Originally published in 2016 as part of Copious Copy — A series of letters between the Earth and you: a weekly cosmos of words about metaphysics and enlightenment, through science and spirituality, consider joining the conversation.
I’m Capucine, 24 years old, white caucasian, female.
Now, this looks like every article you’ve read in the past year in the New Yorker or the Huff Post.
Why should we define my identity like this? Are we trying to fit our entire being in a 140 character Tweet (sorry 280)?
Social media is now an everyday task: mimicking the Greats whilst comparing ourselves with each other (despite the numerous studies balancing the impact of social media on our happiness). By conforming to the implicit rules of Facebook, Instagram and the ‘success story’ we conveniently try to show, we are trying to ‘fit in’ with an aesthetic reduces, again, the beauty in our oddities.
The Individualist wave includes the cult of self-representation, the more we become nothing, the more we become of everything.
I can’t fit in. I won’t fit in but with myself as I discovered in my Initiation.
Over the course of the past months, I and vulnerability carried out a writing experiment called Copious Copy. My now online publication consists in a series of letters I’ve wrote and sent to list of emails addresses.
In these letters, I bare my vulnerability and use my personal experiences to open an universal portal into self-awareness. I collect impressions and testimonies, and offer them to my readers to facilitate the range of their explorations.
Amongst my list, my closer circle of people discovered my words and some came back to me. Together we had conversations of emails without being gazed on by other eyes, heard by other ears. It’s been incredible — to be on a one-on-one with strangers of different demographics. Different ages, genders, the World Map lit up with pins spread across the countries.
On Medium, the most consulted tag is Life Lessons. As if everyone needed to be the football coach who opens up about his own inner conflicts as a teenager to his younger student. I did that, but less universally and more epistolary. You can find the content of those around here.
I willingly opened what was scared inside — and I shared it to others —to just anyone who would subscribe.
To share more Love, to be aware of Love, and get closer to a Life with self-honesty, self-awareness and purpose.
What made me different only resulted in being validated and understood by my kin.
I was not alone.
Some people came back to me scared shitless — it was improper, after all, to be so vulnerable. To open up my own emotions was “infectious” and I was contaminating them with my gloom. My emotions were too much to handle and some people asked me to stop.
Opening up my own wounds and braving with vulnerability the world of my subscribers can be dangerous: for my shadows, for their shadows. I’m willing to face my fears, but not all.
By not complying to some of the unspoken pre-requisites of our culture, I was endangering the whole system. If I was inquiring about my own shadows, people could recognise themselves. And not everyone wants to acknowledge their pain. Not everyone wants to fix their wounds.
Maybe, it is taboo. To be vulnerable.
We must look strong to the world, and the world itself must look strong. That’s the illusion we must keep alive. (Maybe that’s why Trump doesn’t believe in Global Warming.)
Brené Brown, and her book Daring Greatly:
We are made with emotions, and created to feel things.
In the course of my major setbacks, I quite learned to unlearn who I was.
I followed blindly into a world of outer perspectives on my inner psyche. It was easier. I didn’t have to take responsibility for anything, should reprimand happen. “But my father said… But my best friend is… I’ve got a family issue.” And so on.
I used to carry my wounds, time moved but I didn’t advance. I kept on being hit on the same bruises, and the hurt repeat the same cycle. I built a thicker skin to outgrew life’s obstacles and disconnected myself from my core. The walls around me kept me away from connection with people and my connection with myself. I could see the fortress being built on — was it flair? Or did I access my Higher Self? Who’d sign up for hurt? (but do sign up to my Copious Copy letters).
The contract, my friend, is all that gets me to expand these days. I fully believe I signed up for all that happened to me before, and all that will in the future.
This knowledge, with the perspective I grew because of minor and major setbacks, makes a day much more enjoyable. I can express gratitude for my setbacks and find the silver lining, feel the pain, move forward.
Anxiety can be done with, in the memory of this belief. And what do I do when the imparted time for “anxiety” is rendered unused? I live and thrive on finding more meaning into my life. Of course, anxiety is around the corner, waiting for me to be dehydrated or sleepless to come back at me full force. Alas, I have a toolbox of little helpers which can help everyday shenanigans.
First, drink water.
Third, be honest with yourself and accept reality.
Our culture would like to keep us separate, isolated.
We are connected to a network of acceptable “life directions” — if you want to stray from the ‘authorized’ paths, you must go through smoke and veils of fears. Everything to keep you surviving, it’s within your genes to stay with the pack — to want to grow towards authentic fulfilment is dangerous.
The path has been done and tried, though. It is possible.
We need to make the path of ‘awakening’ louder — to create more portals leading to growth, serenity and joy— I collect the gates, composing letters of meaning and exploration with them. Stay with me.
The jungle is deep and lush, and scary. The snakes are there, and the unidentified traumas will meet you on your adventure. To see them and face them isn’t as painful as imagined. To outgrow them is possible. (The Moods, the Woods)
Together, let’s escape the mould that prevents intimacy and connection.
I can’t bring shame to my emotions, I can’t flow with guilt endlessly. Self-love makes me to be accountable for my pain. Once the scope of the martyrdom has been cleared out, I refuse to indulge in wallowing for too long.
I’m trying to be there 100% for my emotions. Despite the pain, the incredible amount of fear I still hold, I’m doing my best to not tuck away.
If I allow my self to feel, I rely on Tonglen meditation. I shorten it to 10 breaths and I visualise the worst case scenario, taking it in my body, processing it through my veins, through my blood, the fear becomes oxygen and is faced with my psyche. If I survive it, I can survive anything.
I don’t walk away from the fear.
I let it be there and then move on.
Feeling my losses clears my mind out of the possibilities and the anxieties. I’m only left with the present. So we can go together forward.
To be vulnerable is to accept our present.
I embrace the pain with love and I find it easier to uplift my self by being surrounded by trees or water. Communion with nature is something I’ve addressed many and more times in the past Copious Copy letters.
Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings conveys soothing words from Rachel Carson on Nature and us:
The Book of Life:
A short video emphasizing the positives instead of the negatives of Vulnerability from philosopher Alain de Botton’s School of Life
The Confessions game from the School of Life — Imagine the Trivial Pursuit but you don’t guess the second American President, but you share your first love loss.