I’ve been getting to know myself through music again.
I wanted to go a little further into this idea because not only does music tell familiar stories and remind me of people and places…it also becomes me. As in: I embody it. This is the most magical phenomenon I have ever known.
I read a theory, once, where it was said that the mirror neurons of the brain are somehow responsible for this sort of mega feeling capability, and I only wish there were enough hours in the day for me to truly explore, and come to an understanding of, it all. I wish more people talked about their subjective feeling experiences so we could all pool our individual authentic truths and perhaps come up with a better, more holistic understanding of the nature of reality. Maybe one day people will open up fully to each other, even about the stranger things in life. Maybe.
I’ll start the ball rolling.
The other day I was driving along listening to a song where the singer was expressing a feeling of complete and utter freedom; a gorgeous energy that felt fun, wild, curious and sexy all at the same time. What a beautiful feeling it was as it surged through my body. I was alive.
While listening to this particular song, I recognised the essence of the singer as seperate to my own, and yet…her feelings had become me. I was feeling her freedom within my body. I was feeling her cheekiness and sass. It was as if I was her.
What-on-earth. If nothing else, I came away from the song understanding that this was clearly an energy in my life I am needing to explore. But on a more out there note, I had to wonder. What might humans truly be capable of if we removed the stigma and shame attached to the more, umm, left of centre traits of human nature?
We haven’t even begun to seriously discuss this sort of phenomena without attaching it to the words ‘disorder’ or ‘disease’. What if…we changed our story? What if we framed high sensitivity in humans as exactly what it is: high sensitivity in humans. Nothing more. Nothing less. I think you could guarantee that far less of us would suffer from the anxiety that naturally arises from being perceived as different. Or, worse, broken.
I suppose I know the problem in a nutshell. You only need to look at events where the human ego has completely rejected any sort of difference perceived as weird or threatening in any way. In 1692, for instance, hysteria swept through an entire town in the U.S.A and condemned many women (women who, by the way, very likely perceived themselves as normal) to death if they were discovered to be witches. These women were probably just highly sensitive women, who very likely had been born a little different to the rest…and yet.
So it’s not surprising to me, then, that humanity has taken quite a long time to truly own the more eclectic parts of ourselves. No one wants to be kicked out of the pack. No one wants to stray too far from safe and secure. You know. Just in case. (Cough: no one has been burnt at the stake for quite a while now.)
Perhaps I am different, but really, who isn’t? We are all unique in our own way, and I believe with just a few tweaks in perspective (for instance, we might do well to dismantle the damaging cultural narratives that seperate people) humanity might be onto something really very special.
Perhaps I am here to write. But at the core of that, at the core of my words, at the core of my message…I’m here to love. I always have been, and it’s more clear to me now that I’m allowing my love to be seen.
I can’t help but feel great waves of empathy, particularly for those who are struggling in life. Those who are scared. Those who are being unfairly treated, by those who don’t even recognise the wrongs they perpetuate (as a result of their own messy humanity.)
It’s all a bit of a mess.
It’s all a bit of a mess.
So maybe I shouldn’t waffle at you about love.
Maybe I should be writing something of substance: something about the politics of what’s going on with the floods in eastern Australia, maybe, and how they’d want me to say it’s got nothing to do with the way we treat the planet (when, actually, I believe that Mother Nature was the very first woman who learned to powerfully speak her truth.)
But I’m not going to talk about natural disasters, or about who believes what.
I’m going to talk about love, and how I feel it, and how I feel for everything and everyone, and wish that more humans did.
Because underneath every natural disaster, lives love. The rescuer rowing a family to safety while their own home—a home they have loved and cared for with everything they have—drowns behind them.
That’s not politics.
It’s not who made the wrong choice about dam management and should be fired because of it.
It’s not who is right and who is wrong about the effects of climate change on a struggling earth.
I’m sitting in the relative darkness and life is happening, all around.
In the bedrooms, my children are sleeping. In the branches, possums are creeping across the night. There are bugs out the window by the thousands, spiders spinning elaborate webs: the most stunning miracles of architecture.
And here, there is me.
Still wondering: what is it all for?
I still feel alone, in many ways, although I’m quite happy to be alone in my alone-ness. Everyone has their own version of alone. My version just so happens to be the way in which I view the world. Just a small difference. Just a tiny glitch of alone on the vast sea of everything.
I suppose I should learn to accept our society as it is. Everyone has vastly different belief systems, and I think that is entirely lovely, one of the shining pearls in the ocean of humanity. I just wish we could happily be ourselves, without the nonsense, though. To be truly authentically ourselves, without having to bend who we are to fit our art into trends. To fit our personalities into social groups. To fit our broken pieces into shining humanity: the great big flying flock of perfection.
I find myself currently wrestling with a box. A place I do not wish to be.
A box, largely self made, partially made by well meaning folk (much like myself) longing for connection and home. What is a box, in the context I speak, you might ask? A trend. A stereotype. A label.
I am (what they call) an Empath. It’s clear that my personality and many of my traits and sensitivities fit into this box they have called Empath, and it’s been so beautiful (and very handy) to have had so many resources and like minded souls to help me feel as though I’m not alone in the universe.
But as much as it thrills me to have found a beautiful little tribe of the sweetest, softest hearts to love: I am suffocating beneath this label. And I don’t want it. I just don’t. Because as like-minded as we who can identify with the label Empath are, we are also a whole world of different, in many ways. Not only that, but we are also very much the same as others who wouldn’t identify as highly sensitive. We are human. Just like everyone else. Not special, not broken. Human.
I want to be free. I am a wide-open, free as the wind that blows me, soul.
I do not want a box. I do not want a box.
I am ready and willing to help other sensitive muffins open to the fullness of who they are, but I just can’t move past this feeling of no, stop, reassess. Yes, it’s clear I am sensitive. But I don’t want this to be a focus in my world, I just want it to be something that is.
If I carry on with my new blog, Empath Days, this will tether me to a box I don’t wish to belong in, and that’s the part of this whole thing I can’t come to accept. Am I overthinking? Probably (I am me, after all). The frame ‘Empath’ has served me well. It has served as contrast and recognition, a mirror to help propel me forward. But I do think that’s all it was meant to be on my life journey. A rocket launcher. A breadcrumb. Not my life’s work. And certainly not my identity.
I started Empath Days (my new little venture, aimed at Empaths and sensitive folk) because I wanted to help others, like me, find their way and feel less alone. But I can do that here, I can do that at the supermarket, I can do that at school pick-up, ’round the dinner table. There are many wonderful Empaths (let me just use the term because it’s easy) out there whose purpose it is to guide other Empaths into wholeness through a specific channel.
I just don’t think I’m one of them. At least, not at this point in time.
Right now, if I am anything, I am a writer of my heart: a liver of my dreams.
If I do have a purpose it is to guide others to open and release from the boxesof this life. To find their dreams, to open their box. Not to encourage people to find a box and stay there. Are we not here to live? Are we not here to fly wherever, whenever, however?
I believe we are.
So I’m going to stop Empath Days in it’s tracks.
I don’t want to be an Empath. I want to be all of me.
I want to create what I create, and I want it to be beautiful, all of it, especially the journey to each sweet prize. The creative process: I want it to be free flying everything.
I want to teach what I’ve learned and drown in my passions.
I want to write my book, my poems, my soul.
I want to live, however I live.
Oh, and I want to love. (Always, always I want to love.)
So I’m going back to the drawing board.
I’ll be back, sweet bloggy friends, when I’ve had a chance to unscrambled my thoughts, a little.
This morning I was taken back to the year 1997, when I sat glued to the television, hoping with all of my everything that a man named Stuart Diver would be rescued from beneath a mountain of rubble — the devastating result of a landslide at Thredbo: an Alpine Village in New South Wales, Australia.
The landslide at Thredbo broke the heart of just about every human in Australia, I’d go so far to say. Stuart was the sole survivor of the landslide that killed 18 people, including Stuart’s wife, Sally, who drowned in the rising icy waters beside him.
This post has no direct link to Stuart Diver and his shining human spirit, but it does have a few indirect links to (and hopefully a few reminders of) the magnificence of the human spirit. So I’m writing these words in honour of Stuart, and also in honour of every human who knows how beautiful it feels to shine through our dark times together.
Right now, twenty three years after Australia came together so beautifully for the good of one man, humanity finds ourselves in the united states of everyone hates each other. Just when we need each other the most.
What happened all those years ago, however tragic, was the most magical shining human thing I’d ever experienced. Aching life had brought us together. All of us. Every Australian, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, personality type: we all became one as we anxiously waited to see if our mate Stuart would pull through.
We cried real tears as we witnessed the beautiful bond between rescued and rescuer. We winced at the thought of Stuart’s journey beyond the rubble (which, tragically, only got worse before it got better when Stuart lost his second wife to breast cancer.) My point is: we ached. And we ached together.
We’re not those united humans, anymore. We’re about a gazillion aspects of our oneness, bursting into about a gazillion fragments of hate and pain and judgement. What might happen if we take a moment to remember just how beautiful we are, together? What might happen if we sat in our quiet for a few moments and just loved each other fully?
Currently, humanity is healing from about a billion years of collective shadow trauma, so the mature part of me wants to be kind to us as we vomit up all the nonsense we’ve shoved down for so long.
But there is another aspect of me who wants to shout at us for being dicks, and say: ‘Guys. We’re not getting it. We need to just stop and see the bigger picture.’
Sorry for the cranky pants.
I suppose I might post a soft and fluffy poem on here tomorrow.