So if you really saw the true me, would you still think I’m cute/pretty/beautiful (AKA, pruteeful?) I already knew the answer when I was a little person, and it was a big fat NO.
What do we identify as beautiful? Shouldn’t it be the honest, raw, unaffected self, guts and courage and truth? I got really sick and tired of trying to keep up with the stories I invented to keep everyone “kind of” loving me. I was literally sick from it, in my youth, downing bottle after bottle of whatever I could just to be brave enough to blind myself from seeing any remnant of the true me. As I grew numb, I cared less. A whole lot less. I cared about nothing. I felt nothing. I was free, at a price, in the death of drowning from a bottle of poison. Don’t get me wrong, there were many wonderfully grand times as well, it all depended on the motive behind what I was doing. What was I running from? What was I hiding? Who was I killing? Why did I hate myself so much that I didn’t want to hang out in my own company?
The main point was that my authentic self had been bruised early on. That part was not my fault. It was not your fault either. It was just unlucky.The authentic self of me barely had a chance to form before it was stifled, judged, constrained, criticised. That was enough to stunt the development of authenticity, and breed superficiality and creative role play for survival. A role play game using real people, real feelings, real situations as my actors on my stage. That part was my fault, but I didn’t know it. I thought that’s what everyone was doing. Weren’t you? I thought that not being authentic was the only real way to stay alive. No one was ever really themselves, because either they didn’t know what that was, or more likely, it had been taught out of them early as it had for me. Or so I thought.
I couldn’t know something was wrong that I thought was real life. The roles I was playing were real to me. It’s what I thought humans did in order to survive. Maybe some of you did. I just know for a fact that I did. I had to. I had no other choice, and if I did, I didn’t know there were choices. I was just living… Well, surviving.
I did survive, barely. And so did you, barely, and I am sorry that I took you into my green room and kidnapped you, holding you hostage to act in my dramas with me, if you in fact, were actually “living ” and minding your own business and not actually choosing to be cast in some Teenage Off Off Off Broadway production of mine. I’m sure I owe many of you amends. Please allow me to make them.
I just know that acting and making up fantasies was a heck of a lot easier than being real. It was a heck of a lot safer for me, and I thought that I was being a creative human. I just forgot that I was acting out a drama that was messing up actual lives. Mine not excluded, and yours definitely included. A few black comedies, but I had more aptitude for tragedies unfortunately.
So what is it that made this human so terrified of being seen? Was I living out the story of Adam and Eve? Like Adam and Eve who freely ran naked in the garden until they had the realisation that they were naked, and all of a sudden naked felt shameful. “Naked and ashamed!” I related to that. I was ashamed for who I was. I always felt naked, and many times ashamed. Society fueled our negative self-image creating ideals of perfection that don’t even exist, dosing us with fast food, fear and consumerism to counteract the shame, perpetuating it on and on ad infinitum. Adam and Eve were awesome, beautiful and free, and they knew it. Until they didn’t. Until they lost it. Until they thought that they weren’t. Until the enemy inside started lieing to them, placing doubt in their hearts about their authentic selves. Until they felt that they had to hide from each other, themselves and God (their inner self, their heart, their love).
The enemy inside us affects us in the same way over and over again. Our soul goes to battle, against society’s standards of acceptability, conformity, consumerism, greed, apathy, illusion, delusion, illness, until and not excluding death. It makes us feel we are not even ok, never mind beautiful, awesome or free, the enemy makes us feel that we need to cover up and hide our true selves. Complete Soul Assassination, Spiritual Separation, Self Annihilation.
Not unlike Eve may have felt, for me the shame game was on. And shame won. Not only was the inside not to be looked at, but the outside needed serious work as well. How could a young girl, with nothing but apparent innocence and beauty only see ugliness? Only hear a monster in her head, and see a terror in the mirror? Naked and ashamed. That was it. Through and through. Shame became the label that I identified myself with. Shame became my badge, and I was waving that flag. Identifying with the image, the actions I took followed and I lived immersed in acting out the lie. The story of my life became a full-scale production, lights, camera, action, an exact reenactment of the first draft when the seed of shame and self-doubt was planted. The seed of the lie. The “not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not rich enough, not cool enough, on and on enough” lie is what ended up ruling my life. It almost ruined my life, it definitely sabotaged my life until I woke up, and realised that I actually wanted LIFE.
I WANTED TO LIVE. Fully embracing all of life, and all the majesty in it, glorified in its jagged perfection of the past, present and future. As it is, unashamed, unapologetic and raw.
So I came to see that my open, honest, courageous truths that I thought were too frightening and ugly to share, in fact have proven to be the most beautiful parts of me.
No one is cast in my productions anymore, I am not the stage manager, I’m not even an actor at all. I am a warrior for love because I have everything my heart wants, I am love. My spirit is awakened, I’ve heard the calls, and I have a soul on fire.
In its essence, truth is unashamed. Truth is naked… Cinderella, The Ugly Duckling, Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, the Princess and the Toad, the stories of so-called ugly misunderstood characters are transformed into beauty, their outward falsities transformed into truth, the ultimate love story that we owe to ourselves. These characters are testament to what is truly beautiful, when they were to be truly witnessed as their hearts were all along.
So, real beauty does exist, in its ultimate truth, the surrendered heart in its ultimate nakedness, baring all…
And I saw myself naked.
And I accepted the ugly beauty that I am.
And I told myself my truth, and became a real person.
And I learned to love myself as I am. The jagged, raw, honest, naked and unashamed princess that all true fairy tales are made of.