I am always interested to see how my ego works. If I am misunderstood, I feel confused and small. When my heart reaches out to someone to try to help them out of the illusion of a “trapped” place and they respond by fighting fiercely to hold onto victim… I feel stirred up in my chest.
The source of that was living with two adults who were emotionally corrupt and I needed to not believe the world they created. It would drag me under. It would destroy me. And so I learned to stand back while I was very young and simply watch how others operate. I needed to separate my reality from theirs. It is a gift that all those born into a chaotic environment are given. We question everything and discover our own truth.
But having them believe my words never happened. My perceptions were always wrong or crazy. They attempted to control my actions, not their own.
And then as time passes, I remember in my past when my reactions were exactly the same reactions as those I am currently trying to help: when I refused to listen and to learn. It is like planting something in the garden… a new understanding, a new sympathy for them and for my younger self that KNEW so much. And then I can see the entire lesson from all sides.
Being patient with how long it takes me to back off of the fear when I have been misunderstood is where I am right now. Yes. It is taking me time to “get it” and yes I am probably not “getting all of it” but being in submission to the process of learning is getting easier.
As I was making the beds today I thought of all of the messages those who were older, more experienced and wiser had given me. I remember the very instance when he or she reached out to me and held up a mirror. The scenes flashed before me.
Standing and watching riots across the United States in 1967 at a Professor’s house, I expressed fear. I said, “It is all being destroyed.” And a very tired looking, sage academic asked me, “Why do you fear the destruction?”
I was too young. I was too sure of my mental agility. I was too ego bound with being right. I rejected the wisdom because I was not ready. I did not hear the words but instead turned them into only that which I could see. I refused to understand that others who had suffered more, faced death more intimately, survived more humiliation were wiser. Because I was too ego bound I condemned myself to learn through pain and loss. I would not listen. I could not listen. I did not understand their words. My ego defence system kept them out of my fortress. And because of that I chose the more difficult path.
Something remarkable has happened to me in the last two years. The life of mindless spending out of time no longer calls me. The life of doing that which others decide is correct no longer satisfies me. There is a separation between who I was and who I have become. And I am more content. I am more curious. I no longer know what I will be. And it is glorious. And it is glorious.
Today I saw a video reminding me of Marcus Aurelius who hired a servant to following him every where repeating in his ear, “You are just a man. You are just a man.”
And it by knowing that we are at the service of the lesson that we grow. Keeping focused on the truth that it is not the results that I seek. I do not want more power, or more recognition, or greater safety in the world. I want to be of service. And that means releasing the need to know what I am becoming. Thank you friend for allowing me to see my ego in action again.