Something really amazing became clear to me recently. I am sharing this with you not so that you could pity me. There’s nothing to pity me for. I rather invite you to check whether it resonates with you, whether you know this or something similar from your own experience. (Please be very honest with yourself.)
Once again, I had ventured into one of those transformative training spaces which often are so scary for my whole ego system, and yet so nourishing for every other part of myself. I was there, somehow shattered, and still my controls were in place – my intellect making it “safe” for me to be there. I find myself in a deeply transformative time of my life and there is this part that wants to make it safe, preventing me in a way from falling apart. How does it go, anyway, falling apart? How do you die in ways of losing sense of who you are, of your seeming identity dissolving and being in the nothing of this realisation. How does it go?
The point I did realise is this: Very early on in my life I decided that life was damn dangerous, and that it was safer to make myself “dead” (fake dead, because I still lived) rather than being fully alive and risking to actually (or seemingly) die. It sounds absurd, right? Yet so clever! By playing dead, at least I was in control of my state of being dead and lifeless. I didn’t risk being “killed” by someone else, or the uncertainty of what would kill me, and when.
I am not only referring to physically dying, as I am sure you realise. So how did I play dead? By not daring to show myself fully. By being the nice girl. By being acceptable and predictable. By trying to figure out what the safest option is in the outside world. By trying to guess what others want and then trying to offer just that. By not asking dangerous questions. By not saying what I perceived. By not saying things that might sound esoteric or in any other way “crazy” to some. By speaking softly. By using sharp words. And in many other ways.
See, it’s not a bad thing. What a brilliant survival strategy! I see so many people who seem to have chosen a similar strategy. It worked, I survived. Yet liveliness, being fully alive, begins beyond that. It begins when I step out of my playing dead. When I dare to die, so that I can live fully. Then really wondrous things can happen.
Surviving is sacrificing life in each moment by enacting patterns. Living includes the possibility of dying in each moment.Clinton Callahan
I don’t know what lies ahead, but I can tell you one thing: It feels very much alive!
This post is inspired by life itself, and to a large part by Possibility Management.
Photo by Himanshu Singh Gurjar on Unsplash.