“They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot,
with a pink hotel, a boutique and a swinging hot spot”
– Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi
As always, I have a crisis of consciousness, but this time it’s about privacy. I like to tell myself that I have learned from experience and that some things should be sacred. So I deleted all personal posts from Facebook, deleted pictures too. I have tried to sensor very personal experience out of my tweets and pictures, so basically, if you don’t know me, you don’t know me.
However, my blog is largely a personal journal. Between hiding behind words and leaving people to figure out if the subject is me or someone else, or if it’s “happening now” or happened in the past, I feel that the only thing that has driven is the need to tell my own story and share the experiences of others. There’s always the confusion between staying authentic and maintaining the dignity that privacy brings.
I also know that many other people experience this crisis of consciousness. We live in a world where for most part we are taught to fit in. So we live life like everyone else- wear the same clothes, love the same things, live out the same dream. What happens is that we start to mirror other people’s lives and forget that we should live out our own personal dreams and experiences.
Because society has expectations of us, we are taught to shrink our dreams, to please people, to satisfy our parents and above all, to be loved. We also start to view people under the same spotlight in which we have been viewed. We have a sense of good and bad and anyone who doesn’t fit into good is bad. While we owe it to the ones we love to point out good from evil, we sometimes enforce our own beliefs on them and create a fear of being judged in them. We rob people of the right to live life on their own terms and own their experiences. We smother the best in them, by concluding that what is not good is bad.
Life has taught me lately that there’s much more to life than my sense of good and bad. Lately, I realise that I am now guilty of everything I previously judged people of. As a Christian, there’s a thin line between standing for what is right and judging what is wrong. While the Bible says we should flee all appearances of evil, it also clearly tells us that we will be judged in the same measure we mete out. One minute you’re high up there with your nose turned up looking at sinners down below, the next minute you’re wading through the mud with them, arms stretched out looking for Jesus to pick you and clean you again. In the end all that we have been given is mercy, and that’s what we should give.
The beauty of life is in the unique experiences, the many colours in between white and black. There are many other beautiful colours and just because they are too loud or too dull for us doesn’t make them any less beautiful. Just because we don’t understand someone else’s journey doesn’t invalidate their experiences.
Finally, in the words of Amy Poehler, “let’s peek behind the curtains and hail others like us. The open-faced sandwiches who take risks and live big and smile with all of their teeth. These are the people I want to be around. This is the way I want to live and love and life.” I want to look back and say I lived out my truth, unashamedly, unapologetically and on my own terms.
Love and Light!