Friday, December 10, 2010

Everyone Is Beautiful...In Their Own Way

December 8: Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.

The other night, at D&C's housewarming party, I was suffering from a relatively rare bout of social anxiety.

The facts: I don't actually know D&C very well and most of the people on the guest list were people I'd either never met or people I also didn't know very well. Another contributing factor? A low energy level which translates into an inability to turn on my social magical charm...a charm that, when I've got loads of energy, is hard to resist but when I'm running low on steam is painfully absent.

The truth is I made Matt coordinate his arrival time with mine and then I followed him around like a shy child, tugging at his sleeve (I'd say hiding behind his skirt but, you know, he might take offense to that seeing as I don't know that he ever has or will actually wear a skirt).

At some point, we were standing on the back patio, partaking in a smoky treat with a lovely woman whose name now escapes me and her man friend, and talking about social anxiety - about how we all had it.

As the woman turned to go back into the house, she said, "You sure are pretty."

I began to laugh as I said, "Thank you."

She stopped. Turned toward me again and said, "And I love your laugh. It makes ME want to laugh."

I laugh...a lot. Even when I shouldn't...even when it's painful...even when it's vastly inappropriate. Even then, my laughter happens and it is infectious.

It's not a tinkling laugh or an obnoxious's just...ME...laughing. Letting whatever I have to feel well up and come bursting forth in hee hee's. Sincere...whatever the emotion. And those hee hee's tend to bring the hee hee's forth in other people - occasionally against their will - even when they've a tendency to rarely laugh.

It lights them up.

That's my truth this prompt brought forth. Frankly, it was the only truth I uncovered. I think, mostly because I - along with everyone else - tend to shy away from our uniqueness and what makes us "special".

So...I asked Lex. I went into his room, plopped down on his bed and said, "What makes me beautifully different?"

And, without context, this is what he said...

"You are transparent. That's the most obvious thing about you that is different and beautiful. Everything you feel shines through you. Not only are you willing to be transparent with yourself, take care to understand yourself and your motivations, but you're also willing to express that transparency to others for whom you care."

Even when it burns me, that is true. I do. I believe so strongly in the power of transparency...of that which allows me to be vulnerable, I won't stop it...even when I know it will hurt...for a long time. If I care.

He went on to say, "When someone is hurting or needs you, you bake them treats, just because. And you pay attention.'s not really attention. It' minister...heal...through quiet attentiveness and baked goods."

That's also true. I do. It's why some people call me Mom or Hippie Mama. Because - even though I have no desire to be anyone's actual mother (I mean, beyond my black, furry, love child, Vinny) - I am the consummate nurturer.

Sometimes I think that I am, at my very best, selfless. I let other people talk, draw them out, bring them to the spotlight and let them shine. Rarely do I do this with myself. In fact, the other night, I was talking to a beloved friend to whom I'd not talked in several months and, after 30 minutes of me asking him questions about specifics in his life, he stopped and said, "But Jane! What about you? What's going on with you? How are you?"

And I couldn't answer him. It was the second time in a week that'd happened to me. When I couldn't describe what was going on in my life or how I was beyond saying, "I'm great".

This may come as a surprise to you, Lovely Readers...that I couldn't talk about myself. And maybe that's why I was unable to do so - because I talk about myself each day here, in this place that is, after all, all about me. Maybe that's why I blog. To give myself this place that is 100% all about me. Because I don't allow the "all about me" syndrome to occur anywhere else in my life.

Wow. I'm getting ready to be rambly (if I'm not already *laughing*...see?).

I spend a lot of time with myself. Perhaps it's analysis overkill? But I have honed the ability to examine nearly every thought, emotion, action I have/feel/take and almost immediately identify from what it derives. I can categorize it, file it away as rational/irrational, healthy/unhealthy, just/unjust. So, I don't require an echo chamber...a place to receive feedback or validation - much of the time. When I do need those things, I most often go to Lex.

And maybe because I do have Lex and because I do have this place - this wonderous space - I spout my whatever stuff - and then leave it behind so that I don't remember it, don't think about sharing it anywhere else.

When I say, "I'm great" it's not because at that specific moment I actually am, in fact, great. For instance, I've not really shared anywhere other than here my feelings about the death of Debbi...the death of Moon. There are some people with whom - even though we are supposed to be intimately connected - I've not shared that I'm grieving at all. Mostly, I don't feel the need to share it. Not because it's not important but because it's important TO ME to protect them from my grief. And, overall, I AM great. I'm alive. I'm breathing. I'm feeling. And full of love. The minutia of my life may not be great - this week was TERRIBLE, in fact - but, overall, I'm happy, I'm great. Isn't that enough?


So yeah, at my best, I am selfless. This is beautifully different.

At my worst, the times when I am crying, sobbing, railing into my pillow when Lex can't hear me, I am a martyr...begging for it to please, just once, just for a moment, to be about me and what I need.

At my worst.

And then, the next morning, I wake up - like I did this morning - singing a punk rock song in my head and smiling because there is coffee and this blog and all of you.

Did that even answer the question?


Teresa said...

I wake up with a little quieter tune in my

Just Jane said...

Teresa: that makes me happy...and sad...all at the same time. I love love love this song so very much - this version anyway.

Teresa said...

so we're drinking drinking drinking drinking drinking coco coco cola. I can feel it going right on down, right on down my throat. :)

Matt said...

I might wear a Utilikilt. Except for this comic:

Also, good news: You're differently beautiful, as well....