Friday, November 25, 2016

You Must Not Fear

 Mary-Lynne Monroe ©2015
"You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, ... you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith."
~ Anais Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-47

In 1944, Anais Nin was 41 years old. She was famous for her diaries, her openness about the fullness of life and her expression of that fullness with passion and gusto. Earlier in this passage, she also writes:
What is it that attracts me to the young? When I am with mature people I feel their rigidities, their tight crystallizations. They have become, at least in my eyes, like the statues of the famous. Achieved. Final.

We live in a world both blessed and cursed by rigidity and crystallization. The rigidity creates the rules that keep order and flow in a reasonable fashion. It also creates the rifts as people grab for the tight space that they can call their own ~ forgetting that we get farther together. The crystallization polarizes us, freezes us into one form. We act as though we can't be flexible, can't change, can't learn new views on things.

I've found myself in that rigid, crystallized position a few times in my life. As though I had all the answers and no one could tell me anything. As though there was nothing new to learn. Most of the time, I'm there out of fear. Is it possible there is something I don't know or am not an expert in? For a knowledge-junkie, that is a frightening position to be in. Hence, my rigidity born of fear. Then there's the crystallization born from judgment and/or privilege. I've been guilty of thinking because someone holds a certain position or status (youth, inexperience, handicapping condition, socio-economic status), they don't have the capacity to know something I don't.

Fortunately, those times have been few and far between, but even being there once is something for which I am not proud. I'm humbled by the sharing, acceptance and knowledge of  others. Most of the time, I am no longer fearful to say there's something I don't know. I've learned to share the emotions as well, to open to the mystery ~ and the greater Mystery, and allow my intuition to lead. Then my "great art" ~ my writing ~ flows from the depths of me. Then I am willing to be with and among everyone, learning and sharing. All without certitude.

Where do you find yourself to be rigid? What crystallizes your attitude? your interactions with others? What is your "great art"? How do you practice it? What creates flow for you?

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