“Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke –
A couple of weeks ago in The Dancing Wild, we explored dance as expression and embodied storytelling through the theme of SPEAK YOUR TRUTH.
Speak your truth has become quite a popular saying over the past few years…but what does it mean, really?
When approached through the lens of the Tyrant King, it can be quite monolithic. You’re either speaking your truth or not. Yes or no. Right or wrong. And in my personal experience, and in working with women who desire to speak their truth over the last several years, I have realized it’s not that simple. In fact, it’s a lot more nuanced.
My map of the Heroine’s Journey follows the seasons, but in a way, it also follows the arc of the caterpillar becoming the butterfly. I know this is a metaphor that is used so often that it almost feels stripped of its meaning, but that’s because it’s so damn spot on.
When we are learning to let go of our Good Girl – Rebel – Tyrant King dynamic, eventually we venture into winter. The bottom of the valley. The chrysalis. Where we can see that what was no longer resonates as truth, but who we are feels unformed. Up for grabs. A bit of a mess. We are in the process of doing the work of coming home to ourselves. Discerning what is ours and what isn’t. Reclaiming the pieces of ourselves that we buried long ago. Finding our own authentic standpoint.
And this process can take a long time, and we revisit it again and again and again.
To speak from this place often feels wildly uncomfortable.
I felt that in myself even as I shared about it. There is a part of me that very much associates “truth” with resolution. To speak my truth means that I need the questions to be resolved. THE answer to have revealed itself.
But that means that I can never speak from the chrysalis or from the unresolved questions in my heart, which are plentiful. They feel too messy and vulnerable.
And that also means that as a collective this facet of the human experience is mostly hidden from view. We don’t get to hear women’s stories from the chrysalis, where things feel dreadfully unclear and we have no real sense of who we are or what we believe.
There are few voices holding the tension of the opposites, internally or externally.
So when we enter this territory, whether by conscious choice or life circumstance, we feel entirely bereft. Alone. Afraid. As if we have somehow made a grave error, when we are in fact crossing an ancient threshold.
I offer this invitation as much to myself as I do to you: Allow yourself to live the questions.
To speak from the wild and unknown frontier of the heart.
Allow the truth to be a momentary expression of what is alive within you, rather than only being the answer to some riddle that you cannot seem to find despite fervent and endless seeking.
To give voice to this space, to this process, to this unfolding is to return something to the world that has been sorely missing. An embodied, feminine voice that speaks from the muck and the murk of lived human experience, from the glorious messiness of deep feeling, and from courageous trust that new soul shoots will emerge when winter inevitably comes to an end.