I love the word transcend;
It means to go beyond, to surpass, or my favorite: to cut through.
It most perfectly describes the rollercoaster I’ve been on in the past 15 months or so. This journey, that I’m now able to see as this sort of transcendence to find myself.
If you’ve read my blogs at all, I’m sure you were able to pick up on the… let’s call it… bitterness that bleeds through each post. I’ve been hurt. I’ve hurt others. It’s true.
So the definition of transcend, to cut through, resonates with me on a level so deep. It puts a, somewhat painful, description to the way I’ve been experiencing life… Because that’s what this is, right? This whole life thing? It’s an experience – so uniquely your own, or is it actually? Looking back, I don’t think I knew how to have my own experience.
I was born into my mothers arms.
Took my first steps with an audience.
Learned how to read in a classroom full of other kids.
Shared my first kiss experience with someone else.
Partied with friends, had sleepovers, etc.
Worshiped along side with the souls of others.
All of these beautiful life experiences; all shared and influenced by others. Whomever.
But then I find myself alone in something. Literally digging my nails into anything that would give me traction… Pain? Sure, I’ll take it… It’s a sign, right? That I’m still breathing?
I quickly realized that – I actually didn’t know how to be okay on my own. To create an experience for myself, by myself.
To not rely on the look on someones face or the words they formed. To not lean on their understanding or their opinions or advice.
It almost killed me – this lack of understanding of who I was, why I was.
I had a really hard time coming up with reasons to care. Because I never had to exercise my own experience making muscles. When you’re so used to just feeding off of others experiencing an experience. So used to being told how to feel about this or that. Or being told that your feelings are fake or fickle or not conducive. You become numb.. Maybe a little jaded.
So I had an experience… It was my experience to experience for myself. Uniquely, mine.
But because I didn’t know how to process it myself, I gave it away. I handed it over – for everyone to pick apart. To label as hurt, bad, pain, ugly, wrong, negative.
Was it because I didn’t know how to put words to it yet?
Regardless, I didn’t want to feel an experience anymore if it was going to be labeled with all of those things. So I stopped feeling all together. My lack of ability to think for myself crippled me.
Does it cripple you?
Have you given in to the notion that everyone else just knows how to experience life better than you? So you hand over something precious – your ability to manifest, your ability to surrender, your ability to choose the point of reference on your own story… For someone else to give you that oh so comforting life vest feeling of a diagnosis to your situation. To put words to what you’re going through. To define it for you.
It’s a dangerous thing… it was for me.
It was my inability to surrender to my own pain that almost killed me.
Like trying to vomit, but not having a mouth – Brilliantly put by someone that I can’t find the name of right now.
I forked over my experience maker in turn for this prison – trapped in my guilt and shame and confusion and hurt and everything else that sucks. Because I couldn’t know it as anything else. That’s the perspective I was given…. Like a child who’s parent tries to explain something like racism to them; shaping their little malleable brains and hearts with their own reference and experience.
My heart may be malleable but through this experience I’ve grown to know this to be true; it’s mine. Mine to experience life with. Because maybe if I could have saw, felt, tasted things with my own heart… Maybe I wouldn’t have found myself gasping for air (literally) in the middle of the night, riddled with the fear of experiencing my life through someone else’s experience.
In order to heal, we have to weave our own unique path.
– Sarah Wilson, First We Make The Beast Beautiful.
I felt tricked… Like Esau in Genesis, being tricked into giving up his birth right.
It was my birth right to have this life experience the way I experience life… If that makes sense… If any of this makes sense?
So I can’t be sure if I gave it up freely out of ignorance or if it was stolen, but regardless it rendered me powerless in my own life.
I don’t feel out of the woods yet. I actually feel like I’ll never be. But I’m high enough above the trees now to tell you how precious and important your experience maker is. Your ability to tell the story. To set the tone. To decide the plot twists and climax. To write the ending. Without it, what is life really?
With it, you’re an artist. A writer. A creater. No one else can paint the picture of what you’ve been through unless you hand them the brush.
Defining life’s experiences for yourself is like eating when you’re hungry… Like drinking when you’re thirsty… How long would you survive if you didn’t? Everything is fed by our perspective. The thirst of pain quenched by it.
So now what? I’m sort of back tracking. But it’s like trying to erase pen… it’s messy and smeary. Re-tracing the lines, trying to make it mine again… Like that time I covered up my first tattoo. I can still see the lines of what was once there, but for the most part I see what I re-created. But that’s how this works, right? Our experiences stay to remind us. But we can still make them ours again.
I don’t know what prompted me to write about this. Or if anyone that reads it will understand or relate… I pray that someone will. But if not, perhaps you can save it for a rainy day when you feel like you’re being robbed of what was set apart for you.
5 shots of espresso later,