MORE ABOUT THAT: Circuses, Monkeys, Big Effin’ Fence

This is my circus. Please note: No monkeys. (I gave them all to Barb G.) Any monkeys involved are YOUR monkeys. Thank you.
This is my circus. Please note: No monkeys. (I gave them all to Barb G.) Any monkeys involved are YOUR monkeys. Thank you.

So my post the other day on the frustration of not being accepted for who you are, and not being respected for what you know, was actually more like hurt feelings and anger.

I got that as soon as I wrote it. (That’s why I write, after all. To figure all this stuff out.)

But it felt wonderful to be able to say, “It hurts! And you were only allowed to hurt me because I trusted you! Because I thought I had something useful to share, information that could help YOU!!”

The next day came this new mantra:

Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

That’s when I realized everything that was hurting me and stressing me, were things I’d picked up. Things I wanted to fix. Things I thought I could help with. (Hell’s bells, where did my hospice training go??!!)

I had the experience, I had the knowledge, I had the training, I’d even made it through the aftermath. Surely someone might benefit from that! (After all, part of my mission is that I some share things I’ve learned the hard way, so that you don’t always have to….)

And I ended up in someone else’s circus, with someone else’s monkeys.

So what do you do when you want to be open and you want to be vulnerable, so something new can come in? But you’re also sick and tired of said heart being emotionally and spiritually trampled?

Here comes the next step in my mailbox today: “Open, gentle heart. Big fucking fence.”

Danielle LaPorte is much braver and fierce than I am. I’m in awe of her.

I see where she’s going with this, and I want to go there, too. I’m going to keep that practice, of doing the work and growing. I’ll be brave, and I’ll do the work.

But the big fence is okay, too. You don’t get in until you show me you can act respectfully of what is being given. And if you do make a mess, and don’t clean up after yourself?

well, that’s my own damn fault for believing you were who you say your are.

I wasn’t wrong for giving you the benefit of the doubt. But I will be slower about letting you in the next time, and quicker to boot you out if you fustlecate. (I just made that up.)

Just in time. Because right now things are hard. But they don’t have to be.

Deep breath.

Let it go.

And get back out there, back into the game.
Into the big wide open adventure of my life.

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

8 thoughts on “MORE ABOUT THAT: Circuses, Monkeys, Big Effin’ Fence”

  1. Love fustlecate… I wondered about the initial post, but yes, hospice training (and/or its ilk) doesn’t train anybody for when it’s happening to YOU. Only going through it will train you. Sucks, but it’s true. To paraphrase the ’60s, keep on rantin’. Can’t speak for anyone else out there, but I’m listening! And learning!


    1. LOL, re: “…doesn’t train anybody for when it’s happening to YOU” is spot-on advice. You’re right, I felt I should have known better, but I didn’t. Something new to learn…. Thank you!!!!!


  2. Hi Luann
    We are All brave & fierce in our own ways.
    The whole point of growing, understanding, encompassing is that it is always the ones inside who can touch us. They are the ones who teach us about us. We should be mindful that a fence is man- made … The laws of nature of which we are part of serve us better. Nature does not build fences.


  3. Someone learned something from your experience….ME
    Someone hurt me deeply. Someone I trusted and loveed and accepted without judgement. And while I was cleaning my very wet and messy Courtyard yesterday it dawned on me that maybe the problem came from the same place your problem did. I simply wasn’t liked. Very possible considering the other person’s experiences. And you are right. Not my circus and certainly not my damn Monkeys. We all have enough of our own little pets. No need to take on anyone else’s. I think the big F’n fence comes with the experience. I knew I was following you for a reason! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


  4. I think it’s like trying to balance. Some days we’re going to lean too far one, way, some days too far the other way. We’ll wobble, but we’ll always know where our center is–even if we can’t stay there very long! :^)


  5. a good friend once told me that she evaluates everything thrown her way with this criterion – “my problem or not my problem”. it took her a long time to sort it out at first but she got better and better at figuring it out more quickly. she is constantly amazed at how much that is really “not my problem” used to make her feel like she needed to do something. Much like “not my circus, not my monkeys”.


  6. Sending you wishes for courage and resilience Luann. Loved fustlecate. Your vocabulary, as well as your wisdom, a gift to so many of us. Hoping the wobbly feeling let’s up a bit! Wendy Moore


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