Bread and Circus Definition: noun
1.something as extravagant entertainment, offered as an expedient means of pacifying discontent or diverting attention from a source of grievance.
What I have been doing just isn’t working anymore. I feel the layers of an old way slough slowly off me like a snake shedding her skin perhaps for the last time. THIS old way of being and wanting and not enoughness no longer serves me and in fact is beginning to physically hurt. It is now taking way too much effort to maintain what has always been second nature to me and unconsciously carried out with ease. This once unseen need to keep shame on the sidelines and feel accepted at all costs has lost its allure and is now seen with new eyes. This old insanity brewing within conjures a seething neurotic calling the shots from the inside. She is not me and I am no longer obliged to keep her fed.
Daily I feel how much energy it takes to hold this shit storm together and my shoulders ache from the heaviness It’s maddening and draining and I don’t want to do it anymore. And still I do. Habitually I worry about my outward appearance and how others will perceive me – I smile when I feel like crap and suck in my belly before a picture is taken. This is how I was raised by my mother and society…and I’ve known nothing else.
The thought of showing the world my true self, revealing all of my flaws, strikes waves of panic and shame deep inside me that roll around my pelvic floor. The conditioned good girl I’ve been feeding for years still wants to be seen damn it. She hears society’s “relevance clock” ticking in its eleventh hour and feels the urgency to spend her last “visible” years proving that she existed. She desires to maintain a sense of hipness as she provides well-balanced evidence that she’s done something meaningful with her life. Something that is worthy and kinda flashy but not too flashy. Yep, keeping this bread and circus going is too much for me now and I want to let go.
So what does letting go look like? I wish I knew. Sometimes I can feel it and there are days I have embraced it. Like the days when I wake up enthused just because I am awake and spend less time on the computer and more time in the studio – hands covered in paint. Days like this when I write because I can feel the pressure to do so welling up in me and to ignore it would be detrimental to my health. And the days when I connect heart to heart with another in authentic conversation. This is how it unfolds for me – in step with a snail’s pace. I suppose it couldn’t happen any other way or I’d likely go mad. Decades of conditioning take time to dissolve and it’s this truth that allows me to give myself a break around it all. My unwinding is happening slowly but surely and it’s a good thing. I am enough, my life is enough and I am moving towards a true wholeness, inching my way back to my authentic self.