In a world that always seems to conspire against our growth we must maintain faith in the purposefulness of our suffering. Believing every suffering, pain, and discomfort contains a blessing and a lesson. We put an immense amount of pressure on our future selves, and intensely judge our past selves, but in order to live a life smitten with wonder we must learn to place our entire attention into the present. For suffering does contain a purpose, but we must be able to create a sacred space while experiencing this life. Being able to laugh, pray, dance, and smile is the source of a bountiful life.
Through the act of internal heroism, which we call art, we create a more compassionate and loving world that encourages other people to continue making space to hear themselves. Throughout A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars and Interviews of Anaïs Nin, the wonderful and lovely, Anais Nin speaks on the creation of a second birth through a reconstruction of the self, but, as I grow older I believe, we are constantly being birth, which means we are also constantly dying and we must accept this reality–Anais Nin on Faith:
One must be thrust out of a finished cycle in life, and that leap is the most difficult to make – to part with one’s faith, one’s love, when one would prefer to renew the faith and recreate the passion. I’m talking about equalizing the pressure between outer actions and events which are shattering and devastating to us and then the place where we recompose and reconstruct ourselves, where we finally achieve what Jung called the second birth. The second birth is the one that you can make, and the discovery of that to me was always a great relief.
But if suddenly we begin to feel that there is one person we can change, simultaneously we change many people around us. And as a writer I suddenly discovered the enormous radius of influence that one person can have.
Our current way of moving around the world has produced a stressful, neglectful, angry, and terrified people whose identities are wrapped around the corporations that employ them, or movements they support, but so few people have learned to create a sacred space in order to check in with spirit. We need a new center of gravity, which means we require a new way of interacting with one another along with stretching ourselves in order to improve ourselves.
Being exhausted means we must make time for spirit, and its easy to forget that we require a constant attunement to the needs of that voice always speaking inside us. We have to be confident in nourishing our inner selves while embracing the possibility of being happy. Because we know all those other experiences–poverty, fear, doubt, failure, and passivity–so intimately, it seems unbelievable that one day we will have everything we daydreamed about. We must embrace the possibility of becoming full–Anais says:
You must not fear or hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and your feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to receive, to nourish yourself, and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow. Allow for the rise in temperature and all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess. Great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.
We ought to be much more fearful of what we don’t know. We should really be fearful of an unconscious that inhabits us, that guides us, that influences our life and of which we don’t know the face and don’t know the message. Actually I have much less fear since I confronted fears. What’s frightening to me is people whose unconscious leads them, destroys them, and yet they will never stop and look at it. That’s the minotaur in the labyrinth, which many people never come face to face with.
Anais encourages us to create a life from the content on our hearts. In this way we clear our thinking and develop the compassion necessary to lighten each other’s burden. When we operate from a state of mutual benefit we become attentive to the necessity of growth. We become focused on releasing our brother from our collective shackles. This self-expansion will strengthen our belief in life utterly changing. A complete shift in the people that once lamented over insecurities, paralyzed by fear, and unable to create due to doubt. The artist is the man/women that made walked toward/inside and created a space that produced communication. The artist elevates our consciousness through this self-revelation–she says:
The need of language at this moment, for woman to write well. To express herself, is almost as important as the actual evolution of her growth. The Diary shows this, that the more I wrote, the clearer my thinking was. That the more I expressed myself, the more I was able then to express to the men around me.
It’s a great involvement with language. And the language in the first Diary is not as developed as it is in the second. Or in the third. And it was finally by writing that I taught myself to talk with others. So I can’t stress enough for woman at this moment the need for articulateness. The need to care about language. Because again the thing that can create misunderstandings is the inability to speak. The inability to write.
Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” She closes this wonderful speech with a message about liberation; liberation from the fear that plagues all creative acts, and that will one day, hopefully, be forgotten once we’ve overcome this emotion enough times. We must create what our spirit needs–she says:
When I once said I would rather be married to an artist than be one, I was really being a coward. I was really dropping out. I was saying that I would help the artist but I was not going to try to be one. There was nothing wonderful or sacrificial about that. The muse is a very suspect character. I simply was refusing to take the responsibility of being an artist myself. So I had decided I would be the helper, the assistant; it was really much easier. So when women complain about being forced into that role, I have my doubts. Because I played that role too. It was up to me.
Anais Nin on Faith speaks with warmth and urgency on those themes which have always been closest to her. Relationships, creativity, the struggle for wholeness, the unveiling of woman, the artist as magician, women reconstructing the world. Moving from the dream outward, and experiencing our lives to the fullest possible extent. Continue reading Anais Nin On Refusing Despair.
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