Being Ourselves, Unafraid

“You must learn one thing. 
The world was made to be free in. 
Give up all the other worlds
except the one in which you belong.” – David Whyte

One of the most challenging aspects of life is giving ourselves over to all that wants expression through us. For example: writing — poetry, fiction, non-fiction; drawing; playing a bow and string instrument; engaging in long hours of intimate lovemaking; providing counsel or facilitation to others; directly experiencing the profound beauty of the earth, and delighting in another’s expression of genius. My longing is boundless.

Things longed for are cues from our genuine selves. Consenting to who we are and what we love, and the giving ourselves over to the doing of what we love, is the larger part of genuinely being ourselves. The smaller part is doing the necessary life sustenance things: managing resources, doing our work, providing and caring for family, repairing the car, doing the dishes, etcetera.

Being ourselves is a subversive proposition and a harrowing undertaking. Being ourselves requires letting go of being whelmed by what is occurring “out there.” It is letting go of resisting and fighting the dramas of the 7.2 billion others peopling the planet. It is letting go of our cultural story — “giving up all the other worlds except the one in which you belong.” 

Through inhabiting the world in which we belong without reservation, we recognize that our own world was made to be free in. Not the one “out there” for it will always be what it is — something other.

Etymology sources reveal the early meaning of the English word free as “beloved” — both noun and adjective forms. Todays connotations of being unconstrained are lovely yet consider this: Our worlds were made to be beloved in: my world, your world. Beloved and unconstrained! Does this not lend itself to self-acceptance, self-worth — self-love? All this irrespective of others and external circumstances…whew! 

Imagine the communities arising from these worlds.

As to the unafraid bit: Personally, I suspect my body will always fear death. Some other fears of mine will evaporate. As for those remaining: I am disentangling myself from their effects — doing what I love nonetheless. Neither I, nor anyone, need be slave to fears simply because they exist.