ALL I CAN go with is my personal truth, my integrity, and my intuition. I try to tap every day into that higher voice that I hear and trust. That is more than enough. I feel good when coming from that place. If I don’t come from that place, I get lost in the darkness and the despair. You cannot know what the outcome is supposed to be.Cielo Myczack, from Issue 4 of Heron DanceIF YOU WANT to create, you have to sacrifice superficiality, some security, and often your desire to be liked, to draw up your most intense insights, your most far-reaching visions.Clarissa Pinkola Estes, from Women who Run with the Wolves
THE REWARD FOR conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself.Rita Mae Brown, from Venus Envy
Dear Heron Dancers,
I clearly remember how hard I worked as a young woman to get people to like me, to get teachers to give me an A, to get a boy to ask me out. I wanted, above all else, not to be voted off the island. I wanted to be on the inside. I got really good at it. So good that I put a lot more energy into responding to what other people wanted than figuring out what I needed. So good that after many years of it, I forget who I was.
I’ve often looked on this as a weakness. Now I look at myself back then the same way I look at how hard a young pup works to stay with the pack—to be left behind or kicked out would mean starvation. Alongside the urge to procreate is the need to belong.
But … the day comes when we need to actively encourage the awkward rebellion of self. It needs to be coaxed into the light and invited to speak its truth.
Now I will state the obvious truth that I’ve often ignored: You can’t be a wild soul living your truth AND please everyone at the same time.
Speaking our truth is scary. We wonder if the people we love will leave us or if we will have a job. In my experience, honest heartfelt words are at first greeted with awkwardness, maybe fear or even anger, but ultimately they pave the way for much deeper and richer relationships. Often, those close to you sigh with relief as they see you finally come into your own.
As Dr. Seuss said:
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.