There is a frantic energy of preciousness to hovering around your life, picking at yourself as you tell yourself to stand up straight or reprimanding yourself for saying the wrong thing. The buzzing around your own shoulders as you become the helicopter mother to your own life, wiping schmutz off your face with your spit and making sure that each! decision! is! the! right! one!
(And yes, all of those exclamation points are necessary, because they speak to the energy of this feeling. It is the energy of believing that emergencies lurk behind every corner and that we must remain vigilant in order to ward off certain catastrophe. When we are in this state we are jumpy and melodramatic, playing into our own fears even as we seek to escape them.)
This frantic energy walks hand in hand with your anxiety as you spiral out into the distance with each decision that must be made. You ask yourself: But how will this outfit impact the trajectory of my life in five years time? Or ten? Will it bring me closer to my future soulmate? Or further away? Anxiety is the body’s nervous ache at your absence when you abandon it to energetically run the length of your life, double checking your decisions and hoping that haven’t fucked everything up for real this time.
This preciousness is your fear trying to trick you into buying into the idea that there are right and wrong decisions, rather than your decisions. It is your ego co-opting your desire and creativity, demanding that they work for you in a chronological order to move your success down a preferred trajectory. It is the energy of buying into the concept of lack, the belief that there isn’t enough goodness for all of us to share. That you earn your piece of the pie by doing all of the right things and becoming extra good at being everything to everyone.
This preciousness tells you that you have to conform to objective standards of right and wrong in order to belong, and that your tribe membership rests squarely on your ability to get this right.
We get stuck there mired in our fear and humanity as we start to believe in the enormity of our decisions. We get stuck and, because each decision is now enormous, we become further paralyzed in wanting to research all of our best options before taking the next step. We get stuck in the belief that our inherent worth is the culmination of a hundred perfect decisions – and the fear that mistakes ruin us, marring our hope to be seen as flawless.
It is important to note here that we do not do this because we are stupid or because we love the state of living in that frantic energy. We do it because we want to be good, because whenever we believe that our goodness is at stake we lose our connection with our rational, wise mind. There is a piece of us buys into that preciousness, because it makes us feel useful and needed. Being precious gives you something to do, so that you can feel like you are in control of your life.
But, when you are micromanaging your life, your life will be managed, small.
When you are tending to yourself out of the frantic fear that without your steady hand everything will go to shit, you are giving yourself the message, again and again, that you are not worth trusting. That your spirit is a wild thing to be wrangled and disciplined if you are ever going to “succeed.” You are delivering the message to yourself that the only action that matters is perfect action, reinforcing the concept that you are a mess to be managed rather than a spectacular human navigating her life as best she can.
The truth is, you cannot control your life, not really. Your job is to open yourself up to showing up fully, as you make the best decisions that you can at the time, with the tools that you have on hand. Your job is to tend to your wild spirit without fencing her in. Your job is to build your capacity for risk taking – but also for taking care of yourself during the process.
This is preciousness, but it is not in the spirit of truly believing that YOU, yourself, are a precious thing – a thing to be cherished and tended to with reverence.
Your body is a vessel to be used and your life is to be lived in.
Your goodness doesn’t demand your perfection. Your worth doesn’t demand that you’ve done everything right. The value of your life isn’t hinged upon whether or not you’ve done the appropriate things at the appropriate times. This kind of preciousness is the opposite of trust. Instead of relishing your autonomy and living the full breadth of your life as a grand experiment in tending to your joy, this preciousness is the belief that you are something that must be managed or carefully watched because without constant supervision you will ruin everything. It is the belief that your vigilance is protecting you from certain failure. This kind of preciousness doesn’t know anything about the wildness of your worth or the feral beauty of your natural state. This kind of preciousness pens you in, forcing you to adhere to the predefined limits out of fear of what will happen if you step out of line or make a mistake.
You are precious, but you are not breakable. You will not fall apart into a million pieces when your heart is broken, even if it may feel like it. You will not waste away in your disappointment at not having things turn out the way that you would have wanted them to. This is the risk and the freedom in living intentionally. Vibrantly. Fully. This is the power in giving yourself the permission to show up messy and see what happens.
You are a precious, unique thing, but your preciousness doesn’t need to be set up high on a pedestal, protected by layers of bullet proof glass. That will not keep you safe, but it will break your spirit. It will bore you. It will ensure that the life that you get is not the life that you want, because it is a life built for someone else.
And I want more for you than that.