Radiant Growth

I'm good at telling my stories but I'm also pretty proficient at playing my cards close to my chest. Should I elaborate? Alrighty. I'm good at telling the pretty stories - the happy endings, the inspiring snippets, the silly happenings around my home involving my two precocious young men. The stuff I tend to hold back? All that other sticky, funky-smelling stuff. The shame stuff, the guilt stuff, the shoulda-woulda-coulda, I-want-it-so-badly-but-I-don't-think-I-really-"deserve"-it stuff.

Oh sure, I tend to be open and fairly honest about my shortcomings. It's not that. I share those things that I think I do poorly because I pretty much just accept that they're not a strength of mine. (What? A multi-passionate person who finds things they're NOT good at? Huh?!?)

So, I've been a Desire Map devotee for a couple years now (um, I really wish I could come closer to the time frame - since, maybe 2013 - I don't know why it's bugging me that I can't remember, but... it is) and while Danielle recommends three to five Core Desired Feelings ("How do you want to FEEL?" she asks) for each year, she also stresses that you should do things your OWN way. Well, I could tell at the outset of this year that ONE would be plenty for me to manage. I hedged a little by adding a descriptor because it was feeling a little flat all on its lonesome.

My 2015 CDF: Radiant Growth

Ah, Zentagle designs grow on me after I've drawn them then shoved them away for a while.

Ah, Zentagle designs grow on me after I've drawn them then shoved them away for a while.

In order to really live my CDF this year, to really, really, REALLY feel the way I want to feel, there's one really important thing I need to STOP doing: Selling myself short.

The ugly little voices in my head have been telling me ugly, mean stories lately. About how I've gone and done "IT" again (that selling myself short thing). About how I have too much to do and shouldn't be "wasting" any time on creative pursuits just now. About how I am spending a whole lot of time wallowing in a hunched-up, tired-as-hell, zombiefied feeling that feels just about the polar opposite of radiant and way more like regression than growth. All that while, technically, I'm learning a lot. Like, a freaking boatload. I mean, I've been trying to shove what feels like the entire text of Artamene ou le Grand Cyrus into my brain over the past five weeks. And I'm such an absolute novice with all the material that the twin demons of guilt and shame are lapping up the metaphorical blood I'm spilling as I hemorrhage my never-ending task list  all over the place. People are trying to triage my wounds and it's keeping me alive... But I don't really make the best patient. I'm aware that I'm being curt frequently and my feelings are so close to the surface that when I forgot to mail some letters on my way home the other day then locked my keys in my car when I went in the house to tell my husband that I was leaving two minutes after I arrived home to go back to the post office, I stomped back in the house to get my spare fob and ended up in full blown hysterics, barely able to force anything coherent out in order to help my poor husband understand what had tipped me over the edge.

That's not me.

Well, it IS me... When I'm not living authentically. When I'm NOT feeling the feelings of radiant growth that I desire. Cramming something that's trying to expand into a constrictive space is never going to work. Actually, it's most likely going to build up pressure until it explodes if I don't find some way to ease up a bit. In part, that's what this writing is about - exploring my struggles through the written word always brings an expansive feeling, a feeling of possibility when I'm having trouble seeing beyond the immediate hardship.

Growth... Yeah... Now I'm thinking of the intense growing pains I used to feel in my legs when I was about 10-12 years old. I used to curl up in a tense, cramped ball in my bed and wail. My grandma would sit beside my bed and rub my legs for who knows how long until the pains eased up and I could sleep the beleaguered sleep of the emotionally and physically wrecked. My tears of late have come during the day, my growing pains massaged this time by family, friends and co-workers. Like my grandmother's hands, their ministrations work for a while and I am always grateful...

And it's not quite enough. I have to find my own spark inside, to blow gently on it until it rekindles a greater flame so that I am unfurled and large enough to radiate again.