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chaos, i have always hated it. i have always felt it. i have always created it in many ways. my disorders were an attempt to manage perceived chaos for years. i felt like i was just trying to manage, regulate, and obliterate all the chaos around and in me… | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

i have always hated it
i have always felt it
i have always created it

in many ways my disorders
were an attempt to manage
perceived chaos

for years i felt like i was just trying
to manage, regulate
and obliterate all the chaos
around and in me
and to be frank,
it wasn’t even that messy
it was just completely outside of my control
filled with people and happenings
that didn’t make sense to me
and i have always thought i needed
to understand everything

it is my search for understanding
that has most significantly enhanced my life
and at times crippled me
because i have been unwilling to let go
of the need to understand
often at significant cost to me

my hatred of chaos shifted
when i was in my early twenties
i studied german philosophy in college
and became obsessed
with the work of nietzsche

i still remember reading his words
starving for clarity
when i came across this line:

“one must still have chaos in oneself
to be able to give birth to a dancing star”

it made so little sense to me at the time
but i found it deeply comforting

i just knew
i wanted to birth
a dancing star
and probably, most significantly
i felt for the first time maybe ever
that someone wasn’t
making chaos a bad thing
and i began to stop resisting
i began to stop desperately running
and i started to feel
the chaos as intense energy
without needing to label it anything

this was a significant turning point for me
it was the first time i took something
i had judged as bad
and made it neutral
and then, actually good

it was the first time i let go
of needing to understand
in order to accept what is

i remember thinking
okay, i am going to embrace this
i remember deciding
chaos, i am going to make
dear friends with you

i wish i could say everything
immediately got easier
but that was not the case
that said, i did stop suffering as much
and i did start enjoying
the journey so much more

i began to see myself
as a character
in a story i was writing
i stopped thinking i was cursed
and that everything horrible
was happening to me
and started looking for how it was
happening for me

it has taken years, many years,
for me be with chaos
without losing myself
it has taken me realizing that everything
i try to manage, suppress or run from
is actually me fighting fiercely
for my often elusive attention

things tend to have to blow up
for me to notice them
or at least that has been
the case in the past
but i am so incredibly done
with needing tragedy
for me to pay attention
and be willing to shift something

i am so impeccably committed
to doing it differently
and it feels scary
and embarrassing at times
like i am learning
how to ride a bike again
and there is some distant memory
of how this used to be easy
but i am feeling awkward
and so very uncomfortable
in front of you
admitting that something
that seems so simple
isn’t easy for me
it feels messy at times
and yes chaotic
but i am pretty sure
that nietzsche was right

“one must still have chaos in oneself
to be able to give birth to a dancing star”

so i am leaning
into chaos once again
this time willingly
and at times even joyfully

i am letting
the electricity of uncertainty
become fire in me
and necessary fuel

and i am actively cultivating
the knowing
that i was not thrown
into the fire
i am fire

may you learn to embrace
the darkest parts of you
the things you fear most
so that you can use
all the energy you’ve spent
managing, resisting
and shaming
to become
the very brightest version
of you

❤️ emily joy rosen

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