8/100 of emotional badassery - In which we carve our way through trauma and into the world

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Photo by Marc Bustier on Unsplash

I am in my bed, it’s late, and I can’t think of anything to write about. Different subjects come up, none seems real, like something I can really write about. I’m recognizing that feeling of stuckness. Resistance. I am afraid. I am scared of not being good enough. Of not having something good enough to say. To be found out, no matter what that means. I know I’m not a con woman, I don’t lie, I don’t hide much, some say I don’t hide enough... 
 
And yet, often when I write, part of me is afraid that someone will found me out, and know that I should not be allowed to be here, writing, in that space. Like some kind of writing police. Why? I’m not sure. Not talented enough? Not interesting enough? Not experienced enough? It’s almost like I am digging for something to be ashamed of, very strange feeling. 
It reminds me of the feeling I have when I am controlled by the police in completely normal circumstances, but somehow, my heart is pounding and I feel guilty. Of what? No idea. I don’t do much against the rules... I’m not a good lier or hider, so it would not be very wise of me to do illegal things. 
I also get physically ill when I do amoral things, like stealing, lying (even little lies), being mean or betraying someone in any way. I lack the practice and the taste for it. Bummer for my eventual criminal career. Yet, I’m also always afraid I’m going to hurt the people I love and appreciate. 
 
Trauma can do this to us. Giving us that feeling we are always doing something wrong, even when we don’t know about it. Robbing us of the safety of knowing we have a place in the world. Letting us feel like we are not allowed to take up space. 
 
The feeling is not as strong as it used be though. Fortunately. Therapy, cultivating joyful purpose and good books about emotional badassery made and keep making sure of that. I’m so grateful, they saved my life and sanity. They also left me with ability of staying all squishy and gooey inside.
 
But fuck do I hate the process sometimes. All of this possible happiness is mesmerizing, head-spinning. The idea of a life, feeling free, calmer and whole somehow? I dreamt of it for so long… But no-one ever told me this journey would be as painful and as scary, and sometimes, so lonely. 
 
No-one told me it was about stopping, and looking deep into the shadows of my soul. Facing the fear, the anger, the shame, and listen to it. I look around me and in me, and I see so much running from ourselves, from what we feel, from what we think. We’re taught that unpleasant feelings means there is something wrong with us in so many ways. 
 
Every ad tells us that by purchasing something or cultivating some specific lifestyle, we’ll be happy. Some tell us it’s money that frees us. Others that status, power, diploma will make us feel stronger. Most just keep themselves busy, the pain that comes up when they don’t confirming each time that they really shouldn’t stop. So many people can’t even bear hearing about the suffering of others without falling into denial, judgement, advice, shutting us up. So we flee ourselves, hoping it will protect us from the hurt. Unaware we started a war inside ourselves.
 
We’re told the world is corrupt, harsh, superficial, cruel, a place where it’s normal to be constantly hurt, disconnected and betrayed. That we are weak if we let ourselves be crushed because of it. Unaware staying soft in the midst of living is the greatest strength.
 
I thought for the longest time that there was something wrong in me for being so depressed, confused and angry at the sight of the world. After all, I’ve been raised to think “Well, yes it sucks, life sucks and it won’t change, especially, you won’t change it. Deal with it”, that mark of cynicism I so often see in others.
Only now, after studying the world from the lens of psychology, then sociology, then intersectional radical feminism can I see that every bit of pain, anger and fear was justified, nedeed even. 
 
We are not machines, supposed to be rational and unemotional all the time. We are imagination-driven, tender-hearted animals. We are wired for connection, altruism, goodness, courage, authenticity, presence. When we love, give to and help others, do what’s right for the greater good, do what matters the most deeply to us, or even just take time to breathe and be present, it not only feels good, but our physiology protects us. We produce hormones that make our hearts stronger, that calm our nervous system and help us love and connect even more with others. We boost our immune system. We live longer. Our body, mind and heart tell us that in thousands of ways.
 
A lot of us, for the sake of inclusivity and tolerance, pretend that every lifestyle, no matter how it impacts the world and others is equal. But that’s not true. Even our biology is telling us very clearly.
We are made for a kinder and more loving world. Our bodies crave true and deep connections. Cynicism is the lie we tell ourselves to not feel the pain of knowing, from the bottom of our child’s heart, that this is not okay, this world is not okay. We’re so afraid that if we let ourselves feel all the pain and anger, that’s all we will feel. That all we will feel is the pain and the powerlessness. But it’s the opposite, only by feeling them can we act according to it, tap into our power and come together to make the world a better place. 
 
Be the hummingbirds we need to be : make the world kinder, softer, one tiny step at a time, by doing our tiny part, that matters so much. We matter. You matter. Our pain matters, it roars the need for change. 
 
What tiny piece of humanity can you reclaim back today?  
 
Love, 
L.
 
PS : and once again, I learned that it doesn’t matter for me to know what I want to write about, only to sit down and actually do it.

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