Ride That Elephant.

“What you’re doing’s not the popular thing to do. You write about the elephant in the room. Actually, you get on that elephant and take it for a ride,” he said.

My friend and I were sitting with the kids, having a leisurely dinner last night.

He is one of my few confidants, he knows me through and through. He also happens to be well known, well liked, well received and very successful within the Phoenix community. He’s earned his status through hard work, talent, diplomacy and his willingness to keep his opinions to himself—he’s neutral.

Yeah, I’m not.

I’m not diplomatic and asking me to not share my opinions, thoughts and feelings would be like asking a living being not to sweat in a Bikram yoga class, it’s impossible!

I had remarked how slow going my reach and success has been. I lose some. I gain some. I lose some. I gain some. I feel like I can never get ahead, because, my work is not the popular work to do.

Not only is it not popular, it’s not safe or socially acceptable.

Every day, I stand in broad daylight, in the middle of the town square, naked.

“See? See? This is what a human looks like!” I exclaim.

People walk by–some are disgusted and turn the other way. Others try not to look, but they can’t help it. They are curious to see what someone else looks like, not to find the differences, but to discover the similarities.

“Does she have what I have?” Searching in hopes of finding something that will help them feel less isolated and alone.

All it takes is one–one person to notice my scars, lumps, bumps and stretch marks.

“Hey! I’ve got those, too. See? You are just like me!” 

That person walks over and takes off her clothes, too.

Then another person joins us, and then another, and then another, and before long, I’m not the only one standing there.

I become just one, in an orgy of understanding, acceptance, love and freedom.

But—

What would have happened if I gave up? 

What if I allowed all the people who shunned my work to scare me back into hiding? 

What would have happened if I put my clothes on and walked away? 

Success is relative. I’m not trying to be well liked or rich.

I’m trying to lead a mutiny on fear–the fear of being seen, the fear of being gigantic and extraordinary, and the fear of being ourselves.

That’s not an easy feat. It’s a life’s work, a life’s mission–my mission.

I won’t give up.

So, you know where to find me–sitting here on top of this elephant, naked, waiting patiently until the rest of you join me.

As long as it takes, I’ll be here. ~Rebecca

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