Bullshit is the little bow that holds the present together. When you untie it, the present is exposed, and the once pretty bow is now an unraveled ribbon pathetically falling to the ground.
What is now, what we find comfort in living amongst is held together by a whole lot of pretty bows which are easily able to be torn apart and undone. We let bullshit hold our lives together. It makes us look pretty, put together, intentional, and meaningful. We hide behind the bows because we think it’s what people want to see. We think people want us to always be put together. We want to feel put together. It’s part of our hierarchy of needs. It’s funny that self-esteem lies just under self-actualization. It’s so close to the top, yet can be so astronomically far away from the truth. We start to believe the excuses we make are valid. We begin to think that our caked on face is prettier than our naked one. It isn’t until we reach the tippy top of Maslows pyrimid that we can see things as they really are. We can see the creases from the liquids and powders we cover ourselves with. We can see the chunks of mascara clotting our eyelashes together. We can see our dark roots growing in under our bleached hair. The view from the top shows a unique truth that pierces through us in the most painful yet beautiful way.
You’ll know when you reach it because it’s so damn hard. It’s like blowing out your birthday candles, only they were trick candles, walking away and then finding out that they relit and burnt your house down. Truth hurts like a burn, and they say burn victims endure the most pain imaginable. So if you’re having trouble reaching your self-actualization, remember that that’s part of the shitstorm. We have to ache, we have to become fed up, transparent, naked, true, and vulnerable.
We want to avoid answering the seemingly easy questions because “what do you want,” “how are you,” “what are you doing,” are actually the hardest and most complicated questions to answer. We follow the guidelines of a made up rule book that keeps getting passed around by other self-conscious, yellow-bellied, amicable conformers. We just can’t help it—doing what we really want, saying what we really mean, just isn’t polite.
Stepping back from the glass sliding door I’ve had my face pressed against for so long that my nose still has a resemblance of a snout, I can finally see the real view of my backyard. I can see those pretty little bows holding myself together. The imprint of my face glares off the glass just so that the sunlight shines right onto yours too. I see those bows, and boy, they are pretty.
It’s what you get after you go through something that impacts you in such a way that it moves you, changes you, or inspires you. It’s like a patina that glazes over you as if you walked through a mechanical car wash. A film covers your body showing everyone what you’ve been through. Evidence of an experience. You can try to rid of it like so many of us hide what we truly are, but instead it now is your coat, your sheen armor that rather than protecting you, illuminates your vulnerabilities.
The patina itself is love. Or hate. Or sacredness. Or bravery. It’s something you now wear, painfully visible.
It happens when you let something consume you. The ear to ear smile from feeling loved, the pained face of heartache you can’t help but wear, the flinch that crawls up your body when you’re conditioned to expect the worse, or the broad shoulders you carry to prove to yourself you’re strong.
We all want an armor that will protect us. What we don’t realize is that what makes us strong is not what we wear to keep things at bay, but what we see as our truths. If we realize what they are, what we are, our vulnerabilities will make us stronger.
If your weakness is love, then you are prepared for a life of heartache, so you love harder. If you feel hatred, it means you have felt pain, which means you have cared deeply for something and that you can feel that way again. If you are scared, then you know your monster and can stare at it until it doesn’t scare you anymore. If you are brave, then you know what you stand for and have the strength to stand up for it despite any odds.
You are who you are. You have to embrace what you are, what you were, so you can become who you want to be.
Its face is warped, decomposing away. Pieces of its flesh are gone, and bone peeks through like deep puddles on asphalt. Its eyes are like black marbles, large and round with the reflection from the light in front of it shooting out like beams. Reptile like, its skin tears as it stretches its mouth open, screaming at you. Its inaudible scream fills your ears with a numb nothing. Its foul hot breath reaches you as a chill, like a gentle hum running down your body making the hairs down your spine stand up. You straighten yourself, clenching your jaw hard. Your head fills with the piercing pain of holding back tears. You let it scream at you, stare into your eyes with its own empty sodden expression.
And then you scream back. You can’t hear it, but your throat itches and rips as you tear all the breath out of your lungs. Screaming at each other, your screams combine to make a harmony, a harmony that gives you a kind of peace.