The Sum of Us

“Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”.  ~ Brene Brown.

Are we the sum of past deeds?  Are our lives defined by what we did yesterday or are our lives simply an expression of a journey to discovering ourselves?  

Life is a series of choices.  Some of the choices we make lead us to discovering parts of ourselves that we never knew existed.   This discovery of self is made possible only by the virtue of the courage we need to look beyond the story of what we’ve created and into the true essence of ourselves.  What is it that drives our choices and our behaviours?

I personally have stood before myself in despair and confusion of the choices I’ve made and what was created from those choices to discover a depth to myself that I may otherwise never have known existed.  It’s that place of total vulnerability and in total surrender to the judgment of myself and judgment from others that has allowed me to see more of the human heart than I ever saw before. 

Simply put, I wouldn’t be who I am today without having made the choices that propelled me into a journey to the darkest and most feared places within myself.  Sure, I could have done it differently, but theorising and experiencing are very different.  What I actually discovered was ME, and the challenge ever since then has been to continue to be ME in a world where, let’s face it, you’re really not ‘allowed’ to be you.

This world, this reality is not what it was meant to be.  We spend lifetimes running from ourselves.  We manipulate our environment and the people in it to provide support for ourselves so that we don’t need to look within, frightened of what we’ll find if we do.  And when we can no longer manipulate our environment to support the veil of illusion that we’ve used to define our lives, we hit a crisis point.

The tragedy itself is not the crisis point.  No.  The crisis point is the call for change.  The real tragedy is in the judgment that created it in the first place and the judgment that follows.

According to historian Michael Foucault, our internal understandings of life and identity can be traced back to the mid 17th Century in Western Culture when we began “normalizing judgment” as a mechanism of social control that incites people to measure their own and each other’s actions and thoughts against norms about life and development.  We started making ourselves and each other wrong and as a result we function from shame, blame and guilt.  It’s a recipe for disaster.

We seek connection.  Yet, we do so from a lack of connection to ourselves.  Vulnerability is the path to oneness, and yet it’s the one thing that eludes us because instead we use judgment, defence and justification to create separation, from ourselves and from others. 

I am not the sum of my past deeds.  You can’t determine my tomorrow based on choices that I made yesterday because in those choices, I had the courage to choose a journey within, to choose something different.   I don’t hide who I am or what I’ve chosen in the past.  I have no interest in placing blame or feeling shame and occasionally I hear the whispers in the wind saying “can she be trusted?”.   In response, I offer the possibility that when someone is willing to discover who they are and where they function from, they inherently have a willingness to have a level of self awareness that takes courage and that creates change.

You can’t ‘undo’ awareness.  When you know who you are, you just know. 


We Are That Which We Seek

Whether you noticed or not is irrelevant, however I recently withdrew myself a little from the world.  This has been and still is a time for retreat, reflection and resetting after a lot of change.  I'm not even a little bit done yet and am so excited about the self realisations, awareness and growth that is occurring.   

Making the decision to stop and look at me was one that has been looming for a while.  I’m grateful for the man who sits before me in no judgment for who I am, allowing me the space to really look at myself and what I’ve been creating in my life. 

When you live with a man who shot himself in the head at the age of 22 and who has been forced to stare himself down in the face of his own mortality, there’s a certain kind of rawness that exists in every day life that forces you to stop, look and listen to your inner self.   There’s no hiding in the space that he creates just by being who he is.  He stands six foot tall, he's strong and solid and fearless and at the same time, quietly sensitive.

I hope that one day he allows me to write about him and tell his story.  It’s the story of a man who’s integrity and kindness is way too much for this world.  I learn so much just by observing him.  His kindness  and capacity for putting other’s before him is greater than most people can even comprehend. There’s sometimes sadness in his eyes as he perceives the cruelty of a world who doesn’t see his heart.  Most people are unable to receive it, mainly because they aren’t willing to receive it in themselves.  He’s here, it seems to show us another possibility, but most don’t see him and so he lives in between two worlds – the one he knows is possible, where people are free to share with kindness,  a healing touch and love; and the world he sees before him where people are in defence of themselves and separation is created by the lies of power, control, greed and unkindness.

So great is his capacity to be exactly what someone requires to heal and so unique is his combination of kindness and strength that most who have been close to him are compelled to try to bridle him, lest they lose that energy to someone or something else.  But the gift of who he is, is far too great to be contained.   And I’ve battled with my own fears of losing the presence of that energy in my life.  

What we fail to realise is that what we see in others can only be recognised because of its presence within ourselves.  If I would like that energy and level of kindness consistently in my life, without fear of losing it then I need only look within.  I am the source of all that I seek.  We can only recognise that which already exists within us.  Once we see that it exists within, we can simply be grateful for those who show up in our lives that match it.  

Never have I been loved so deeply and never before have I shown myself such kindness.  

When he showed me himself, I saw me.

This is me

Surrendering to her own potency, from her heart she roared. Neither in attack nor in defence. A simple yet powerful statement of reclaiming her life. The lioness released from within, symbolic of her courageous heart beating to it's own rhythm as the hummingbird dances with lightness and joy, adding playfulness to her resilience. ~ Nicole Taryn © 2014


I want to you know who you are

Tell me about the first person you ever fell in love with and tell me about each lover you’ve had since then.  Tell me what it is about them that intrigued you and tell me what it was about you that captivated them.  Tell me about the first time you ever felt fear for your soul or the first time you realised that life was going to tear you down.  Tell me about the first time you heard the voices in your head that told you that you weren’t enough.  I want to know if you enjoyed knuckles or marbles and I want to know if you were caught the first time you played catch and kiss.  Was that the first time you felt the thrill of the chase, the dance of desire?  I’d like to know what your childhood memory of Christmas is, snowmen or kangaroos, pavlova or fruit cake?  Did you listen in silence to your parents fighting? What was your first dogs name?  Did you sleep beside him when you were sad?  Did you see the comfort in those big brown eyes, perhaps a message from your future self that you could not quite hear?  What is that?  Do you anger easily?  Does the unfairness of this world stir your heart to beat faster as it tries to race against the pain that you feel rising from your solar plexus.  Does it get stuck in your throat, unable to speak or scream at the injustice of not being seen?  Do you remember the very first time you had to say goodbye?  Did your heart ache from the disconnection of itself and did you find peace within your own being or did you continue to seek yourself through the eyes of others?  I want to know what type of car your dad drove.  Did you mimic his pride for the polished duco and leather interior, knowing deep down that the false pride merely covered up the unspoken hours he spent searching for himself at the bottom of a bottle? I want to know the sound of your Mother’s voice simply by the way your face moves when you talk about her.  Have you ever stared at your face in the mirror and screamed at whoever the hell it is behind those eyes - for fuck’s sake will you hurry up and step forward so that I know who the hell I’m actually supposed to be!  Do you give maybe just a little too much and have you learned yet how to receive?  I want to know - do you sometimes sit in slience?
– © Nicole Taryn