with my raw, bare heart;

July 15th, 2015 · 0 comments

A few years ago, I embarked on a quiet self-promise to love outwards for one year. I was as open as my heart would allow, stretching way beyond my comfort levels and trying more than anything to let down my guard and let people in. I created (happily!) through long night time hours and sent endless care packages via postal love to sweetest creatures who touched me in some way; I responded long and honest to posts with compassion and recognition and stories from my own life, my own experiences, in an attempt to connect, reaching out with my raw, bare heart. The result was generally warm and loving from a small handful of corners, rich with light and response.

But I grew exhausted, and after this year was up I very much needed to withdraw somewhat back into my natural state of soft quiet and selective openness. To replenish my sensitive energies. To tend my own garden.

Around this time I also felt the need to delete several online accounts of mine which I no longer used; the healing power of letting go of what is dead, and so on. One of these was a sweet little site which allowed people to anonymously (or otherwise) express three words that they felt best described you. I had received such beautiful responses but had not used the site in over a year. As I was moving the mouse over the option to “Delete Account,” I noticed that I’d had a new entry in that time.

“Inspired. Sycophant. Vicarious.”

At first I thought it was kind. “Inspired” is such a good and beautiful thing to be! But then the rest slowly sunk in, and I just sort of felt. Baffled. (What on Earth prompted this?) Dismissive. (This person obviously knows less than nothing about who I am.) But admittedly, hurt.

It only took a few minutes for me to realize that it stemmed from someone within a mutual circle of friends on either Instagram or Facebook, where most of my social interaction takes place and certainly most of my being (reaching out and connecting with people) had taken place around the time the comment was left. And largely, I wasn’t really sickened or upset or any sort of reaction that I’m certain the submitter had hoped it would elicit; the words were so far from who I am at my core that I felt mostly puzzled rather than defensive or angry. I still am not exactly upset when I think about it, really, but the hurt? It was and is most definitely a hurtful thing. It never feels good to be on the receiving end of mindless cruelty.

But at the end of the day, this person clearly knew nothing about me. This person, I suspect, reacted from jealousy or envy or some such thing that had wholly to do with this person and very little to do with me. I had only been doing my best to love and to show kindness and care, and for whatever reason someone reacted in a very ugly but ultimately, perhaps, very sympathetic manner. After all, I can only imagine the secret hurts and insecurities that that person must carry around with them in their life.

As Dita Von Teese herself has said (a mantra in my own life): “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be someone who hates peaches.”

Ultimately, this has made very little of a mark on me, teaching me more about the unkind knee-jerk reactions of other people and their issues and how not everyone will love you, no matter what, more than anything else. A good lesson, still. But I love the strange and honest woman I have grown into. I strive to be as authentic as I possibly can be, because I feel that the people I love and the people I can potentially love deserve this above all else. I am not afraid to dissent (with some of you, often!) and in fact respect my friends far too much to ever pretend otherwise. And lord knows my life is far too sweet all on its own to ever feel the need to live stiflingly through someone else.

But. You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be someone who hates peaches.

And whoever you are? I wholeheartedly and absolutely forgive you.

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