I Am Afraid Of Geniality: A Conversation With Kali.
I was having a conversation with Kali tonight, wherein I asked her, “What am I afraid of?”
When she responded with the word geniality, among other answers, I thought it was odd, seeing as I have never actually used this word before. It is not part of my everyday vocabulary.
Geniality means the quality of having a friendly and cheerful manner; affability.
And affability means being pleasant and at ease in talking to others.
Most people might find this to be an odd fear — that of being kind to others, or talking to others with ease. Why would that be scary? The realization of geniality as a fear smacked me right across the face. Kindness is not easy for everyone, neither is being at ease with people, and for me especially they are quite painful to embody.
I had not been able to admit this to myself earlier, because I have built so many defenses over the years against people, and life, that I have grown accustomed to sarcasm, and making jokes at others’ expenses as a way to cope with the stress of social skills and trust, both of which I lack.
Being kind involves being open to others, it requires a willingness to be vulnerable. It means engaging in learning about their lives and, in turn, their learning about me. Kindness is the doorway to vulnerability.
This is terrifying to me — that the word geniality could have had such an impact on my self-understanding. I realize that kindness is a very real fear for me, and it’s not because I don’t wish to be a kind person — some days it’s easier than others — it’s because by being kind I open myself up to vulnerability.
I am still in the process of fully grasping this idea though, because I still don’t know what it is I am afraid could be revealed in me, a secret that I have not yet unlocked within my own heart and soul. The start would be to first practice geniality and affability, until it doesn’t feel like I am trying so hard to accomplish it.
Until it doesn’t feel so much like a hard and stressful task.
Kali, I have discovered, will tell you what you need to know, at whatever cost is necessary for your growth. Even if it is painful to hear or, in my case, see.
I can play victim my whole life if I want, I can keep playing the stories over and over that lead to my sarcastic and generally annoyed disposition, or I can try something new, I can try a little kindness. I can tell myself new stories about myself, and how I can relate to others.
Instead of being hardened because of life’s harsh lessons, I can let the hard parts of my life open up and get some fresh air. I can allow kindness to open those wounds and heal them properly, so that I can, in turn, discover my own withheld secrets.
I am thankful for my mind, for my body, for doing what it could to protect me from what I was experiencing so long ago, for doing what it thought was right to shield me from future dangers to my heart and soul, but now I can breathe again if I choose. I just need to learn how to breathe into vulnerability, into geniality and affability.
I can tell myself that it’s okay to open up, that kindness is safe, that I can be real from now on, because thanks to my body and brain, the danger to my soul has passed.
There are always going to be parts of our darkness that need to be held, that need to be touched with our love, with the Dark Goddess’s love. Let her touch and breathe on your darkness, and she will tell you how to heal it, how to open it up and let love in and out of those sores, those wounds.
When I realized that the Dark Goddess was not to be feared, that she is full of love, she ripped me wide open, but I have felt no pain through this process. Instead, I feel immense love, one that cannot be measured or calculated since it is infinite.
I am in awe of the love my fears contain, and my darkness is ever nurturing me to be my greatest self. The Dark Goddess is so in love with my darkness, with me, that sometimes I am overcome with it. I love her with my whole being, and because of that, she is healing me from the inside out.
With a thankful heart, I will practice kindness, I will practice vulnerability, and I will practice letting go with love.
Hannah Heslop is a mother, a certified energy and Reiki healer, a student of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and a writer of the Divine Feminine. She is a lover of crystals, deep dark poetry, and coffee.