“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
– Anaïs Nin
A day came, and the risk was to remain tight or blossom. What an interesting dichotomy. I’m sure I’ve written about this quote at some point in my blogging career, and I’m sure that her quote has been inserted into millions and millions of recovery, change, lifestyle overhaul type-of-articles. Yet, the impact of Nin’s words never fails me, the imagery of a bud, painfully clenched and closed, and the insurmountable risk in the process of blossoming. What I find most interesting is that this shift doesn’t happen once in our lifetimes. It can happen hundreds times a day.
And hundreds of times a day, we may go right back to that tight, closed bud we once were.
Yes, yes, this does sound a little ominous. It isn’t! As I mentioned to David, in one of the comments, I am in the middle of a 5th step and -my – my – my, does my pride need leveling. I am so fucking entitled…. It’s frightening how much I think I deserve, or who I think I am, or who I think I’m better than or less than or different from or any of the things that brings me apart from my fellows. The lies I tell myself are amazing, and it’s amazing I don’t realize I’m lying to myself. I lie on a daily basis and it isn’t until I do the work that I see the lies for what they are.
I tell myself that people didn’t love me right. In truth, relationships are a reflection of who I was at the time.
I tell myself that things are owed to me. In the truth, I rationally understand – on a very fundamental and basic level – the value of a dollar and what is required to make one.
I tell myself that certain people think certain ways and things about me and my function in this world. In truth, nearly everyone on this beautiful planet and certainly the majority of the Western world is as self-consumed as I am. Obsess. Obsess. Obsess. We are all thinking of ourselves almost all the time.
Is my shirt funny? Did that sound stupid? What am I eating for dinner? Is she looking at me? Did I turn off the coffee pot?
There is this concept in social psychology called the illusion of transparency (you like how I start taking a class and all the lecture information is vomited onto this blog?) that states we have the tendency to believe that our innermost feelings can leak out onto our faces and be read and interpreted by casual observers. We are not psychics. If we keep it all inside, there is no way another human being will know what we are thinking. This is why, as an alcoholic, I become very sick when I have secrets. Because secrets eat me alive, and I think you can see them rotting away in my soul. But you can’t, especially when I am so adept at hiding. It’s not your responsibility to see my secrets either. It’s my responsibility to share them with you, which makes me closer to you, which makes me healthy and a part of you and you a part of me. Connectedness. Social inclusion. It is the one thing every human being wants – whether or not we can admit it.
So I’ve been pretty disconnected these past two weeks. I was sick, with the super-blegh, and then recovering and being resistant to and resentful of the pure and simple fact that I am human and occasionally get sick. Even though you all reminded me it’s okay to be sick. Sickness equals weakness. Must push through. Must be strong. Must be tough. Must. Must. Must.
The most beautiful thing about taking a risk by living in sobriety is that I learn that when I stop being a tight, closed bud, trying to stronghold every ugly and unmentioned thing from you, the sun and light of my world, the flower that blossoms is soft and delicate and gentle and vulnerable. When I allow myself to blossom into connection with you, I am much stronger than I am on my own.