I started this blog partially out of want, but primarily out of push. The feeling like there were things that needed to be said. The belief that there were others out there who needed to hear. The hope that my words could be some kind of thread that brought others my direction; those I needed to learn from.

And now, as I keep writing over and over again, I am floundering. I am on a path towards healing, and I am terrified of it. As I keep writing, I am afraid of writing. Afraid of people misunderstanding my intentions. Of being heard and seen at all. Of the katharsis that writing – and putting myself out there as an open, extended hand – will bring.

My birth name takes its root from katharsis. Katharsis, meaning a purging of emotions (especially fear), evolves from kathairein – cleansing – which in turn comes from katharos – pure.

Purity is one of those words that seems straightforward, but upon more than a cursory glance, blooms into a rich, complex concept that one can get lost in. It is often equated with innocence; an untarnished state of being, untouched, like freshly driven snow.

But that is not the purity that interests me. I am going to let my academic background show just a wee bit, and quote somewhat selectively from the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon’s definition of katharos:

Purified by fire. Like a vine, cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit. Free from every admixture of what is false; sincere, genuine.

This purity is not about born perfection. It is about being entirely consumed in flames, letting the excruciating heat ripple over you, tearing away and obliterating layer after layer. It is about letting something wholly other than yourself, affect and move you, trusting enough to have parts clipped away, preparing you for healing and growth and creation. It is about authenticity. Being nothing other than entirely, completely, wholeheartedly you – whatever that may entail.

This purity is katharos. Katharsis is how you get there.

I am being purified by fire. It is a continuing process, as each layer is peeled away and obliterated in flames. It is painful. It leaves me raw; vulnerable; easily moved to deep emotion, both joy and despair and everything in between.

And instead of showing that, here, I am hiding. Hiding in not speaking. Hiding in trying to portray myself as something I am not.

So, here I am, world. Deeply ambivalent towards virtually everything. Constantly teetering. Self-esteem racked and riddled with holes; confidence non-existent; terrified to my core for just being in a body and breathing, half the time wishing to just disappear.  Here I am, a goddess who wishes she were small, both doing everything to shrink away, and to reach my hands out to the stars.

I wanted this blog to be a concrete thing; a forged path full of wisdom and fact; a well-established road like a memoir one writes on their deathbed in a solid, unyielding voice.

But it is not. It is the quivering voice of a young, lost woman, uncertain of who she is, uncertain of what she is meant to do,  trying to hold back tears as she puts one foot slowly in front of the other with the wind whipping all around her, and the night air stealing her sight as she nears the cliff’s edge.

And I could try pretending that I know what I am doing. Speak with the authority I learned in my schooling; hold fast, and put up a front that I am reasonable and solid. But that would defeat the whole point. In order to be purified by fire, you have to let go.

I am going to keep trying to let go.

About Reconstructing the Labyrinth

Hello! My name is Bri, and I run the blog Reconstructing the Labyrinth. I am a pagan who works primarily with the Minoan pantheon, of which I believe myself to be an incarnate member. I am also genderqueer, pansexual, and demisexual. I have a wonderful, loving partner. I am a mixed-media artist and writer with a great fondness for plaid and amaretto-flavored coffee.
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2 Responses to Katharsis

  1. Hi Bri,
    I can definitely relate to what you are saying here. This is exactly how I feel right now in my own path and with my own blog (though I have only just started posting recently). Fear and uncertainty but the urge to push through it anyways because there is something valuable on the other side and not just for myself if I share what I am going through with others. It is good to know that I am not alone in this experience…. Neither are you. Thank you for reminding me.

    • And thank you for reminding me, Amanda! I am sorry to hear you struggle similarly, but am glad that you are also working on pushing through all the hard emotions tied in with public blog writing at such a personal level. ❤

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