Life engenders life.
Energy creates energy.
It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.
— Sarah Bernhardt
How can you be in the right place at the right time if you are no place at all?
This is, in the end, the biggest challenge with the closeted, modulated, lonely life. Because you don’t have any place to spend yourself, you have no way to become rich. Your own denial of desire engenders scarcity, which pushes abundance and the nourishment that comes with it away.
By denying us a place to give our gifts, stigma denies us a place to receive our rewards. To be marginalized is to be denied participation in your own way, leaving you to pick up the crumbs around the edges.
Spend yourself is always great advice. Put more in to get more out. And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
For those, though, who have spent themselves with little reward, too whatever to get the gifts back, it is easy to feel a spent force. The lesson that giving more will get you more resistance and heartbreak eventually becomes hard to overcome.
Too often, the lesson to give more becomes not about your energy but about your compliance. “Give them what they want,” people tell you, “what they expect, what they are comfortable with, what the know they need, and you can get rewards.” Fit in, assimilate, redirect, cut yourself down, modulate, so they can accept what you have.
Becoming selfless to give what others need and value is a technique I mastered. I know how to disconnect and go eternal, how to deny my own character to play a role that others can grasp.
For me, the search for a venue where I can spend myself and get back what I need has been the challenge of a lifetime. It has left me depleted, a spent force, without the reserves of enthusiasm and exuberance of youth which offer the resilience needed to try, fail, bounce back, get up and try again.
The Divine Sarah was right when she told her listeners that it is only by spending yourself that you can become rich. I have spent myself in the pursuit of understanding, and I have become rich with knowledge and even with wisdom, able to suss out what is going on quickly and even with authority.
What I haven’t become rich in is agency, the wherewithal to create change in my relationship with the wider world. Vibrancy, passion and impulse are the currency there, melded with the willingness to give them what they want, not stubborn, iconoclastic and clear vision. Vitality over virtue, every time.
Yes, yes, yes. Spend yourself, and if what you are spending yourself on now isn’t giving you the rewards you need, search for someplace that will.
Try, try, try again to find reward. But if you fail again, well, maybe it’s time to quit. No use being a damn fool about it, eh?