I was driving my daughter to adventure camp and she was singing loud. Joy and emotion bubbled up in me all hot and sweet. She's at the age where she sings the wrong words out of tune with her whole heart. She's at the age where I'm remembering myself at her age. I remember being five going on six. I remember that unwatched, unbridled, unapologetic self, wearing mismatched clothes, having bad hair, playing until I could make dirt rings in the tub. I love that in her and in me. The true joy of being yourself, and more than being, really loving yourself, enjoying your own voice and company.
I want to give her that forever. To make a soft place for her to always be herself and to always love herself and be loved all the way, no-holds-barred. All in. Love and freedom and living being truly alive and awake and free.
Sigh. I remember when that ended in my life. When the constant imaginary audience appeared and when I no longer felt free even when I was alone. My deep sense of self would still allow stolen moments of freedom for singing and dancing and smiling and laughing, but the unfettered moments were very few. When I did sing and dance and laugh it was with that audience in mind. It's like when you trip walking down the street and you look around, and although no one is in sight, you feel like, or you know, you are being watched. Someone saw you, certainly. Someone laughed. You can almost hear it.
Then age comes. Perspective. Trial. Living through trials. Living in spite of life. Finding fear. Shedding fear. Fucking up. Grief. Remorse. Salvation. You learn that you will die one day, some day, any day. It could be today. You realize that you don't want to die hiding from yourself, being embarrassed because of who you are. You don't want to leave this body, this life, being afraid, you want to leave it being fully alive. You want to leave this life in love with yourself.
I learned that I won't die from being afraid and doing it anyway. I learned that I won't die from telling the truth, the whole truth, to anyone, to everyone. I learned that I am just like all other people and yet so freaking amazingly special and unique that only I can love myself this much, no one else can do it for me. I learned to love my mistakes and successes. To love the things that make me alike and different. I don't have to be weird on purpose, to shun something/someone because he/she/it is popular, I can like it too. I am weird because I see the world this way. Most of us don't. Not yet. I think it comes to all of us who do the work.
In honor of my light bringer, who is just learning the words to her own heart's song, let's listen to this and enjoy it. No one is watching. You can dance and sing even if you don't know the words. No one is watching (and if they are watching you will inspire a piece of them to live their truth. I know it.)