I had to return to Garry for this post because his documentary has stayed with me in deep and thoughtful ways since viewing the two-part series.
I posted Part One of Be Fearless, Love Garry in the middle of last week. As I was getting ready to go away for the weekend, I was wrapping a gift for a friend’s party for whom I was going to miss due to my weekend travel. I planned to drop the gift off before I left town.
I had a couple of oddly shaped presents that I wanted to connect together in their wrapping. I inserted the goods into a hand-made bag that I had purchased from a local shop and went to cut the tags off. My heart skipped a beat and the hairs on my arms stood up. The bag, which I bought because I thought the wording on the front was funny and befitting the receiver, had this beautiful leather tag attached to the back of it, which I had not noticed when I bought it. At the bottom of the tag:
BE FEARLESSLY AUTHENTIC
All caps. The pretty tag was yelling at me. Thank you, Garry, I hear you loud and clear. Just as in last week’s post, Garry’s message was to be brave, fearless and myself. Synchronicity Posse at it again.
The entire purpose of my writing, starting with the journals years and years ago, was to figure out “who am I” and “what is my purpose”? Authenticity in terms of self had not really entered my vocabulary at the time. But at 40+ a few, I had no idea who I was, what was important to me, what felt true in the deepest levels of my soul. My anxiety had crept up to levels of which I had not felt since postpartum with my first child.
I found myself being reactive, quick to make assumptions, feeling alone and disconnected. Unhappy with myself and my life situation, yet not having a clear cut reason for my unhappiness based on my surroundings and love of my family.
This quote from The Zen Diaries is one of the reason’s I can’t shake Garry’s story:
Sarah Silverman notes, “He turned to Buddhism, but it’s not because he’s Zen. It’s because he was in desperate need of being Zen.”
A few people in my life know personally what it is like to be cut by the knife of Jane’s words. Mean, nasty, inconsiderate, selfish, cutting words. My inner struggle was taken out on those closest to me at times. I was in desperate need of being Zen.
This observation, this comment by Sarah Silverman is so poignant to me because of the depth of truth contained within it. Why do we change our diet? Because we need to lose weight. Why do we exercise? Because we want a healthy heart and bones. Why do we have relationships? Because the human condition requires connection.
I needed to find some sort of Zen because I was in desperate need of peace, love and contentment in my life.
A couple of years ago I took a birthday trip with friends. We were there to celebrate another friend’s birthday but it just so happened to be my birthday while we were there as well. I made a firm proclamation that I wanted essentially no birthday attention – the weekend was to be all about my friend.
Based on my reaction, that proclamation was not at all aligned with what my innermost self had wanted. I was hurt, acted irrationally and basically made an ass out of myself due to my perceived unmet birthday adoration. Awoken horrified the next day, I grabbed the book that I was reading at the time by Pema Chodron, “When Things Fall Apart,” and headed to the beach.
I can see how that may have seemed incongruous to the friends on the beach with me. I had acted like a bratty baby the night before and was now reading the teachings of a Buddhist Monk twelve hours later, keeping to myself, ashamed and saddened.
But that is why Sarah’s quote is so on target: we, the hurting souls and spiritual seekers, are here at this point in our lives because we desperately need relief. We know there is more to life than pain and discontent and we are willing to do the work to find healing. I know I am. And I want to help those who feel the same way.
I travel from place to place with my brief case loaded with a little “work stuff” but more fully weighted down by journals, articles and books about healing, meditation, mindfulness work, resolving trauma, and self-compassion to name a few. These are my journey and they help me answer the question I for so long have asked: Who Am I? Why Am I here?
I am a flawed human soul who has a deep, almost desperate desire, to become the most authentic version of myself in this life time. I no longer hide in shame nor am I afraid to say I am sorry or to reach out to connect with those in need.
I am willing to be me, to BE FEARLESSLY AUTHENTIC, in life and with love.