Today, I remind myself not to be buffeted by narratives of the past or belittled by negative opinions in the present. Although neither serve any valuable purpose, it took me many years to shed the social conditioning associated with pleasing others. Of course, those of us who grew up trying to please everyone learned how difficult this agenda is. And very likely, our own pleasure was quashed while taking responsibility for others’ feelings.
I recall the odious burden lifted off my shoulders when I finally recognized I was not responsible for anyone else’s emotions; only my own. For those of you who view my statement as selfish, consider this. When our intention is to be good to ourselves, we are naturally and happily good to others.
In other words, what we offer ourselves, we freely give to all. With regard to your own life, does this statement, hold true? Of course, this works for both negative as well as positive offerings. Thus, when I criticize or judge others, I am outwardly reflecting my own self-criticism. Conversely, when I take responsibility for managing my emotional state in ways that ‘do no harm’ me, then I willingly offer or reflect the same out to the world at large.
When confronted with a life-long pattern, the truth may appear simple while internalizing that truth is often not easy. Just as my poem below depicts, deep-rooted negative patterns can take a lifetime to recognize and then alter. Nonetheless, once they are gone, a new lighter you emerges. And just as significantly, your new lighter aura, or way of being, positively impacts everyone and everything around you.
Gone Girl *
Gone, girl, is the restless drive
of dancing as fast as you can,
of chaotically and simultaneously
juggling tragedy and comedy.
Gone, girl, is the inner gripping
meant to stave off pain and suffering.
Gone, girl, is the dark energy of delusion.
Such an unfolding is upon you.
You are creating yourself anew.
Unburdened by 10,000 hours of
intentionally navigating wilderness.
A hero healed from a desert pilgrimage.
Your joy muse,
awakened inner love child,
perches in conscious foreground.
Feel her, hear her,
twinkling child-like laughter
tickling every cell to bring you full circle
out from the past, alive to the present.
May we welcome the truth and let delusion be gone. Namaste.
*The title poem from my soon to be published poetry book — Gone Girl.