Opening the Door, Letting My Shadow In

I’m so excited, I’m not even sure where to begin.

My heart used to gallop and beads of perspiration would hit me in every tight crevice imaginable whenever I published a revealing post about myself. I thought for sure that’s what was going to happen yesterday when I told the world about my prank phone calling days of yore. But it didn’t! And I am shocked.

As the hours ticked by, I kept waiting to feel some kind of panic and/or regret. But nope, I felt none of that. All I felt was a kind of stunned gazing, like I was just watching and waiting to see what I would do next. I said to myself, whoa, you really wrote it all down and hit publish, huh. Even as I wrote I wondered if I should hold back, ya know? Maybe just write how I prank called Doug and leave Alexis out of it. But I couldn’t because the whole point was what I did to Alexis.

So then I said, ok, well if you’re so determined to tell the Alexis story, then leave out the part about pretending to be pregnant. And I really considered that. Who would know? Is it really that important? I would know! The pregnant part was crucial. Damn, but what will people think? What about the people in real life who know you? That was some wicked shit, Maria. I know, crazy. Why would I tell anyone about such deep, dark shit that nobody would have ever known about? Why not just let sleeping dogs lie and leave dark secrets buried?

Wow wow wow! That’s the most amazing part, the exciting feeling I’m having. First off, this journey did NOT begin with starting a WordPress blog six weeks ago. Phffft! No way. This becoming the real Maria began in May 2015 immediately following family events which broke my heart and made me cry so hard, I was forced to take several days off from my job at the time. This blog is a mere leg of the trip, a season, a fork in the road of traveling to find my authentic SELF.

[And let me just stop here and say, whoa! All these details I’m giving? Even that’s new. I used to think this was too much, assuming that no way would anyone want to read this much of my minutiae. But guess what? I. DON’T. CARE. My blog, my story. Sing, me, sing! Tell it all your way!]

At first I was terrified of the idea of this blog. Even in the days leading into this week, I kept questioning: why use your real name? Why all the pictures of YOU? Why tell the world so much? But my spirit, my angels, they gently but firmly reassured me, Don’t you worry, we’ve got you. And that’s all you need to know. Trust yourself and just keep going. So that’s what I’ve been doing, not knowing what was around the next corner, completely blind to where I have been going, where I am being led.

After yesterday’s post, oh my goodness! What I am experiencing right now is like NOTHING I’ve ever felt. Confidence? Ha! I thought I knew what confidence felt like. That wasn’t confidence, that was BRAVADO. That was me grabbing my brass balls and flinging them on a table, saying, Bam!— Take a look at these babies! That was me turning my back to the world, twerking, bending and saying, you can all kiss my ass! Bravado, that’s what that was. I was once a girl who felt so hurt and so rejected by the world and all its seemingly oblivious members, I wanted them to feel my pain.

This? This is confidence. Holy cow! I can hardly describe what this feels like. I have walked right down the deep, dark hallways of my mind; I am staring at a door of my own making, crawling with snakes, worms, and sticky, murky, mercurial, black mud, and I am opening it and I am stepping inside. And I am standing here. And I am not moving. And my eyes are wide open. And I AM NOT AFRAID. This. This is confidence. I am smearing that moving mud all over my body, I am wrapping myself in the snakes and I am squishing my hands into the worms like it’s playdo. My life has just gone to a level of AMAZING that I have never seen.

So yeah, that’s what I’m feeling.

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Hello world, I’m coming for you because you belong to me, no longer the other way around.

In this quest for safety and predictability, our range of self-expression shrinks and, with it, our choices. Who and what we will be tomorrow is usually some form of who we were yesterday, because we can only access the resources and behaviors of the self that has consented to be seen. —Debbie Ford, The Shadow Effect

We work tirelessly to create an outer facade, so that no one will find out about our dark thoughts, desires, impulses, and history. It is the shadow of our past that drove us to create the face— the mask— that we show the world.

—Debbie Ford, The Shadow Effect