I may already have a post named that, but I can’t be sure. And if I knew how to look at all the titles of my posts, I would look at them and think up new and witty titles. Although that could be a brain strain and I can’t sell anything to save my life. Which has nothing to do with being brave.
When I was at Lakehead U, I made an amazing friend. And I say, ‘made’ because she was the ultimate friend. She worked as a counsellor type which I can’t divulge any more info. Needless to say, this woman was amazing. We carefully felt each other out, realized we both had wounds and embraced each other wholeheartedly. She was so brave. And she was so in love with who she was. She held her wounds like precious little babies and she laughed at her own awesomeness. And she laughed at her mistakes.
Because I knew her, because I was best friends with her, she taught me so much about herself. She was brave enough to say ‘no’. She was brave enough to say immediately, ‘you can’t talk to me like that’. When we went dancing and the boys got too close, she would physically move them gently aside and say, ‘you dance over there’. She would tell people when they weren’t being nice and she would be able to say to them, ‘you’ve hurt my feelings.’
I couldn’t do that. And then, I began doing it. I began to embrace my crazy emotions and I began to tell people that they were saying mean things and I began to seek out ‘succulent’ women.
I read a book by SARK. And she promotes Succulent Wild Women. (As I read where she is now, she is sadly, part of the corporate world, but we’re looking at 15 years ago when I was wild). And her lovely book filled with hand drawings and colours and printing as opposed to typeset, caught my eyes. And this is some of the stuff I read:
“Buy yourself gorgeous flowers. Practice extravagant lounging. Invent your life over if it doesn’t feel juicy. Cradle your wounded places like precious babies. Be delicious. Discover your own goodness. Smile when you feel like it. Shout: I’m here! I’m succulent and I’m loud! Be rare, eccentric and original. You are enough, you have enough, you do enough. Describe yourself as marvelous. Tell the truth faster. End blaming. Dress to please yourself. Be inwardly gorgeous.”
Now, of course when I started reading her, I was skeptical. She sounded like some crazy psycho-therapist. And then as I kept reading, she didn’t tell you how to be. She would admit her huge mistakes, her vulnerability, her own pain and how she got through it.
And I became succulent. I became the woman I always wanted to be. Brave enough to be myself and to love myself. All of me.
Of course over time, I had to leave Thunder Bay (I chose hubby over her) and we weren’t close anymore. And yes, that was heartbreaking. She was my first honest to goodness real friend. The type of friend where you can truly be yourself and not worry what they might think. The kind that forgives you immediately and encourages you to say what you are feeling. Thankfully, and ever-gratefully, hubby became that friend.
And over more time, I found my freedom in God and I became who I wanted to be again. And over time, i forget how to be.
Am I the only one who notices that people are immediately judging? Am I the only one who is told to “not be so loud, not be so crazy, too much information” and given dirty looks, been ignored, been pushed aside, been stomped on?
Am I the only one who felt she had to be more careful in the way she behaved, in the way she dressed, in the subjects she talked about?
Am I the only one who lost any bravery in herself to turn to a girlfriend and say, ‘wow, what you just said was really hurtful’, and ‘you can’t talk to me that way’ and ‘how dare you try to squelch my spirit’?
I forgot. I forgot I was supposed to be brave and succulent. I forgot that I wasn’t supposed to conform to what ‘they’ wanted, to act like ‘they’ wanted, to be part of their little group, to be under the queen bee.
Last night I found a book I had purchased at a garage sale awhile ago and promptly forgot. It was SARK’s ‘Wild Succulent Woman’. I climbed into the cloud (aka best bed ever!) and began to read.
And I remembered.
I read things like, “If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you. I came to live out loud.” (Emile Zola) and things like, “We have a right to live wild, succulent lives.” and things like, “I’m here! I’m wild! I will live a daring and remarkable life!”
Now, if you are reading this you will be of two minds. One – you think I’m nuts and should stop talking. Just so you know? I’m fine with that. Or Two – you are fully agreeing with me. Way down deep in your soul, your little spirit is peeking out from under the covers wondering if it’s safe to come out.
It’s safe to come out.
So how do you combine this with your faith in God? Well, SARK is not a believer. But she knows (she used to know?) how important it is to like you. To love you. To realize your wounded places and let yourself feel through them and let them go. To look at your ickyness (is that a word? who cares!) and your meaness and to stop that.
Have you ever noticed that we are meanest to other women? What is up with that??? This is what SARK wrote: “Live fully, richly, rarely and reveling in ordinary and extraordinary moments. It gives you permission, and calls you out to play”. I wish I had a nickel for everytime a woman tried to stamp on my essence.
Back to God. Golly I love that guy. I honestly believe God calls us to live fully. He does, look it up. He wants us all to embrace things with all our power. He wants us to love with abandon and be excited for others. (Am I the only one who has noticed that no one gets excited anymore? You tell them news and they’re like, ‘oh, good for you’ instead of ‘that’s AMAZING!’ and then hug you with love? Or you tell them about some pain in your heart and instead of listening they try to tell you how to fix it or they have to one-up you? You know what I’m talking about. They have to show you that they relate, that theirs is worse or better and they’ve stopped listening?) God calls for us to be compassionate. To adore others. To treat each other like we want to be treated. Guess what? I’m not going to be treated badly anymore. (am tempted to be quote Gloria Steinham now… although I think she overdoes it. Let’s be succulent wild women, not arrogant, buttheads)
Here it is.
Ladies? Be wild and be succulent. Do not let people step on you. Do not allow mean people in your life. You are not obligated to mean people. They are exhausting and not worth your efforts. Use your wildness and your loveliness to embrace people who are lovely and wild. Stop telling people how to be and stop telling them that you are better/worse than they are. Stop comparing. Stop trying to fix people and just listen to them. No one listens enough. Stop telling them to ‘talk to the hand’, ‘too much information’ and ‘you’re gross’. NO name calling!
I choose to live abundantly. Which also means with succulence. With wild abandon. And with gregariousness.
drinking: market spice tea from Teaopia
So what does all this hoopla mean?