Mark Silver and others on the team over at the Heart of Business teach me lots and often. This post is entirely due to their work and its spinning and turning and noodling around in my mind.
Here’s today’s gem:
“Let yourself be who you are and where you are, and let go of expectations of anything.” ~Mark Silver
Steve Mattus, one of the Awesome Sauce HOB’ers, put up the above quotation this morning. I’ve been reading it and praying with it and writing about it in my journal. And it’s bothering me. Just reading it again as I proofread elicits a big, deep breath.
So? Time to blog! Not everyone’s approach, I realize, and not even mine all the time, but I’ve been up since 2:45; it’s 4:30 now, and here we are.
What are the expectations I have about being telling the truth of my experience? What are my expectations about expressing who and where I am?
On one hand, I expect to be rejected. To be told I’m unprofessional. To be told that my sexuality, my body, my boundaries (or seeming lack thereof), my mental and physical illness, and all my various passions are inappropriate. Not only that, I expect to be told that the expression itself of all these things is inappropriate.
I expect to be told to keep my mouth shut. Even writing about all this, I feel my hands wanting to stop typing, to cover my mouth, my eyes, and yes, my ears too.
That if I can just not perceive what I perceive, I’ll somehow be safe.
On the other hand, I clearly expect something good from telling my tales, from digging through the rooms of the household of my life. Else why do it?
I expect to get to know myself better and to be surprised as I go along.
I expect some people to connect with me, people whom I’d never have had the privilege of knowing if we weren’t able to be vulnerable and authentic.
Knowing that I have been grateful to see other people’s stories in print, do I seek–or worse, expect–others’ gratitude? (That feels really yucky, but it might be true.)
Still I hope (expect?) to reach some people who have been ignored, because I know what it is like to be ignored. Being ignored, erased from the public eye is painful. Being a blight in public feels worse.
For example, I know what it is like to have Never. Even. Once. Not Once to have seen a body that looks like mine unreviled directly or indirectly in mainstream media. I hope to do my tiny (hee!) part to change that.
I know what it is like to have to keep a pansexual, kinky sexuality firmly under wraps because “whose business is it anyway?” as though sexuality doesn’t permeate everything we do. It permeates everything we perceive and do and think, even in those of us who are gentle, pastoral, committed spiritual leaders. (GASP!) I hope to bring what has been unnecessarily hidden out into the light.
And while I’m at it, I know what it is like for the idea of a sexually expressive body as fat as
mine being in any kind of mainstream media to be ridiculous…no wait! There is Miss Patty on Gilmore Girls. She comes close. Problems there? Sure, but she comes close.
I know what it is like to struggle to stay alive, to wrestle the voices in my head into submission. I know what it is like to have been in a psychiatric hospital in the early ‘90’s. Hello, Girl Interrupted.
So I know these things, and I hope that my writing helps other people avoid the kinds of isolation I have experienced in my life.
But hope and expectation…how are they different? Where do they overlap?
- Show up.
- Tell the truth.
- Don’t expect applause.
- Repeat as necessary.
I don’t know where that list came from originally, but one of my dear friends and a teacher from my adolescence gave it to me. I’ve seen it in various forms.
The “don’t expect” there, that “Don’t expect applause,” gets me every time. I will show up. I will tell the truth.
And maybe along the way, I’ll struggle again and again with “Don’t expect applause,” like wrestling with the Angel. Or maybe I can just let myself be as I am where I am and recognize that change is, the Wheel turns, and I have the opportunity to Remember every day.
Thanks to Steve Mattus and Mark Silver and everyone else at the Heart of Business who brought this very early morning meditation to birth.