I've been noticing a pattern in my life lately, rather in my personality, my habits.
A pattern which has been there how long, I'm not even sure.
I think of something funny to say and immediately dismiss it, afraid of how it will be taken. I want to do something like a cartwheel or a ropes course...and I automatically dumb down my body's ability.
I'm scared of getting hurt.
Ah - there it is... that crux behind both things.
So far, I haven't found the one major turning point that created these two fears...maybe it was simply a lifetime of little things built on top of each other.
Those of you who know me know what a sore point my laughter is, how I go to great lengths to hide it in certain company, how I force myself not to let it all the way out most of the time.
Memories flutter in my head of times when my humor was received with disgust or disdain, when my laughter was met with mockery... I have no idea where the distrust in my body's abilities came from... I remember climbing trees as a child but have no memory of any event which created my fear of even trying these days.
Our minds, rather our Egos, are funny things.
They work so hard to protect us that they keep us from any true enjoyment, any true bliss, love, excitement.
Because in those things, there is always an element of risk...a possibility of rejection, of pain, of breaking, even just a little bit.
And the fear of those things is always worse than those things themselves.
When the Ego and Fear join forces, they are paralyzing.
They teach us to be quiet when we want to speak, to run when we want to fight, to dim when we want to shine... and really, aside from going through and rewriting every story in our lives (which is something I do recommend for those tougher stories, by the way), the only way to defeat that paralysis is to act.
So a couple of days ago, I made a commitment to flirt.
To become more playful in my interactions with people EVEN if it led to some rejections.
Because the reality is, I'm sick of numbness; I'm tired of being dim when I was born to be center stage.
Where do you need to start playing again?
Maybe it starts with getting out and playing in the snow.
Maybe it starts with flirting.
Maybe it starts with getting out on the playground with your kids.
Maybe it's taking a tumbling or gymnastics class.
But find ways to play.
It's necessary to live a fulfilling life.