Avoiding the ugly bits

Reverb10. December 20

Beyond avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (from Jake Nickell)

As I sat down this morning, rain pounding overhead, coffee at my side, hours earlier than I normally write, I was tempted to stand up again and walk away. Avoidance? Really? I’ve been slapped so hard by life this year avoidance wasn’t an option.

I stood up. I walked away. I got a decaf. I thought about Amy Oscar pointing out that the prompts we avoid have a story to tell. I came back.


As much as I’ve poured myself onto the page this year, as much as I’ve opened up and let go, I haven’t been totally honest. With myself. With the people in my life. Here, in this venue. Mostly honest, yes, but not 100%.

That’s hard to admit.

It came up in my meditation last night. I gush about my heart beating gratitude (and it does) and how my life has changed (it has). But if you could have seen me last night, grumpy, unhappy, beating myself up for not getting enough done, avoiding intimacy. Well. That’s the other half of the story.

There are words I’ve left unsaid for years. They play on repeat in my mind. Why haven’t I let them out?

There are truths I’m afraid to tell.

There are pieces of myself I am afraid to love.

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0 Responses to Avoiding the ugly bits

  1. Wow, Alana, so beautiful.

    Love that you’ve written so raw.

  2. Amy Oscar says:

    Sigh… I found this so touching. When you whispered, at the very end, “There are pieces of myself I am afraid to love” I thought, Wow. Is there anyone on this Earth who would not say this? It’s so hard to admit this – and then to, expose those unlovable bits to the light. Very brave. And we admire, so much, those who do it – who risk it – precisely because we resonate with the very same shames, hurts, hidden bits.

  3. Karen Sharp says:

    Oh, oh…
    those tender aching frightened parts of yourself that you are afraid to love…

    yes, I completely agree with what Amy said, that we all have those parts, we all can say those words.

    And it’s so hard, and so scary, like our skin’s being ripped off, to even look in the direction of those parts of ourselves.

    But I want to offer you something, I want to offer all of us with parts we are afraid to love, to me with my own frightened, hiding, unloved parts as well,

    and this may be just as raw to hear, as it must have been for those words to have been said…

    we out here, all of us, are yearning, dying, to love exactly those parts of you.

    Because they answer our own yearnings. They are a sacred answer to the questions within us, that we ourselves are too afraid to even ask, that we ourselves are too afraid to love.

    And for all of us, and I’m speaking to those parts within myself at the same time that I’m speaking to you, Alana…

    that love cannot be answered
    those fears cannot be soothed

    until we let those pieces of ourselves out.

    Not any faster than feels ripe, we don’t need to tear off our own skin in the process…

    …but slowly, gently

    …it’ll be okay.

    There’s more than enough love to go around.
    Even for those parts of ourselves.

  4. Stereo says:

    Every time I come here, I marvel at how incredibly brave you are. Brave for sharing these parts of you, brave for letting us respond, brave for carrying on despite everything. It’s not in vain, please know that ♥

  5. Abby says:

    I find such relief in the fact that someone has acknowledged the things you acknowledge–thank you

  6. Bob D. says:

    As usual when I read your posts, my head is nodding in that “Yes, yes, I can totally relate” motion.

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