My father’s nickname for me was ‘Little One’.
I much preferred it to the one the rest of my family used, “The Brat.” More often than not though, I probably lived down to “The Brat” trying to make myself not feel so small and little.
I don’t remember when I first began to feel like I didn’t fit into my family. That somewhere in the cosmic journey my belonging got tilted into the twilight zone of not being part of the greater whole that made up our familial unit.
I remember though, the day I decided I had to do something about it.
I was in my early twenties. My parents, brother and sister-in-law had come to visit. I had just started my first ‘real job’ and had to work late. I left the key under the mat and told them to make themselves at home until I got there.
When I did get there, my father and brother were well into a bottle of scotch and having a grand time of dissecting my life. Under the liquid courage that buoyed them up, they decided to set me straight as to why my life wasn’t as great as I thought it was, and why I wasn’t that great a person either.
It was not a happy evening. Eventually I told them that if they wanted to talk about me like that they’d have to go stay somewhere else.
They left and went to stay in a hotel.
I lay on the rug in the living room and wept.
I couldn’t understand it. What had I done to them to make them dislike me so much? What was wrong with me?
I began a journey of self-discovery. It would be many, many years before I found answers that I could live with peacefully. In the process though, I discovered the greatest gift of all.
Self-love and acceptance of all of me. Beauty and the beast. Yin and yang. Lightness and darkness. Grace and hubris.
Yesterday, my ego got triggered. In its need to feel good about itself, to defend against what it perceived to be people undermining my worth, it acted out. It became ‘the victim’ and, just like in my twenties when I couldn’t understand why my family would think so poorly of me, in its strident screaming to ‘Dive! Dive! Dive’ for cover, I moved into that place where my vision of myself was clouded by thoughts of, ‘what’s wrong with me?’ and even more damaging to my peace of mind, ‘why don’t they want me? – which is really just an adult translation of my childhood pleading to my siblings ‘why won’t you play with me?’
I am grateful for those moments where I am reminded how quickly ego can leap into the fray and pull me from my centre.
I am grateful for the reminders that open space for me to find my sense of self-worth amidst ego’s assertions It’s not safe here. Run away! Hide!
In the open space between the fear of “I’m not good enough” and the truth “I am worthy” is that place where I am free to ask myself ‘what’s really going on for me in this situation?’ and listen deeply for the answer within.
Deep within, in the quiet of meditation, in the waters slowly flowing past my window like liquid butter, I breathe into ego’s fears and find my truth shimmering in the light of understanding.
Love is calling me to rise up out of the angst of the there and then into this place where no matter what is happening in the here and now, I am safe in Love’s embrace.
In this space I smile at myself, lovingly, and laugh as I throw my hands up above my hand and exclaim, “Look at me being so human! How fascinating!”
I took an ego trip yesterday. I’ve come back to earth. Come back to the centre of my being present and accepting to all I am, all that is happening without fearing what’s happening will make me less than who I am.
I am a woman of worth, a divine expression of my life lived in the wonder and awe of amazing grace dancing brilliantly in the many facets of its human imperfections.