There's a particular way I have survived life from a very early age: I analyzed what people wanted from me and then I became it. I used my power as an empath to discern what was needed and then I gave it. Every last drop.
The church wanted my smallness, my purity, my submission to insecure, narcissistic men. My family wanted my steadiness, my capacity to carry the emotions that ran through our home. My childhood friends wanted my ability to agree to everything, to quietly go along with the way we did things. One friend wanted my affection and when I wouldn't give it he took a twisted version of it anyway. Ministry leaders wanted my invisibility and my learned ability to take the brunt of their own childish reactions to girls who loved Jesus. My ex-husband wanted my codependent attempts to make him feel better about a lifetime of abuse and disappointment. When I couldn't give that anymore, he wanted my submission to a narrative that made me the enemy. My former yoga community wanted my learned capacity to serve a narcissist. And my own dysfunctional self wanted to survive at all costs.
Going wild comes in waves, in pieces, in layers. It starts somewhere small, with a thin skin that didn't cause too much loss to shed. It starts with pulling back at something that you are desperate to peel off of you and then there you are. A truer part of you surfaces, takes a breath, and is born.
It's beautiful, liberating, breathtaking, and so painful. Babes, it hurts to go wild. You stretch past skin and breath and heart that have acted like boundary lines your entire life. You learn the language of your intuition and realize how often you have ignored her, leaving you in situations that still burn in your mind. You make a million mistakes when you flex new muscles for the first hundred times. You lose elements of who you have been to uncover who you have always been waiting to be. You keep waking up at 3am to grieve what was, what you will never be again. There is no unknowing what you know now and there is no going back to a compressed, lifeless existence. Your heart learns what it's like to live outside of being abused and manipulated. Your soul learns what it feels like to take such a deep inhale that you expand in every direction. You are waking up, slowly and brutally. You are coming back to life, gloriously and in full color.
I've shed purity culture and reconciled to my body and my sexuality. I started making decisions about my relationship with sex and how connected that is to my relationship with myself. I've made mistakes, but they have never felt like shame. Shame only comes when you have denied your truest self, your divine connection, or your intuition. I listened to all three and moved forward as freely as I was capable of - and then I changed course immediately if one of those three voices started to stir in another direction.
I completed my relationship with the church, not angrily or bitterly, but fully and completely. That way of life doesn't fit who I am anymore. I needed to walk through a long process of moving on, but it has only freed me to love deeper and live clearer. Leaving the church liberated me to explore the Jesus path in a new way, to find hidden truth and mercy in passages of scripture that were often interpreted to manipulate me and in new sources, writings, and explorations of where God is. I am reconciling to spirituality and letting it evolve, expand, and grow as it will.
I've released the idea that I need to be married in order to be happy or complete. I don't know that I need it anymore. Without an inch of self deprecation I've recognized that I may not be made for a long term partnership - I'm a whole lot, friends. I'm a 4 with a 5 wing on the enneagram, which means I'm all head and all heart - all the time. I'm always in process, always slowly shifting into something new, always finding new wells to dig, always working on healing or transforming something about myself. I have yet to meet someone who could hold that space with me for a long time and I'm okay with that. I keep myself open to what the universe shifts in my direction, but I've stopped needing it to happen.
I've been painfully extracting the strong desire I have for my divorce to be peaceful, or compassionate, or fair. This is where I practice the law of detachment the most. I know where I am right now, grieving and bleeding out on a weekly basis. I know where I'm going to end up, healed and whole and free from a toxic relationship. But how I get there, what happens to get me there, is not something I want to try to control. It's a daily practice to open my hands and trust that my resiliency and my commitment to peace will attract opportunities to move forward. I mantra through open hands and an open heart as often as I need to.
There's infinitely more to what going wild means for me, but here's what it comes down to: we untether ourselves from expectations, or ill fitting rules, or abuse and manipulation. We set our own hearts free and then we start feeling out the edges and corners of the life we've been living out of habit or force. We learn to really breathe again, to be moved by the force of Love that courses through our veins. We say yes when we want to say yes. We say no when we want to say no. We ask questions and, when we need to, we grieve like wolves alone in the desert. We tap into the primal instincts that make femininity sacred. We listen when our gut is speaking and we shift course when we are no longer being true to ourselves. We accept that our hearts are good and that, if we are really listening, our hearts will direct us onto the divine path over and over again. We speak when we want to speak and we cultivate solitude when we need to be spiritually fed. We let The Divine be more expansive than we were ever taught to believe They could be. We see our interactions with people as opportunities to grow or heal ourselves. We meet each other and ourselves exactly where we are at. We stop apologizing for being who we are, for walking the road to Divine Love in the way that we do. We celebrate our bodies, our hearts, our minds, our powerful personalities. We move forward, whatever that looks like.
Going wild is in us. It's something we have always needed to do and something we are warned against doing. There's a reason patriarchy and religion are so terrified of a wild woman, a reason they work so hard at keeping them in their place by using terms like "Jezebel spirit", or "submission", or "helpmeet". There's a reason the myth of virginity and the toxic percpetion of purity is shoved down young girl's throats. There's a reason the culture in general wants women to stay small and quiet. And, hear me, sometimes it sounds reasonable - especially if you were raised to normalize it. But your soul knows, the wolf in you knows, the wild in you knows. You can't keep breaking yourself to fit inside that box anymore. And, when you're ready, you'll peel away a single skin, shed one small thing, taste the way freedom burns on your tongue. When you're ready to breathe again, you'll feel your way forward and you'll know you aren't the only one. You will remember having read this post and you'll know that your wild is celebrated here, safe here, loved here.
When you're ready, set your heart wild again.