On the Desire to Be Saved

I had a secret desire to be saved.

A desire not to take responsibility for my own life. A secret wish that someone else has the key or an answer. A god or deity, a big love or strong man, a doctor, an expert, a guru, an agent, a fairy godmother, the right marketing partner, a trainer. Someone out there has the magic sauce of easeful success, right? So….that was really not working, all that leaning out for other people. It made me a bad chooser in relationships. And it made no overt sense: I was nobody’s dependent in real life. The desire felt old, like it predated me.

I was talking with Jeff Greenwald, who connected this desire to all the stories of the saved woman … as old as our folktales, as ingrained in global culture as Disney and the Ramayana, as dark as the Brothers Grimm. And my friend, the wise Kelsey Barrett suggested this impulse might even be more primal and specific to me- a wanting to be a little- to be suckled. I’m reminded of the childhood book “Are You My Mother?”, where the protagonist, a little lost chick, goes around asking where she belongs and who she belongs to. Am I really still that girl? Removing this idea from my habitual thinking and standing in my true sovereignty, standing on my own is BIG.

There is nothing to be saved from, nothing to be fixed. The Burners call it Radical Personal Responsibility: The right balance of giving more than your share… taking care of your own shit… along with Radical Generosity.


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