On giving it all away.

I’m not so young anymore that my behavior can be excused by inexperience. When I get hurt I know it’s something I’ve participated in. I choose it because it felt vital, because I knew it would hurt more not to have pursued it. But of course I have to question why I would make the choice for almost certain pain. Is it the comfortable reassurance that failure is waiting?

Or is it the high on the idea of cheating out failure with the possibility the gamble might turn out differently this time. Chase the illusion and will it with an internal miracle to materialize into reality between my fingers. Like a drawing of a piece of fruit transmuting into ripe sustenance simply by the purity of my hunger.

But I also know it’s a cheat, a way to organize my life so it makes sense in a familiar, but unthinking way. I miss out on a lot going on around me when I’m chasing down some big illusion. Sure it can be a filter, like a good pair of sunglasses when the world’s too garish and harsh for me to take in. But ultimately I miss out on the vividness of the surrounding reality when I’ve got the dampener of “the dream” covering my senses with some tired fantasy.

I say no to people, I pour my energy into holding the lie together that leaves me too exhausted to worry about the years I’ve left empty, always waiting for something to materialize and fill in those spaces.

It’s dull to wait for perfection. It’s dull to believe in a lie. It’s dull never to push back on what I’ve accepted as the truth and most desirable outcome and never tear it down and start all over.

Sometimes you get to tear it down intentionally, sometimes it disintegrates around you, and sometimes you’ve just plain given it all away.

And you know what? “Giving it all away” is one of those phrases that still makes me feel something deep and moving and alive in my chest cavity. I love the idea of giving it all away, not just a reveal of myself but an actual act of giving without expecting a return. Like pouring out that last bit of alcohol for your fallen friends into the dust as a tribute and an act of faith. Greeting the vaccum rush of scary emptiness it creates. That dangerous uncertainty: Will I be able to once again replenish the source?

But I remember I have given it all away before, many times. And something new with out fail comes back, though there’s always that hard part, staring out at a barren field and waiting, watching the smallest bits of green sprout up towards the sky. Defiant of the lack of rain, sustaining blindly and solely on the instinct to grow and thrive, ignorant of the harshness of the world that surrounds it and the possiblities of the future. I recognize that this instinct is not from my own character but originates in the DNA woven and gifted to me by my parents and grandparents and generations before them. The source doesn’t care if you can’t comprehend its meaning, it’s stronger than meaning and context and history.

The capacity to love and give returns and grows as long as we can remember to remove the protective shadows of lies and fantasies and hoarding that keeps those internal spaces empty.

Give it all away and see what comes to live and grow in that space when you’ve opened yourself to the world. Let’s all go outside and get some damn sunlight.

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