On singing and freedom

If you want to sing out, sing out. If you want to be free, be free…….

Cat Stevens

My daughter, Ruka started shouting today while we were out in public. First at the post office, and then she continued on for a bit at the chiropractor’s office. Her shouts sounded more like a declaration to all around that, “I am here,” and with total conviction. She had something to say, and I heard it in a particular kind of way. It did not seem that she was attempting to make anyone agree with what she was expressing, but that she was simply aligned with herself and vocalizing it in that moment. What I heard was of course filtered through my own mind, quandaries, and lessons of late. However, I took it all in with great significance. My child has something to say, to share. She does this in her own very special way. Her existence and the energy she emanates is quite profound. Those who are a daily part of her life, receive on many levels. And there are never words, or contracts and often not straight forward teachings. As her mother, I have the gift of sharing what I am learning from her in my own life, and through my expression.

Ruka is absolute love. What child isn’t? This Ruka love requires a huge amount of patience, strength, openness and humility. She offers me and those around her the kind of love that one can only receive by experiencing the tenderest parts of being human, and by not avoiding the discomforts of life. For anyone that has read my posts, or has met Ruka, she is an 11-year-old girl with a rare chromosomal abnormality. Developmentally she is much like an infant. Although with wisdom and inner knowing well beyond infancy. So when I remark she was shouting, it was her vocalizing herself and sometimes that is how she communicates. At other times she clicks and clucks, she cries, with many different volumes. Sometimes, she breaks into the most wonderful smile, and giggle that is relatively quiet but vibrates through you.

Ruka’s seemingly bold comfort in who she is asks me to look at my own ability to be totally okay with who I am, exactly. And to express it. I have been in a time of new beginnings that stem from endings. While life is full of new beginnings– some smaller, some larger– these last seasons have felt trying, and sacred, reverberating the depths of what I am still learning. With Ruka’s urging, I find myself asking, “What is it I want to declare with conviction at this time?” And, similar to my child, in a fashion of seamlessly being exactly who I am, and with where I am at this time. I WANT THAT! I recognize that Ruka is her own sacred being, who seems to struggle with much less of an ego than I, and that I do not need to compare myself to her or anybody. But I can learn from her, and all of her sage wisdom that she carries around with such grace.

I want to be the truest version of myself. I want to be me with my own flavors of messiness, with the parts that are still shaping, and the parts that are already big and bright.

From the outside we can’t ever really know what is going on for another and we can create stories about them. We can place others on a pedestal, or put them in boxes, or make them into an entire character dependent on our own personal stories and issues. We might even fall into the illusion that we need to look other than we are especially on the outside. I have certainly made these mistakes before in the projection onto another, and the attempt to make an impression. But, we never truly can know. Maybe the girl shouting is in touch with Spirit and joy. Maybe the man crying has touched something sacred. Maybe our neighbor is suffering a loss. Maybe the person we put in a box is full of kindness that we will never know. Maybe the friend we put up on a platform is totally lonely and afraid. And perhaps the people we are comparing ourselves to have an entirely unique mission that has nothing to do with us, but may inspire us to get to know our own soul’s purpose. Today- I desire to be me, without the comparisons loud and clear, just like Ruka.

This being human is such an exceptional practice. This being human, and parenting a child like Ruka included. Being a woman in her late thirties still adjusting to her humanness, included. Still figuring out my purpose and placement, included. Moments of practice and moments of projecting, attaching, longing, creating, comparing included. Learning acceptance and celebration of me, of you and all of our in-betweens, included.

I am curious about the practices and lessons and struggles and celebrations of those around me. And I am training in staying in my commitment of curiosity with awareness of my preconceived notions so that I can hear and listen without imposition on what someone else might be declaring, in their own volume and style. What are you including? Shouting? Offering? I would love to know. And, thank you.

photo by Jade Beall