As I read these powerful words, written by Jacquelyn Taylor, I felt tears prick my eyes. There is such serendipity in stumbling across exactly what I needed to hear and feel tonight, and I want to read it over and over and let it sink deep into my consciousness. Having felt so unraveled these past few days, it is such a relief to remember that the journey is never predictable or linear, and confusion and uncertaintly can lead to greater self-connection.
“I see you standing there, feeling so alone in your wretchedness, writhing from your pain.
You think you must be the only one in the world without a redeeming quality left, as you wage war against these secret creatures of yours, begging to be loved. The only straggler amongst all the others who’ve got their shit together. The only one who can no longer see your own face behind the masks. The only one fissured and flawed.
The only one with guilt and shame seeping out of your eyes. No, darling, this is a human experience. We are all kindred in our universal brokenness.
Let me tell you a secret.
Gather up your demons, bring them to me now, lay them bare across your chest. The mosaic of loneliness, heartaches, failures, mistakes, and lives unlived. The kaleidoscope of cracks, and fault lines, and brash jagged edges. Can’t you see how beautiful they are, the way they refract the light? There can be no shadows without light.
The crevices are there for a reason… it’s how the love gets in.
You. You have contorted yourself into the shape of expectation for so long that your legs are numb, your fingers bone-white, clenched in a death grip on something you can no longer see. You have tamped down your spirit in an effort to please the unappeasable. You have veiled your true colors, dulling them until they all fade to grey.
Silenced your voice, for fear of saying the wrong things.
Unfurl yourself, love, paint yourself bold and bright, scream the truth of who you are from the mountaintops, invite the ghosts lustily feasting on the sinister memories you throw at them out to play. Get drunk on the contradictions you embody. Try on the cloaks, stare at yourself wrapped in anger, unworthiness, greed and self-loathing.
Do their colors suit you? Dance with the joy and the mirth, and resounding love inside you, pull them close, whisper your voice into their secrets. Wield the daggers, see how it feels to hold onto the very thing that brings you to your knees, leaving you raw and bruised and bleeding. Sing the words, the insidious words that molded your thoughts.
Do you like their melody? Invite them all to your table, embrace them, fill their bellies. You see, this is the alchemy of ghosts, once you befriend them they no longer want to haunt you.
Your undoing is your becoming.
Can you see yourself yet, love? All of you? The menagerie of every lie you ever told, every wound you ever healed, all of the shortcomings, the many lessons learned, the heartaches, the ear you always lend, every insult ever hurled, every compliment. All the quitting and the leaving and beginning again, the wrath and the wreckage, the forgiveness and the grace.
Every defeat and uprising, every kiss, every hope, every accomplishment, every rage, and every love. The warrior, nurturer, creator, and destroyer all living in tandem.
You are the juxtaposition between sunlight and shadows. You are the brilliance of stars burning brightly in the dark of night. These are the fierce edges. This isn’t supposed to look nice, this looks like art, the art of being alive. It is all meant to be felt, profoundly. In the place where spirit meets bone.
Ah, there you are.
You were always there. Somewhere amidst the tattered suitcases you’ve carried that weren’t yours, and the weight of all the worries you have given home atop your shoulders. Let them all go, for they are heavy. You are there in the center of the paradox, your graffiti still wet.
You are there, in the ancient wisdom of the goddesses who came before you. You are there, in the underbelly of this wicked world, in the rust and stardust. You are there in the middle of the warpath, in the train-wreck. You are there, in sass and spunk, sarcasm and soul. You have it in spades. Let all of you course through your veins like wildfire.
There are lifetimes to be lived within the chambers of your heart. This is what is yours.
This is what has always been yours. Your mother tongue. Your lineage. Your birthright.
And you are the most beautiful work of art I have ever seen.”