Saturday, September 20, 2014

The journey to integrity

If you haven't already read Charles Blow's excerpt from his book Fire Shut Up in My Bones in the New York Times today, please do so immediately.

The particulars of Blow's life are unique. But the journey he describes is universal.
My world had told me that there was nothing worse than not being all of one way, that any other way was the same as being dead, but my world had lied. I was very much alive. There was no hierarchy of humanity. There was no one way to be, or even two, but many. And no one could strip me of my value and dignity, because no one had bestowed them. These things came into the world with me.

I had done what the world had signaled I must: hidden the thorn in my flesh, held “the demon” at bay, kept the covenant, borne the weight of my crooked cross. But concealment makes the soul a swamp. Confession is how you drain it.

Daring to step into oneself is the bravest, strangest, most natural, most terrifying thing a person can do, because when you cease to wrap yourself in artifice you are naked, and when you are naked you are vulnerable.

But vulnerability is the leading edge of truth. Being willing to sacrifice a false life is the only way to live a true one.
I was immediately reminded of a poem by David Whyte titled: Revelation Must Be Terrible.

It is the people who have had the courage to take that journey that I respect and trust. Because it is the only path to integrity.

1 comment:

  1. Mo'nin, Nancy
    Charles Blow's revelation that "extended fidelity" could be achieved by submitting the entire whole of his heart (and, at least to me, not just "extended fidelity" but honest and full intimacy) is an aspect that I find people - male and female alike - really wrestle with. And, resist doing (which is some of what keeps me in business).

    GREAT excerpt and LOTS of good on him as he continues to come to terms with the complications of being human. And, thank YOU for bringing this out. Think I know where there shall be extended conversation about this today.