The challenge of Day 24, by Patti Digh: Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson [What are your false comparisons? What are your false expectations? What are your false investments in a story? Each keep you from that internal knowing about which Emerson writes. Each keeps you from making your strong offer to the world.]
Of grotesque faces I need say nothing, because they are kept in mind without difficulty – Leonardo Da Vinci
I started to write what you can read below and it’s about the extraordinary ordinary, our relationship to power. I paused after a while and started to read other posts, which I found brilliantly written. I will be brutally honest, what happened to me, as a reaction to other posts, is exactly what I write about. I went through the stages with myself. I compared, expected and invested on false terms. But as I recognised the process of falsehood, I could act differently and not just react accordingly.
So you think you can dance?!
“Let’s dance” he said and took me by the arm before I could reject him. Suddenly I found myself on the dance-floor trying to follow a man definitely very capable of Argentinian tango. He had a tight grip around my waist and I could smell his cologne. I had to admit he smelled wonderful of sandalwood and citrus. His hot breath reached my ear and I could swear he held me tighter and I couldn’t do much but to follow his sexy steps. “Are you really going to do what you are thinking of?” he whispered in my ear. I heard him loud and clear even if the music drowned everything else. “Do you really think you have enough stamina to stand up against me and choose change?” he said with such a low voice I could swear he was inside my head. He bent me over his knee and I thought for a split second he was going to kiss me. “Let me just say that many others dance better than you” he said and in the next second I was upright with his mouth close to my neck. I felt minimized and noticed how I started to watch the other dancers. I stopped dancing and he stumbled over my feet. He regained his balance and looked surprised at me. “Excuse me, but what is your name? I said and slipped out of his arms. “You can call me Saboteur”. “Okay. Well, Mr Saboteur, at least now I know the tunes you dance to. So thanks, but no thanks” I said. He looked at me, nodded and smiled while I walked off the dance floor.
The saboteur-in-me dictates my false comparisons and is the Guardian of Choice. All of us have areas where we sabotage ourselves. I can easily fall into Mr Saboteur’s arms if I don’t listen to the music he dances to, because I fear the change he brings with him and the hard work it demands. However, when I hear the tunes, I can make better choices to not follow his lead. And ultimately that is ‘the goal’ of the Saboteur-in-me – to make me stand up for my Self and not succumb to outside factors that block my empowerment.
Why doesn’t anybody ask me to dance?
I had arrived to the club in excitement. Tonight I was going to have fun. Tonight I was going to dance like nobody watched. The club was crowded with beautiful people. Many looked like they belonged to the in-crowd. That didn’t bother me; I was feeling good about myself and had a figure-hugging dress and shoes one could die for. I looked just as hot as anyone else. The DJ started to pump up the jam and the dance floor quickly filled up.
I felt a cautious tap on my shoulder. I turned around and saw the most pitiful man I have ever seen. He wore ragged clothes and had no shoes. “Is he the only one that wants to dance with me” I thought and just stared. ”Is it possible for me to dance with you?” he said but looked down on the floor. He looked nervous and didn’t quite fit in. “Am I going to miss out on the fun tonight?” I tried to think of a smart way to deny him to dance with me. I started to feel anxious. “It’s unfair that if I’m going to dance, I have to dance with a loser. What will people think?” My thoughts were speeding and I looked down at the floor. I felt vaguely ashamed that I didn’t have the guts to look at him.
“Excuse me, but would you do me the honour to dance? I think you are the most beautiful in the room, but maybe you expected to dance with someone else?” he said and put out his hand. I looked up and saw myself reluctantly take his hand and we started to dance. He moved with such confidence on the dance floor he looked like a king. I looked him in the eye and found that I didn’t mind his ragged clothes and his shoeless feet. “What is your name? I said and enjoyed being in his arms. “You can call me Victim, but my friends call me Victorious”. “Oh nice to meet you. I like the music you dance to” I said and could have sworn that I grew several inches. He looked at me and nodded his head and smiled while we continued to dance all night long.
The victim-in-me dictates my false expectations and is the Guardian of Self-Esteem. All of us fear being a victim because it’s our most vulnerable aspect. I can have very low self-esteem and think that other people’s opinion is much more valuable than my own, that if I set boundaries for my Self I separate from others. The Victim’s primary aim is to develop self-esteem and personal power and demands that I evaluate my relationship to power and control issues. It calls me to take responsibility for my independence.
What do I have to pay to dance with you?
I arrived early to the club in the dark alley making sure that I didn’t miss the woman I was about to meet. I was thrilled to meet her. She was a renowned choreographer and had agreed to teach me how to dance street dance, if she liked was she saw. She wanted to check what I was made of first. She didn’t arrive in time but when she did I saw an extraordinary ravishing woman with the tallest legs on earth that blew me away. “How could I ever convince her to take me on?” I thought as I stood up in strict attention and put out my hand to greet her.
“Darling, the legs aren’t so beautiful, I just know what to do with them,” she said as she sat down with a graceful movement like a cat that got attention from everybody around us. She lit a cigarette as she measured me with her eyes. She formed her voluptuous lips and blew out a smoke ring while leaning back with certain supremacy. I couldn’t help but find her dangerously seductive. She did a gesture to make me sit down again. I did.
“If I teach you what you want to learn, what’s in it for me?” she said with a husky voice. “What’s your price?” I said and hoped that the money was enough for her. “Hm, I don’t need money, so money isn’t my currency,” she said without changing her facial expression of mild arrogance. “It has to be something else. What are you willing to pay, so you can get the knowledge of my body?” She put out the cigarette and smiled for the first time.
I felt uncomfortable and tried to think of an answer that she hadn’t heard before. I needed desperately that she taught me how to move and dance to the rhythm of life. I had nothing to offer and she glowed with self-possession. I wanted to have the same glow. I knew I had to come up with a clever answer so I brazed myself and said: “I can be your bitch. I can do whatever…”. “My darling, my lessons are valuable. I know my price. But obviously you don’t know yours.” she interrupted and regained her air of mistrust and detachment. I sank down in my seat and wished I vanished from the place. “What do you believe in?” she said with a softer voice. I looked at her and shrugged my shoulders. “Don’t know” “Do you believe that you can do what I teach you?” she said insistently. I gave her a resigned look. “Yes, I believe I can do that, I guess. Belief is all I can offer” I said and felt paltry. “But belief is exactly my currency, my dear” she whispered and stood up and started to walk away.
“Wait, what is your name? I said. “Most people call me Tramp, but my given name is Faith.” She walked back over to me and kissed me on my forehead. “To have faith makes all things possible. Love makes all things easy. Faith isn’t faith until it’s all you’re holding on to” she said and walked out the door.
The prostitute-in-me dictates my false investments and is the Guardian of Faith. All of us have something that can be compromised. To give away our sense of self-possession for security, usually of physical form, is harmful to our soul. This energy is financial even if it doesn’t necessarily ‘deal’ with money. The primary goal for the prostitute-in-me is to have enough faith that nobody can ‘buy’ me – my intellect, morals, integrity, word and so on – I am self-possessed and not self-obsessed.
The power exchanges I write about are common and ordinary in our everyday life. I think that the ordinary can be extraordinary and the extraordinary can be ordinary. And I need to know ‘my grotesque faces’, how my fears look like. When I do, I ‘see’ that it’s a mind-set and that it is a shadow that obstructs the light within. I can powerfully choose to act accordingly to my light, my higher source of Self that is always standing in truth.
Nothing is hidden under the light. It withholds a fire that destroys falsehood. We all share that type of energy, yet how we deal with it differs. The essential core of the energy is the same but as I said in an earlier post – we are emergent properties and as such the ordinary turns into extraordinary. It all depends on which scale we look at it.
So what I do in an extraordinary ordinary way is be who I am. No more, no less.