It was as though grace and peace were bestowed on them out of the sanctity of marriage itself, which simply furnished them to one another, free and sufficient as rain to leaf. It was as if they were not making marriage but being made by it, and, while it held them, time and their lives flowed over them, like swift water over stones, rubbing them together, grinding off their edges, making them fit together, fit to be together, in the only way that fragments can be rejoined.
| Wendell Berry, Remembering: A Novel
Our body works in patterns, it looks for routes. Become aware of what paths you have followed so far, start looking for new directions and literally start to piloting your own body.
The true opposite of depression is neither gaiety nor absence of pain, but vitality—the freedom to experience spontaneous feelings. It is part of the kaleidoscope of life that these feelings are not only happy, beautiful, or good but can reflect the entire range of human experience, including envy, jealousy, rage, disgust, greed, despair, and grief. But this freedom cannot be achieved if its childhood roots are cut off. Our access to the true self is possible only when we no longer have to be afraid of the intense emotional world of early childhood. Once we have experienced and become familiar with this world, it is no longer strange and threatening.
| Alice Miller
i used to think thickening my skin would keep me safe. that the more layers i clothed myself in, the further i would be from suffering. “be tough. grit your teeth. don’t show the storm brewing inside of you.” i sometimes still flinch at my own feelings, shocked by how raw it can be.i
but my father said, “if you live according to the rules of god, life flows.” i am not sure what that means for him, but to me that meant something like this:
••••live with your soul on your sleeve.
there is no need to push back against the turbulence of time. we are not meant to swim against the current of chance and change, but rather with it.••••
in practice, wearing my soul on my sleeve is like letting that thick skin peel loose. less toughening, and more softening. even the callouses of history that had been hardened to the point of stubborn stagnation, even the parts of me i want to protect because i fear getting hurt, even all of that…finding the courage to let those parts be soft again.
as a challenge to myself, i like to let my emotions swing like a pendulum. these days i am trying to make a point to feel and exist so sensitively.
i cry when it rains, when the sun rises, when the sun sets, when the moon becomes pregnant with its own light, when a new leaf shows it’s face, when a sparrow finds itself a branch to rest upon.
i laugh at babies, smile at old age, blush at the sight of loved ones, and drench myself in dreams and fantasies.
i am sensitive to everything, but i realised, when i am “living with god” as my father might say, i do not feel unsafe. in fact, i have noticed that the more brazen i am about being open to sensing and experiencing life and its changes, the safer i feel. perhaps it is because i am no longer creating barriers where there should be pores, and i am letting life move through me rather than against me.