“Underneath it all, we are wild and we know it.”
– Reggie Ray, Buddhist scholar
From the time you were a little child they’ve been trying to tame you.
They told you how to sit, they told you how to behave. They told you what nice girls do and don’t and when you acted wild, they told you that you should be ashamed of yourself.
So you were.
They told you to sit still.
They told you to quiet down.
They told you to play nice and stop being bossy. They told you to not get dirty. To not be naughty.
You learned that if you were gonna get by in this world, your wild animal self would need to be trained in the ways of the world. You acclimated. You adapted. You shut her away.
You’ve spent your life trying to be good. They love you more when you’re good. But when good becomes false, your true self grieves. When playing by the rules becomes sacrificing your heart’s desires, death is slow and secret. You’re smiling on the outside and dying on the inside.
I declare a Reclamation Proclamation on your wild and fiery spirit. I dare you to untame yourself. Just a little bit. Or a lot.
What does that mean? I don’t know! It will be different for all of us.
For some of us the Reclamation will involve a complete purge of objects, relationships, old familiar ways, burning through the old, to grow new from the ash.
For some of us a Reclamation might be as simple as one single NO.
No I won’t be attending the event.
No I will not entertain this damaging thought.
No I will not feel guilty about taking care of myself.
No I will not work for a company that requires the women to wear panty hose every day.
For some of us, the Reclamation will be in the form of a YES.
YES this is what I want.
YES I will swim naked in the moonlight.
YES I will take a lover.
YES I will travel alone.
YES I will do the unthinkable.
Whatever your unthinkable might be.
You might stop shaving your legs, if that suits your fancy. You might go without panties for a week, to see how that changes the way you move and experience the world. You might quit your job. You might leave a marriage. You might start a marriage. You might parachute, para-sail, para-glide. You might release a relationship, renew a promise, set fire to the old. Give birth to the new in you.
Dance. Sing. Scream. Run. Stay. Do the wild thing.
There’s a new movement sweeping the country, thousands of women have stopped shaving their legs. They’re taking pictures, they’re sharing them online. It’s bold, it’s definitely a Reclamation Proclamation of the wild one!
Although I don’t think I’ll be going to such extremes, (only because I don’t feel pulled in that direction, it doesn’t titillate me) I do occasionally allow them to grow unruly because I just don’t feel like shaving and it’s sort of fun to marvel at their prickly stubbly layer of hair that will most certainly grow wild if I let it.
Your wild child is begging you to let her out. She needs to live. She needs to breathe. She needs your respect and adoration.
“You do not have to be good.You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. “
– Mary Oliver
Did you get that?
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Your wild one is calling out. Untame your spirit. How might your world change? How does your wild spirit want to reveal herself?
Do something wild. I dare you. Love what you love. Burn what needs to burn. Set fire to your tameness. To your jaded holding back, keeping it down, guarding your heart (as if.)
It’s not working.
You were born to be wild.
Originally published Summer, 2014. Taking a short break from writing, be back soon!