revolution where you go,” is a phrase that evolved from a comment made by ashe phoenix about how if we want to live in a queer-friendly, weed-friendly world, we need to bring that energy with us everywhere we go. because in-turn, we give others permission and inspiration to do the same.

so ya, being authentic in a world that does not want me to be is freaking terrifying. i’ve avoided it for so long, convinced it may kill me. because let’s be real, it could. being a threat to the status quo is inherently a threatening place to be..

but the thing about The World card is it’s not about just showing up alone in your truth — it’s allowing this to be a catalyst and a compass to help us better find our people, our community.
resistance is not a simply solo experience — it’s about the ways our internal revolution translates externally…

so that’s what i got for now.

as far as a public offering, this is what i’m practicing today:
– may i be present in moments when i am being called to show up more fully as myself.
– may i recognize that no moment is too small to be a truer version of me.
– may i remember this will not happen in a day, but that every day is an opportunity to practice.
– maybe i also honor the truths of others — that in creating more space for myself, i can in-turn create more space for others to show up fully, honestly, and authentically.

much love, happy monday, and good luck 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

Can my pain be a gift to others?

“In order to succeed as an artist we must have two well-developed functions: our artist and its trainer.” – Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way Everyday

there are often days, like today, when showing up to the page feels beyond difficult, toeing the line of impossible, maybe even cruel if i’m entertaining my most bratty, reluctant self.
(with enough emotional distress, i can make myself feel victimized by almost anything, even other people’s victimization.)

the truth of the matter is that i need the trainer, or the parent (as i often think of it) to remind me that this practice will alleviate suffering, not add to it.

everyday, i wake up with something to release to the page – some worry, anxiety, insecurity.

i believe i’ve always been a writer, even the many years of my life when i wrote very little. a writer who does not write is a dangerous thing. our need to release grows and grows, and without our preferred outlet, we become restless, even reckless (at least in my case).

i’ve been revisiting a familiar pattern that has been hard to engage with — seeking out men who are clearly emotionally unavailable and disinterested in the type of relationship i want.
the point where it becomes truly toxic is the moment i clearly see their limitations, their unwillingness, and yet i keep pushing.
i don’t know if this is because i think i can change them, or because i want to abuse myself.. i imagine some combination of the two.

it is a pattern i’ve lived out time and again in my 20s. and it doesn’t take long to spiral into intense feelings of loneliness, desperation, and insecurity.

i start telling myself stories of how crazy i am, how desperate i am, how pitiful of a person i am, how no one could be attracted me in such a state. i start feeding off the emotional drama, getting that odd high of self-induced pain.
i come back for more and more (and more) until i feel weak and delirious, willing myself to stop. or more accurately, becoming too exhausted to go on.

it’s hard to not detest myself for doing this, to not continue to feed the self-destructive monster with the awareness of what i’m doing. i honestly believe it is the grace of something both outside of me and within me that gives me the resolve to stop.

it is often the love of others that convinces me to love myself, because i understand the ways in which my own self-love (or lack thereof) influences my relationships. and because i don’t want to live in a world of cruelty, i recognize that cruelty towards self is often where it all begins.

breaking patterns of self-harm feels like its own version of breaking inter-generational trauma/curses. rising above the narratives offered to women as emotionally desperate creatures, especially in relation to men, is no easy feat. there are many stories i tell myself that have been given to me and to my ancestors for so long, they can be hard to see beyond.

the truth feels nestled in that deep crevice discovered after peeling back layer after layer of stories around my behavior.
and in that core is the reminder that i am human like the rest of us. that i crave connection, security, the feeling of being loved. that that does not make me desperate but human. that loneliness is an element of this lived experience, not an indication of me being broken.

when i remember my humanity is reflected in all of humanity, the ability to be self-compassionate and kind becomes much more accessible. because it’s no longer about me, but all of us. i am reminded that my suffering is the suffering of so many.

laying in bed last night, decompressing from the emotional spiral i’d fallen down, i contemplated all the people in the world experiencing loneliness at that exact same moment as me. and then i thought, heck, how many people just on my block are feeling lonely right now?

this perspective is incredibly helpful. it reminds me i am not actually alone, that my suffering connects me with so many. it urges me to open my heart in those moments when it so desperately wants to close.

it prompts me to not take someone’s inability to receive me as personal, to consider their own loneliness and suffering as well.

it’s truly humbling in the most generous way, creating space to grieve without the unnecessary layer of feeling broken, wrong, or bad.

it gives me permission to be human, which is all i can ever expect of myself.

it reminds me that feeling pain is not a burden or a punishment, but a reminder.

and so i move forward, practicing the question, “can my pain be a gift to others?”

may i remember that love is acceptance of every detail of my humanity. that strength is acceptance. that inter-connectedness is the truest collective nature. that my ancestors hold me even when i cannot hold myself.

happy monday. love y’all ❤ ❤ ❤

i’ve been doing things that terrify me

i’ve been doing things that terrify me. i guess you would call this trying — showing up for life with a fullness i’ve only glimpsed a handful of times in my adult life. and this time feels.. different.

i can sense an energy in the air, an enthusiasm, an excitement. something that feels bigger than me — astrological, spiritual, ancestral.

and as i navigate this territory of showing up in a fullness that scares the shit out of me, i can’t help but give credit to my ancestors. to my woman ancestors specifically. partially because this gives me distance from my own sense of achievement, making me feel a bit safer to believe it’s not just me.

but also because that’s what it feels like. it feels like the women of my past have my back, are nudging me forward.

i had an experience writing yesterday that felt so much bigger than myself. it felt like words offered to me from afar.

words whispered, familiar and large. and as i followed them, i felt their power fill my chest and release from me.

i’m not typically one for grandeur, because the higher you go, the further you can fall. and in a cliched way, success feels much more threatening than failure.

so my choice to not try, to not commit myself fully to this existence (at least not in recent history) has been protective. it places a bubble around me that keeps the world at a safe distance and turns the volume down on all of it, especially my soul.

but in this moment, i’m excited, hopeful even. i feel fresh, born anew. (god i feel cheesy) i feel like life has potential again. that maybe i do have something to offer the world.

the other side of this coin is fear. waiting for the other shoe to drop. waiting for depression to find me and wrap its talons around me once again and drown me under its dark waters.

and yet, this fullness of my heart, i love it. i’ve always wanted to allow my heart to feel as deeply and fully as it craves. the last time i remember feeling this fully was childhood, when limitations and judgements and fears of failure had yet to enter my consciousness. and now, i feel her emerging, ready to see what comes next.

but what if i disappoint her? what if this is another false start? what if this high is just that – a high.

i so desperately want it to be a turning point, but here’s the thing: the last time i felt this hopeful, this full of life, i was dumped, broken up with. that was 7 months ago, and my heart has felt heavy ever since.

and so i am weary of optimism. of believing that maybe life truly could be something. and unfortunately i have the life experiences to validate my concerns.

but fuck, for tonight, i feel good. i feel content. i feel happy.

wow. just wow.

i’m used to big feelings of sadness. but big feelings of happiness.. these are so oddly intimidating. how does one navigate this? i carry the fear that allowing myself to feel it in its fullness is like testing the universe.

so i carry it humbly, softly, tenderly. it feels like a dream come true to believe in myself, even if for just a day. to feel the tears welling behind my eyes not due to despair or devastation but out of love and appreciation for this messy human experience.

so i guess i’ll just sit with it. like a sleeping cat curled up on my lap, petting it timidly so that it doesn’t get startled and run away.

and although i fear reflecting upon this entry and feeling like a fool, there’s the irony that i never reflect upon my depressive pieces and point to how wrong i got it then.

so maybe i should enjoy this phase on the wheel of fortune. appreciate the grace that’s been offered to me. and carry gratitude for all the women who came before me, who sacrificed so much so that i could sit here and tap away on my computer musing my thoughts.

in this moment, i do feel like my ancestors’ dream come true. (the type of thing i typically roll my eyes at) or to be more precise, i feel like i’ve at least gotten one step closer to fulfilling them.

so i don’t know, i guess i’m just grateful.

a grateful cheeseball.

sometimes hope finds me

sometimes hope finds me. sneaks it way into my psyche despite all my reservations and protestations.

this time, i think it’s my ancestors. truly. to be more specific, my woman ancestors.

they’ve lifted me today, given me a strength that’s both unfamiliar and comfortable. it’s a space i feel as though i’ve been born to occupy. a space between love and fate. between care and fulfillment.

it’s not often you’ll find me sputtering on about the potential of life. i mean, life is cruel, harsh, unfair, and unjust. it is a place that so often (so fucking often) breaks my heart. a place that allows children to die, innocent people to be hurt and suffer at the hands of greedy, greedy men.

i’m often not a fan of this world, of having to occupy a space in this plane.

but today, i feel hopeful. i believe in the potential for change, for growth, for people coming together to solve these nasty problems we have.

and i let myself feel it. not because i believe it is truer than the other side. and not because i believe it is my duty to hold onto it. but because this feeling feels necessary, feels like a vital part of my survival, of our survival

i heard a story of migrants moving through mexico towards the united states border. people escaping unspeakable tragedy and loss. and you know what the journalist said it was like, when the camp settled for the night and everyone hunkered down to cook dinner and come together: joyous.

fucking joy.

i think there are some of us who tell ourselves that joy is indulgent, like spitting in the face of those who are less fortunate, those experiencing an existence much bleaker, much less privileged and comfortable than ours.

we rob ourselves of the very medicine that keeps us going, taking on misery like a badge of honor.

and so i wonder, and so i ask: what if it is our duty to practice joy with ferocity? like our lives, like the fate of humanity depends on it

i have spent a large part of my life sad, miserable, depressed, despairing, and i’m really not sure how much it’s served the world. yes, there is a time to mourn, to grieve, to get fucking pissed, to cry. but for me, so much of my time spent in the darkness felt indulgent, self-absorbed. it was blinding, impossible to see beyond.

now let me be clear: i suffer from depression, and there are swaths of darkness that have never been a choice. but let me be even clearer: there are definitely times when i chose to stay there.

because there is comfort in being low, feeling like there’s no further you can fall. there is security in feeling as though you are un-disappointable.

if i believe life to be hopeless, bleak, a lost cause, it gives me the pass to settle for a version of my life, myself, and society that was far from good enough.

i feel the need to clarify this isn’t a toxic positivity rah-rah piece about seeing the good in everything. there is so much shit that is simply shit.

but fuck, there’s also so much wonder, so much awe, so many blessings.

i think of the ShoshoneBannock tribes that stewarded this land i’m on for centuries, for generations. and how insulting it would be to them to take for granted the utter glory that is every speck of dirt, every tree, every bush, every bird.

i think there’s an odd entanglement of entitlement in taking for granted the inherent beauty of life.

i have been blessed with beauty and abundance beyond what i feel worthy of. much more than most of my ancestors ever glimpsed or dreamed.

and as i step from one day to the next, i hope i carry with me the awe they experience through my eyes. not in spite of the tragedy and heartbreak but in collaboration with it.

depression robs me of feeling life in its fullness. it makes me forget all that has come before and all that leads me forward.

and i can’t promise that tomorrow or the day after or a year from now these words will resonate. but for now, i allow the power of hope to wash over me like a warm light of protection. because from this place, i truly believe that maybe we really can change the world. that maybe we always are.