Coming Undone

Guest Story by Effie 

I am coming undone. 

Piece by piece, flesh and bone, heart and matter, who I have believed myself to be is coming undone.  The unravelinghas even begun to feel good.  Life is revealing herself to me as the wild ride she is! 

“No,” she says, “not against! With.”  “Yes!” she says, “love yourself in your misery and confusion. Love this too!  Love yourself even more when you feel you can’t go on.”  And then, as a gasp slips from between my lips, she whispers, “Fall on your knees! and kiss the earth that is my body, and love THIS TOO.

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Allowing myself to be photographed in this way was part of a larger commitment to myself to come undone, to unravel, re-wild, untame my wild soul and be seen in all of my imperfection, shyness, fear, vulnerability and anxiety.  To love myself deeply and truly.  

So many times, so many ways, I have spoken of this “loving myself,” but what does it mean?  

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I have set out to find out.  And what I have found so far is that, for me, it is mostly about reverence for the sacredness of every action, choice, feeling, utterance, failure and success I experience.  

Loving all of me is a very radical thing to do.  And it requires a surrender to all the beliefs about who I am, what makes me lovable, and acceptable.  An unraveling, slackening of the tight skin holding “me” together in this facade of me-ness.  

Having the camera “eyes” on me is quite terrifying...  

Most days, the lens pointing innocently in my direction brings a cold sweat.  Some ancient shame about being seen, or more accurately, of not being seen as all that I try to make everyone believe I am, bubbles up from my gut and begins to strangle my heart.  

I feel frozen like a deer in headlights.  Some part of me screaming, “NO!” Another part, just as passionate, begs, “YES!” The desire to be seen, and the terror at actually being seen.  

And somewhere between the two there is a grace.  Between the two is the place where my freedom lies.  

The place where all of these ideas and wishes and competencies and incompetencies are allowed to float. Breathe! Just resting there.  They will always be there, but when I slacken my grip on my ideas about who I am and how I should appear to others, I find a freedom that is like mothers milk to my true heart.