It’s not until the influence was gone
that I realized how strong it was,
how deep it’s roots were,
and how little of what it grew
I wanted to keep.

I keep starting to write this
and I keep not
because I have a dislike
of being misunderstood,
and more than that,
of being preached to.
But for my own internal equilibrium
and in case someone else might feel seen in reading this,
here I go.

I know
thanks to more spirals of personal evolution
(and not always in the upward direction,
because energy and souls,
well, they have little regard for space and time
when it comes to growth)

than I ever would wish on anyone
that…
well, shit, why are these words so hard?

Sometimes
the only way to learn who you really are
is to lose everything
that formed your borders and boundaries.
The people and goals and hopes,
you have to lose them and
take stock of what you have left;
like those exercises
they teach in beginning meditation
and self awareness
of looking for the thing we call I,
when you strip away
the things that
delineated You and how you lived
or didn’t
you are left with
a whole lot of questions
and a chance to exhale into
who you actually are.
Or, who you are at that point.
It’s a process, and
one that doesn’t ever really stop.

And that’s where I
always am
and that’s what I keep talking about –
this exploring and discovery
of what is I today,
and the things that
give me grief and joy
in this brief snapshot
of my experience of linear time.

And so that’s what I’m doing,
and what I’m writing
and I know damn well
that it will keep changing.
I’m pretty good with that.
I understand influence and chaos
as much as I can I figure
and have been slowly
learning how to enjoy the ride.

And so now, today.

I’ve been eyeballs deep in grief
and new love
and financial worry
but optimism at the same time,
and today it’s just been delightful –
literally, I’ve been delighted –
to just be puttering around my house today
taking care of random little tasks
as long as I had the attention span and energy,
which rarely was long enough to actually finish anything in one go.

I like working this way,
and it doesn’t bother me much
personally
to bounce between and have unfinished bits for stretches of time-
within limits,
but admittedly,
those limits are pretty permissive.
There’s something satisfying for me
about 15 minutes of working
and to see visible progress.
But I realized today
that while I am okay with this,
on a gut deep level,
there was this odd tension.
I’ve been aware of it a while,
but today was the first time
I sat still long enough to pick it apart.
(As in, I curled up on the bed with Kali for hours.
Borderline unprecedented,
definitely not going to be the last time.)

It was judgement, really,
but it wasn’t seated in my own values.

You know how that is –
someone else’s standards or hang ups
that you take on as yours
when in relationship with them,
or even with a society or a community,
that aren’t naturally yours,
or don’t align with how you’d work naturally
and contentedly.
And this one?

It’s an odd kind of perfectionism
that doesn’t recognize process as the purpose,
and insists we hide all signs of
life as an ongoing process.
The kind that insists
there are no sketch lines or brush marks;
no signs of the
conversation
between the soul and the world it exists in.
It denies our humanity
and invalidates our inherent, natural knowing
of our limits and needs and capacities.
It says
getting it all done
in one go
and if you can’t
you better not start
because that’s failure;
it screams at you
no dishes in the sink
no project started
until the others are finished
and you go until you’re empty
because your experience doesn’t matter
more than the results you get;
It’s mired in guilt guilt guilt and
rage and self hate
that just grows deeper roots
the longer we try
and the more miserable we become
because you see
our lived life is a reflection of
life as a process,
of a thing that exists only as long
as it remains incomplete and in progress.
Perfectionism
has it’s feet mired
in death
and the illusion
that anything is ever complete
before we’re dead.
It is a denial of the very nature of life.

I know where I learned it,
and I know how it was perpetuated for so long,
and I understand what I need to continue to do
to continue to unlearn it –
it’s another deepening of
what’s been an intensely focused
process this last year,
another spiral of
the entire process
of exhaling into who I am –
the infinite I,
one breath
of the Universe.
I recognize the breath will end
but until then,
I will revel in
the breath
without worrying so much
about how it will end up.

And so I put the words down
even when I know
they absolutely
will not be perfect
and will be misunderstood
and probably will be embarrassing someday;
the importance is in the writing of them.

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