I’ve parented four teenagers, and am still in the process of raising two. One of whom just went to college, so my level of influence on her is quite limited, but there’s still the sense that I have some role in her life, even if mostly to support her in her own path.
If I could be an octopus mother, I would. Those eight arms to wrap around, hug and hold my offspring would barely be enough to protect them from all of life’s events. And, as I’ve written about before, I’ve had to do a lot of “letting go and letting be” with my family, which has mostly come about as I’ve learned to do the same with my own life.
I can’t protect my kids from what’s ahead of them anymore than I can protect myself.
And it was the “meddling” with my life (or theirs), the always “fixing” or hiding from in the past, that kept me from really seeing what was there for me to work with.
A.H. Almaas, in The Unfolding Now, writes about the meddling we do when we judge or dislike some part of us that feels “less than” or not yet good enough. And yet that interference with ourselves implies a division, as if we could separate ourselves into parts and reject some of us.
Recently I bit into a juicy apple that had such a crisp sweet-tart taste. I was savoring the flavor when, without looking, I took a second bite that landed in an undetected bruise. Slightly mushy, definitely sour and not at all what I was expecting. Yuck, as I spit it out.
As I carefully looked at the rest of the apple, I realized that it was only that one spot that was bad, yet considered tossing the whole apple. I wanted the whole apple to be perfect, as if the other bites weren’t worth having if they all weren’t good.
Your life is like that apple. Definitely some bruises, some parts not so shiny and crisp.
And your tendency is to discard all the good feelings about yourself just because of the bruise(s) that you find.
When you reject some part of you, or hide from it because you’re scared of it or feel bad about it, you create a resistance to it that thickens it.
You make it bigger and even scarier. More bruised.
And you do that- push away parts of you that you dislike or reject- because you are trying to preserve your identity, your ego’s picture of itself.
Your unconscious belief is that if you allow those bruises to be apparent, you and others will think less of you. When you notice the bruises, your identity is threatened because you are now vulnerable to seeing that you may not be all that you thought you were. A premium apple, or at least a shiny one.
Who wants to be viewed by others (or yourself) as anything less than likeable, capable, beautiful, or strong-courageous-wealthy- kind-considerate- (insert whatever your core values are here)?
But, in resisting parts of you, you are also rejecting your true nature. The stuff that makes you different and special.
When you open up to the possibility that you are already perfect in your true nature, and really connect to yourself in that space, you can relax into whatever bruises you may find and recognize that they too will diminish with the love you share with yourself.
Holding on tight to protect yourself from being seen, as an eight-legged creature might do to protect her offspring from the scary parts of the world, is the ultimate resistance to accepting all of you, even the parts you don’t like.
Here’s a quick exercise to help you learn to explore your experience of something that you may not particularly like about yourself.
The next time something arises for you that you dislike, spend 15 minutes just allowing it. Be right where you are. If you are simply aware, with curiosity and interest, your “dislike” will begin to reveal itself, and it will flow and transform in the moment.
When you have finished, take 10 minutes to think about your initial resistance and also your allowing and inquiry. You’ll start to see how you normally react to parts of yourself- with rejection, avoidance, manipulation, control or some other kind of “meddling”.
Would love to hear more about your experiences about how you “meddle” when you find the bruises that we all have. Leave me a comment below and let me know if you noticed rejection or some other behavior and what you learned by watching it.
If you’d like to uncover how you meddle in your own life that keeps stuck in the stress of not loving yourself, contact me for a Free 30-minute Strategy Session to find out what your usual way is. Or download the free e-Book Calm Your Body & Mind, Reduce Your Stress: 10 Easy Ways to Counteract Life’s Rollercoaster and find simple ideas to reduce the stress related to resistance.
Holly Woods, Ph.D. helps adults who are overwhelmed with stress and anxiety and who want to find a different way to live and work so they can live their best life. I use Integral Coaching and Somatic Experiencing, mindfulness, non-violent communication, conscious evolution coaching and energetic healing to work with people in-person, by skype or phone and can be reached at 970-331-1639 or Holly@HollyWoodsCoaching.com.