Over the past 6 weeks I have lived with an awareness of the delicateness within me. More and more I have connected with this internal reservoir of beauty and I have discovered a few more things in the process.
First was the awareness of a hard, cold, heaviness in my body – I felt like a human bulldozer, pushing through whatever lay before me. There’s a limited turning circle with the track wheels, so it was just straight ahead through life with that big steel front. Feeling the delicateness within (think of a butterfly) was quite a contrast to the bulldozer-style body I had encased myself in. For so long it had felt safe and protected: it had worked, but it came with a cost – hardness, coldness, heartlessness, force – and my body paid the price.
I realised I never liked feeling this way in my body so to numb it out, to push it under the radar, I ate, I kept busy, I fixed, I worried, I shopped, I tried to be a good person and I became bloated, tired, anxious and willfully ignorant to what was happening. Yes, willfully – I always felt uneasy but never stopped to question what was clearly not working for me – it got me through each and every day, even though it never felt right. I felt like something was missing but I ignored this feeling and all it had to tell me. I knew what it had to say challenged all my comforts and means of survival and for a long time I was not prepared to entertain possibilities outside of what I had come to know and trust about surviving in life. I was not prepared to take responsibility for the preciousness of me… and every other human being.
But then, the delicateness I connected to within me began to melt the ice cap I had been existing in. I didn’t try to stop eating, I just felt like eating differently and chose to follow the feeling. I didn’t try to not be busy, I just noticed I enjoyed what I was doing more as I did it; that it felt more than enough to just do this one thing before moving, not rushing, on to the next. I felt like I was being unfolded by the delicateness within me. I came to know that delicateness has its own way of being in the world and the more I allowed this, the more I went with it: I noticed that gradually the bulldozer and its way began to be transformed. Instead of being robbed of the comforts and means of survival in my life, I was being released from them.
I began to notice that the delicateness had always been there and that I had connected to it many times, but bounced off it, away from it rather than letting myself sink deeply into its beauty. I came to know that I could not accept delicateness while I held myself as being worthless, wrong, not good enough yet, imperfect, less than – who was I to feel delicate? I discovered that these holds I had on myself were like a force field that kept the delicateness at bay… and that was the way I had liked it. Crazy but true. I began to notice that this force field was kept strong by the thoughts I had accepted about myself – that I was wrong, an idiot, lazy, stupid, ugly, fat, unloved, unwelcome, unwanted and a menace – these were the foundations of my force field.
Slowly, I began to counter or question these long held and very automatic perceptions of myself. When an ugly thought came I didn’t immediately agree with it, swallow it down like I usually would. I held the cup at my lips but I did not drink. I stopped… and in that moment I knew I had a choice to drink or not.
Giving myself a choice was a huge step. It allowed the possibility of another way. I began to care more for how I spoke to myself. I started to notice lovely things about me and let them be instead of rejecting them, brushing them off, playing them down, belittling myself. For example, I’d see myself in the mirror and instead of continuing on with my preparations I’d stop for a moment and look and behold myself, truly taking myself in and feeling the loveliness within and before me – sometimes even saying out loud “You’re Beautiful, Adrienne” – and then just enjoy sitting there with me feeling all of it, noticing how the feeling grew even more when I did.
I remember getting off the phone from a friend feeling so appreciative of her, me, us, that instead of going on to the next thing, I stopped and just felt the exquisiteness of that moment. I had felt this before on many occasions with other people, being friends, family, colleagues and practitioners, or even strangers – but usually I would not stop and let it in, truly feel and cherish the beauty of who we are and what we create with each other – letting it soak in and taking the time to acknowledge the marvel of these simple, everyday moments before moving on. So this time I took it further and called my friend back and shared this with her. We both felt it and delighted in saying yes, that WAS an amazing moment we shared.
One day, I made some changes in my bedroom and instead of keeping going with the day I stopped and sat there just soaking it all in – the space I’d created and how it felt soooo silky: the feeling grew as I gave myself the time of day to just stop and be with what was in me and all around me. I am learning through these sorts of simple experiences that acknowledging the beauty within and all around constantly in everyday interactions actually allows love to bloom, to unfold from a bud that gets to open up into the joyful fullness of all I am. There have been many moments I’ve not allowed to bloom, and it is like saying “Yeah, so what?” to love… to the very thing I’ve always wanted.
As I allowed myself simple appreciative moments like these, they began to open up space in my force field and I started to feel the delicateness, the beauty, the love within that I had held at bay. Because it was love I had used to break down this force field, I could accept the delicateness it dropped me into because it was the same quality – love. Before, when I bumped up against it, I had to reject it because it was so foreign to the worthlessness I had come to see myself as.
There’s more. The delicateness I was connecting to and beginning to unfold in my day to day life began to bump up against the tendency I had developed to complicate the absolute simplicity of life. I liked to make life hard, to struggle and try. If something came easily I would have to reject it, because I had long believed that life was hard and nothing came easily, only from hard work. Easy was to be treated with suspicion. The more I surrender to the delicateness, the simpler my life becomes. I struggled with this until I became aware of what was going on, and what I was rejecting – life is simple. There is a flow. When I am in my delicate-full-ness I am in the flow of life and the more I allow myself to connect to be the fullness of the loveliness I am, the more that quality returns to me in a gentle breeze, a smile, a job offer, a beautiful man, a child’s expression, a license plate that reads RUU, a stranger or any of the infinite ways love is constantly in expression, in flow, in life… and always has been. It is there for me to express and receive equally, and when I do I am with the flow of love that runs through everything.
by Adrienne Hutchinson, Brisbane, Australia