It is hard not to lead with our wounds. We all have them. Some are personal. Some are from childhood. Many are cultural. Every day we step out into the world and the wounds are bumped and beaten and reinforced. We open them ourselves because we become fond of them and we don’t want to be silent about them, so we show them off and use them to form our identities.
It isn’t healthy to remain silent about the things that hurt us. But it also isn’t healthy to become these things. How do we avoid it? How do we lead with what is right about us? How do we reclaim gentleness and softness and love in the face of so much disaster? How do we reclaim gentleness and softness and love in a world that is so wounded?
I don’t know the answers. I only know the questions. And I know I must make a choice many times a day. Do I lead with my wounds or do I lead with what’s healed and sweet about me? If I feel shaky over speaking up about something, is it because I shouldn’t have spoken up, or because I’ve been trained, as a female, not to speak up? And when someone lashes out at me because they disagree with what I am saying, is that because of a wound they carry and nurse, or is it something I need to look at? And when is speaking up smart, and when is it dumb? Am I seeing injustice where there is none and not seeing it where it exists?
I feel unmoored. I feel hurt because I’ve been hurt. I’ve been hurt on social media. I’ve been hurt privately. I’ve been hurt as a child. I’ve been hurt as an adult. Usually these wounds stay closed, not because I am closed, but because I am well. But I feel less well these days. I feel that we are all clawing at each other, that we’ve reached a level of anger that we cannot sustain. I don’t want to be a part of this, but I don’t want to stick my head in the sand and pretend everything’s groovy either. Everything is not groovy. Things are broken. Things are so broken that I cannot write this without crying.
I have no wrap-up to this blog post. I have no snappy ending. I have no wisdom. I have no conclusions of what all this means to an artist, to a writer, to anyone. I don’t like leading with my wounds. I don’t like adding my little noise to the cacophony. If I were an animal I would crawl into the woods to be alone. I would lick my wounds. If I were an animal I would shy away from the things that hurt me. If I were an animal I would also snarl and snap, but only for survival. How much of what we are doing is about survival? And how much is about loving our wounds more than we love each other?