Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Living large in a world of wonder

The major block to compassion is the judgment in our minds. Judgment is the mind's primary tool of separation. Diane Berke
I have been called headstrong, stubborn, willful and arrogant. I have been called, kind, caring, loving and considerate. I like the second set of attributes. The first set annoy me -- but then, my ego doesn't like it when someone sees it at play.

When I have been considered headstrong, or stubborn or arrogant, it is because I am coming from an ego-driven place that holds me separate from (think above) others. My ego wants to believe it has the answers. My ego wants to control how the world turns around me so that I can feel safe, secure and comfortable spinning my human being into doing what she knows best -- playing with my ego.

Several years ago I had a disagreement with someone I love. It wasn't too long after Conrad was arrested so I was really proud of myself for standing my ground. For not backing down in the face of someone else's insistence they knew what was best for me and had the right to usurp their authority.

At the time, I surprised myself, and the person I was dealing with -- someone I love -- by choosing to walk away, in love, and not hold onto the argument, to their actions (which just to be clear, my ego considered to be wrong, wrong, wrong). At the time, I chose to let go of right and wrong, to surrender and fall into love -- that place where there is no right or wrong, no time or space, no place other than where I am in the moment.

It was a new experience for me. Different. Far beyond the edges of my comfort zone. Out in that place called, living large. Living true to all I'm meant to be.

And I was scared.

A short time afterwards, the friend called to talk about what had happened. She was crying. Upset. Scared. In trying to make me see 'the wrong' in my actions, she began to tell me all the things I shouldn't have done. All the ways I was wrong to say/do/feel what I had. At first I resisted her attempts to tell me who I was. I stood my loving ground, but then, I found myself falling under the lure of the elixir of her tirade about what was wrong with me. I began to listen hungrily for the next item on her list, my head abuzz with thoughts of "Caught. She's found me out. She's so right." I remember sitting numbly, listening to the phone, listening to her voice as the victim's voice within me rose up to shout with her, "Damn right sistah! I'm selfish, inconsiderate, ungrateful and stubborn. I don't give a damn about anyone but me."

It was... a painful moment. A painful realization to discover within me the voice that wanted so desperately to collude with someone else's negative thoughts about me.

Now, I know and love the individual in question. I know she was only operating from her fear, her place of sorrow and angst and concern. I know her words were not about me and had everything to do with where she was at in our discord and how desperately she wanted to make things right. Her words were a reflection of the enormous inner turmoil our disagreement had placed her under. Her words were her angst giving voice to the pain within her.

Doesn't make what she said right. It does make her human condition understandable and forgivable.

The challenge for me was recognizing how my psyche was so adept at flipping from, "I am ok" into "I am such a mess" in a few quick, uneven breaths.

My victim's voice wanted confirmation that I was not responsible for me. I was not to blame for the messes I had created. I was not accountable for everything I had done. It wanted to abdicate self-responsibility and give into the notion -- I'm just not good enough -- so that I wouldn't have to say, "Enough. I give enough. I do enough. I am enough." My victim's voice did not want to turn up for me in all my beauty, warts and all, and so it gave into the whim of letting someone else define me.

My victim's voice is a powerhouse of self-condemnation. It does not want to stand tall. It does not want to 'grow up'. It wants to hold onto the notion that I am not responsible for my life. I am not capable of being a mature, caring and self-loving adult. My victim's voice does not want to claim its right to be perfectly human in all my human imperfections. Beauty and the beast, warts and all. My victim's voice wants to keep me playing small in this great big world of wonder. It's no wonder it stomps its feet so harshly when it is scared -- my victim's voice doesn't like feeling out of control, out on the edge of reason, leaping into the unknown waters of life beyond the realm of my comfort zone.

My victim's voice doesn't like knowing, compassion begins within me. It's frightened of the truth -- no one can rescue me from my human condition. No one can do it for me but me.

Scary thought that. That I am the one who has to turn up for me and live my life, live my heart's desire and soul's expression infused with the Divine blessing of being perfectly human. It doesn't like knowing it is waiting for no one but me to surrender and fall in love with all that I am, and all I can be. It doesn't like knowing it has the power to liberate me from the past. It doesn't want to be committed to love, honour and protect me, myself and I. It doesn't want to admit it loves me.

Too bad ego.

I love you. And there's nothing you can do to change that!

The question is: Can you love yourself, in all your ego driven, angst-riddled confusion, enough to stand up and be your own agent of change, living large in a world of wonder?


Maureen said...

In Anam Cara, John O'Donohue describes "styles of vision". He writes,

"To the fearful eye, all is threatening... To the greedy eye, everything can be possessed... To the judgmental eye, everything is closed in definitive frames...always excluding and separating...To the resentful eye, everything is begrudged... To the inferior eye, everyone else is greater...To the loving eye, everything is real... The loving eye sees through and beyond image and effects the deepest change...."

Would that we might all find our own "loving eye".

Anonymous said...

you don't have a first set, second set . . you have one set

it's all good


M.L. Gallagher said...

Oh Maureen -- what a beautiful quote. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Thanks Mark! All is good.


Anonymous said...

you're insight is astounding.
love you sistah.