In Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” he basically describes “kitsch” as a way people avoid talking about their shit. He says kitsch is when “shit is denied and everyone acts as though it did not exist” & “kitsch excludes everything from its purview which is essentially unacceptable in human existence.” It’s a way to stifle our individuality & keep us in this repressed space in fear of being seen in our wholeness.
So… let’s talk about shit.
Not like feces (although, well…maybe) but like, the shit.
The shit no one wants to talk about. The shit we aren’t supposed to say aloud.
The shit we fear makes us unlovable, unacceptable, or unworthy.
The imperfect shit. The messy shit. The stinky shit.
First, let’s explore our shit on a personal level.
My boyfriend said something to me a while ago that really stuck. He referred to people’s bull shit as spinach in their teeth. “Do you tell the person they have spinach in their teeth & risk embarrassing or hurting them, or do you let them walk around unaware all day?”
I know I have spinach in my teeth.
It’s not a matter of IF but how much.
And to be able to floss that shit out, one has to be able to see it first.
When I pried, he said my spinach is that I’m shy. I defended against that hardcore – I am NOT shy! Now I can admit that I simply get so socially anxious I freeze up & all I seem to be able to do is cling to someone safe, wearing a big silent smile like a shallow creep with nothing to say, while inside my Voice is mad to be expressed. Then I hide in my avoidant comfort zone of solitude as much as I can so as not to feel this way.
I’ve been on a sort of cleanse all month that I feel I’m failing at most days & it has really opened my eyes to some shit that needed examined & purged.
I am probably the biggest people-pleaser on the planet. Oh, you think you are? No, no. It surely must be me! I’ve known for a while that boundary-setting & learning to say the holy word – NO – are essential & two of my biggest struggles in life. I don’t like disappointing or hurting people’s egos, so I say yes when my heart is not in it & that has to be one of the cruelest disservices we can do to ourselves.
I’ve chosen to say no a lot the past month.
No, I don’t want to split that cookie with you. No, I don’t want to eat the succulent pork roast/ribeye you made. No, I don’t want to imbibe the drink you just poured me. No, I don’t want to have sex with you despite being super turned on & horny. Need I go on?
If you relate, please promise me you will say “NO” unapologetically the next time your heart & gut urge you to & feel the incredible empowerment that results.
Yesterday I let myself get overworked, exhausted, and totally depleted of all positive energy. I said “yes” and overextended myself on too little sleep & drank too much coffee to cope and by the end of the day I was saying “fuck you world” and just wanted to die. My ineffective soothing technique is binging. Like I said, I am on a cleanse so I’m not drinking alcohol (among several other vices) otherwise I would have downed a bottle or two of Tempranillo & passed out like any good alcoholic. I compromised by ravenously eating dates and coconut banana “nice cream”. No surprise here that this overindulgence left me feeling worse, fraudulent, ashamed of eating too much, and then ashamed of my shame on top of that. It’s a really fun cycle to get caught up in, let me tell ya.
Okay, so that feels like a most satisfactory dump & am about ten pounds lighter! That wasn’t so hard.
Let’s poke at a more global pile of scat if we so dare.
The way we are polluting, destroying, killing our planet not so slowly & in pretty obvious ways cannot be ignored. Climate change is a phrase I am beginning to hear on the daily & I am glad for it. Because it’s affirming to me that it IS a crisis & immediate changes must be made.
How about the imbalance in our relationship with the masculine & feminine?
Yes, I am a woman.
Yes, I have been sexually & emotionally abused by several men.
Yes, I think women deserve to be heard & empowered & liberated.
AND I believe men do too.
Are we doing ourselves any favors by shaming & putting down & ostracizing all men?
What we really dislike is the TOXIC expressions of masculine energy, often not the men themselves. Toxic masculinity is the issue – the corrupt power, abuse, violence, rage, and addiction. But we seem to be fighting this with toxic femininity – criticism, victimization, emotional reactivity, manipulation, and devouring.
To bring order to our social & natural environments, I feel a solution rests in healthy expression of balanced feminine energy – creativity, connection to the Earth, surrender, safety, non-judgement, emotional awareness, intuition & nurturance – AND masculine energy – integrity, security in self, giving, protecting, logical thinking, organization & strength. We ALL have feminine and masculine energies within us & it’s up to the individual to bring those energies to a healthy balance.
I’ll wrap up this rant with some simple steps to begin bringing light to your shadow, balance to your feminine/masculine, and healing to your relationships with yourself.
Close your eyes & take six deep breaths before you do anything else. Always.
Place your hands on your heart & let any of my truths that might have stuck out for you sink in. Find your own voice now, your own truth & connect with that with a few more deep breaths.
Get out a notebook & pen and spend ten minutes writing non-stop on these prompts:
What’s my shit/spinach & what’s to love about/learn from these qualities?
How do I embody feminine/masculine energy (both balanced and toxic)?
What is one thing I can do today to honor myself, my relationships, and the Earth?
No matter what your shit may be – you are so unbelievably worthy of love, acceptance, expression, joy, empowerment, and freedom.
As always, mad love.