You were wild once. Don't let them tame you. ~ Isadora Duncan
→ Step One:
Trust what the loudest voices tell you.
(They have, after all, been loud and very confident in their loudness for a very long time.)
Do what They say.
Acquiesce to their every demand.
Believe what They decree is the absolute truth of you, the world and the cosmos.
Disregard any feelings of doubt that They are right.
They are authoritative.
They seem to know something you don't.
Probably a lot that you don't.
Probably everything you don't.
→ Step Two:
Allow Their redefining of:
body, woman, female, feminine, she, dark and earth to:
weak, evil, sinful, base, manipulative, damned, unholy, filth, reckless, destructive, wanton, insatiable, blind, stupid, childish, overemotional, in desperate need of being controlled and managed by Him ~ via Them.
→ Step Three:
Feel the unbearable weight of self-disgust and inadequacy.
Allow this slimy self-doubt to work its way into body and mind, threading thorns into the seams of your soul.
Embrace with a single-minded sense of humility your place in the proper order of things.
Don't let your eyes speak anything but agreement.
Your questions are not to be trusted.
Your instincts are dangerous.
You, woman, are essentially broken, and spiritually defiled.
The first deceived, the last to see.
The only way to ensure your soul's salvation from your ancestry of sin is to turn over any sense of self or power to Them.
They know what is best for you. It is your silent acceptance.
→ Step Four:
Wonder in the darkest hours of the night where you first misplaced your little girl heart, your innocent joy, and your fluid sense of self that heard seals barking sea songs and the whispering words of the west winds.
Consider that your childhood sensibilities might have been the fanciful imaginings and immature musings of an infantile intellect.
Grieve without knowing why you grieve.
Rage inside without knowing what to do about it.
Bleed without being able to staunch the flow, observing the slow but steady draining of you.
Endure a painful restlessness.
Worry over the confusion even as you follow all the ten thousand rules.
→ Step Five:
Feel that lump...
→ Step Six:
→ Step Seven:
Try everything you can think of to position yourself more comfortably on the seat of reality and how things are and the truth hurts sometimes, though the truth you've always been fed has always cut deep with a dull blade, eating into your lungs so that breathing has become difficult.
Explain away your doubts and deep soul hunger as spiritual discontent and rebellion.
Tell your mind, body and heart that what you are sensing deep in your chest and belly is a deception, an abomination.
The loud voices warned you these feelings may come at some point, didn't They?
They are always right, so explain that to your squirming self and push the rest away.
→ Step Eight:
Eventually, after months, years or even decades pass, acknowledge that you can't push IT away.
IT won't LEAVE you.
IT has not only held on with an iron grip, but has burrowed in and taken up residence.
IT has become the most uncomfortable, uninvited, unwelcome roommate of your soul you could have ever imagined.
And there is no escape.
→ Step Nine:
In desperation, for what- you know not, begin asking timid, testing questions from the loud voices around you you've been told to trust.
Feel the tender skin burn right off your face and scalp as you receive angry, or worse, patronizing admonitions to sit down, shut up, and "get your heart right".
→ Step Ten:
Realize, in a blinding flash of clarity, that your heart hasn't felt "right" since you don't remember when.
Feel terrified by your own, unspoken honesty and clamp your arms around your middle in case anyone discovers your secret.
IT has begun speaking now, not only pressing on your guts.
IT has much to say, and loudly; frightening sounds that seem to wail and howl like a wild animal held brutally in a vicious metal trap.
They sweep and swirl within your soul like ancient ghosts, these sounds~ haunting your dreams and daytime thoughts with questions no other person you know could ever answer.
Nobody in your tribe-by-birth would be able to hear, much less interpret these sounds, this pressing, this hollowing hunger that never lets up.
→ Step Eleven:
Discover, with both horror and a small bright jump in your guts that you are finally ready for "Or Else".
Because at least you will be honest, and you know that will always be better than this sick twisting at your center, in private, where you hide from your fear and your doubt.
The "Or Else" has been an effective leverage, you begin to understand.
It is the silent weapon and witness that has held you secure in a self-inflicted paralysis; a plastic smile of FINE, OKAY, and SURE permanently tattooed on your lips and aching cheeks, even if it never reaches your eyes.
It never reaches your eyes.
It never has.
→ Step Twelve:
Hear the loud voices condemn you, or ignore your existence, or use your story as a cautionary tale to others, or send emissaries to retrieve you.
Watch the ones you traveled with, broken bread with, come of age with, step away. Or maybe you are the one stepping away...
In either case, the distance between you grows larger.
The loudness fades, and suddenly, you begin to hear something familiar.
Something you lost many moons ago.
Seals barking watery songs and windy words of wisdom...
It WAS real, you will sigh in relief.
. . .
And now begins the work of healing; the rewilding dance that will carry you to your true self, you true purpose, your truest love.
This is where we find the souls of others and bear them up, wrap them in kindness, and tell them our own story. The whole story.
They will look at us in wonder.
"You too?" They will ask incredulously.
Yes, we will say, as we wipe the tears from their scorched cheeks.