The Art of Becoming Who You Really Are.
In the depths of
Your beating, being
Lies a doorway
You step through
When you sleep
Which is there
To wake you up.
“It happens in layers,” she said. I had started repeating it to myself, like a mantra, like an insistence. After all of the times I’d been told that I create my reality and finally, maybe, understanding that it must be true, it became that the only response to this could be an undoing.
I felt, as so many people, that I had been tightly bound. Holding it together, smashing down and quieting the parts of me that felt like they weren’t falling into line, even if the lines I had created were their own proposition of falling out of line, falling out of the ordinary.
On the way to becoming, I thought, perhaps I would move forward, roll through things and accumulate them, as if building a jacket of many layers, a technicolor dreamcoat.
What does it mean to become? Or, even better, what does it mean to become who we really are?
Who is it that lies beneath?
Life would tell us there are only dark things there, in the hidden places. That’s where the monsters reside, and we’re taught to fear them from Day One, whether in the human chest or under the bed.
“You could be hungry for becoming,” I thought, as though it wasn’t the same as being hungry for life. Sometimes, it seemed like perhaps it was an affliction, keeping me so far-removed from what I knew.
The layer-peeling was constant.
What is underneath? I couldn’t stop. What lives at the core?
Sometimes, I would think of Russian dolls, stacked and stacked and stacked within.
Who is the tiny birth within me that waits?
Will her voice be quieter? I feel I am getting louder and louder each day.
I worried. Yet, I couldn’t stop lifting my arms, throwing away objects, and asking questions.
The process of becoming became the process of digging. Each day, waking up, with arms like shovels and intentions like forest fires, willing to blaze through whatever I found, dead matter, things to release. The process of becoming became the process of healing.
Someone, somewhere, had told me the healing would not be nearly as vivacious. That perhaps it meant a lot of sitting cross-legged and chanting.
Instead, my becoming involved quite a lot of making mistakes, falling down laughing, feeling my body expand, sensing my heartbeat in the body of trees, finding myself in the eyes of another, using my breath like a vehicle to a great beyond, and running across vast distances without a real purpose.
Sometimes becoming looked like crying alone on the floor, wishing I would fall through, body turned into roots, being held in the dirt warmth of the earth. Sometimes becoming looked like throwing up, screaming, releasing from my body ten thousand years of tortured women or humans. Sometimes becoming meant feeling the body of all things, and then my own, and then dancing.
Sometimes becoming meant listening.
Stillness became important, and yet, rarely did my becoming involve being truly still. There was always an unfolding, I could not move my body and have moved 18 chapters of story and future without even clinging to a thought. It was as if space-time moved through me as its own movie, a cinematic cleansing, a film-reel that bathed me.
Becoming seemed to mean being wrapped up in the bold blanket of my own love. They’d always said it, they had, but you can never fully understand anything until you feel it in your body. You just can’t.
Becoming, finally, meant the endless purging, releasing, expanding, contracting, dying, birthing, crying, loving, and being ground into compost. It was equal parts riding a magic carpet and chasing an old cave that refused to hold me. Out! From your old wild home. Who knew you could be evicted from your favorite hiding place?
The soul of all things, that’s who.
The one who taught me, saying Repeat after me:
I bow to the Universe as god.
I am the Universe.
I bow to myself.
The becoming doesn’t stop.
Finally, bowing deeply, in reverence, I understood.
To become is to allow yourself to be god and death at the same time.
And then, from there, flinging all the doors open.
Screaming, “If you want the answers, keep peeling.”
Whoever needs to hear it will understand.
And the rest? Let them think you’re crazy.