I finished Reconciliation and I am proud to say I have reconciled-ish with my Little Dragon. During the course of listening to the book I began to despair because I c ouldn’t figure out how I was going to make things up to my Little Dragon. She was, in a lot of ways, irreparably damaged. And I allowed it. I’m slowly unpacking the guilt associated with that. I did what I had to do to protect myself in the maelstrom of narcissism and gaslighting. There were times in my life when I wanted to leave everyone behind, when I wanted to divorce myself from the dysfunction that is my family but I didn’t have the backbone to go through with it. At those times I didn’t know why I had to leave I just knew I needed to.
Master Hanh said something in the book that was a tender light-bulb moment. In recognizing my inner child didn’t trust anyone because everyone had hurt her, hurt me, no one protected her or championed her when she needed it most. None of the grown-ups or semi-gr’ups even noticed me because I had perfected the protective art of invisibility in plain sight (If they can’t see you they can’t hurt you…). But now, I am grown. I am aware of my Little Dragon and I have vowed to pick up her banner and tout it to the world. I think (hope) she has accepted….
Upon accepting the responsibility of shepherding my inner child I have been treated to bouts of her pain. The pain I have been avoiding because, well, it hurts. When I feel safe, mostly when I am alone driving in my car I am treated to the excoriating memories of what drove me to abandon her. I have always believed I am ugly. Not uncommon for girls raised in my time, but it was reaffirmed by comments like “No one likes fat girls,” teasing mercilessly at school, my father singing to me “Rolly Polly, daddy’s little fatty. Rolly Polly daddy’s little girl.”, being told my hair hung in in greasy strings in my eyes. My favorite was “you’d be so pretty if you just lose weight.” (her list went on and on a continuous loop at times) Reliving her pain would push me to tears which I would have to quickly correct because I was driving in close quarter traffic. I don’t know if she was expressing her pain or trying to get even for my neglect but I didn’t stop it. She has settled down and I’m trying to be sensitive to her expressions in me now, as I write this, to be true to her voice as I am as true to my adult voice.
Since I offered this white flag my heart has been at peace. Yes, I still think I’m ugly, but I know a person is more than looks even though I have been told through my adult life that men don’t like fat women….or women who can’t cook or clean….Or maybe just the men I’m interested in don’t….I dunno. I’ve given up on that. What I am happy about is I am a person my Little Dragon can be proud of. I am a good person and I will be a good shepherd to her and raise her in the unconditional love I’ve never had. Maybe that will open the floodgates for this self-love everyone keeps talking about.
Send Light to Others in the Void:
My monk, Titch Nhat Hanh, practiced something called a tea meditation. It’s said he would spend an hour drinking a cup of tea with his fellow monks. It sounds glorious. Honestly, I’m saying that without rancor or sarcasm. In his book Anger: Wisdom for cooling the flames, he talks about how a cup of tea, when drunk with mindfulness, will bring us back to ourselves. The whole world melts away when you spend the time thinking about nothing else but drinking the warm infusion of leaves, smelling the botanical aromas and feeling the concoction infuse your soul with each sip.
I have started my own tea ritual at night before bed. I’m not able to completely concentrate on the tea, I don’t quite have the discipline yet. I also have a bird who demands my complete attention after being left alone all day. I have a small one-ounce cup I try to put out for her when I drink but she doesn’t seem as interested in the tea as she is in pushing the small cup off the desk. She makes me smile. The tea does make me pause, to inhale the floral bouquet (tonight is lemon balm) and try to exhale the feelings of being overwhelmed, overworked and inactive in the direction I want to go. The herbals I drink at night are designed to promote calm and restfulness of mind after the long days I’ve been having, and the spice teas I drink during the day are to get more liquid and less chemicals into my body for better health.
I didn’t practice last night. I was too tired to do anything, including sleep. I was irritated because work was long, lunch was gastro-intestinally distressing and the work environment dredged up some old forgotten feelings from long, long ago of people long since passed. I watched TV eating salted caramels from Costco and stayed up well past my bedtime (8:30pm!) and still couldn’t sleep. I eventually got up around 10pm took some Tylenol then rubbed a melatonin infused lotion on my legs and feet and eventually fell into a quasi-restful slumber. I blamed my restlessness on the family interaction from the night before, I blamed it on working too much, I blamed it on being too tired to sleep. In reality, I didn’t bring myself back to center with a cup of tea after being scattered mentally, physically and emotionally from the day. Rituals are powerful tools, even when they are as simple as a cup of tea.
Send Light to Others in the Void:
It was in the pre-dawn hours this morning while driving to work a baby deer bolted in front of my car. It wasn’t even big enough to make the car shutter as it threw off the small animal like a dog with rain water. I had no time to react, to hit my breaks or to even swerve, which would have put an abrupt end to my day. I pulled over about 100 yards away from the impact and as the morning began to shimmer in the sky I could see the dark body of the fawn on the side of the road. It was too dark to see if it was breathing and it wasn’t cold enough to see the steam from it’s breath. I wanted to believe it was okay and at the same time I wanted to believe it’s death was swift and painless. How those two diametrically opposed outcomes could rest peacefully in my mind still boggles. I couldn’t go to it because I didn’t want to know. It was cowardly, it was inhumane. If it was in agony I didn’t have any means to end it’s suffering, I couldn’t do it for Dotty, a creature I loved, I couldn’t pick up a rock and bash in the brains of a terrified animal to ‘help’.
Many images and thoughts have come from this experience unbidden and not totally unwanted.
- It’s warning of jumping too soon into my plans for resolution with my sisters.
- There is the guilt of thinking it was following it’s mother across the road and it was too intent to be with her it didn’t hesitate.
- Anger at the house which allows the deers to graze in their yard so close to the busy road. It’s not a kindness befriending wild animals.
- Shouldn’t I feel something more than just casual remorse for the loss of life. I’m too numb.
- There should be a company you can call where someone quickly comes out, slaughters the venison and distributes it to the poor and hungry before the body starts to break down and spoil the meat.
- What am I suppose to learn from this? Why did a baby deer have to die in order for me to learn whatever the lesson is? And how many more animals will need to be sacrificed before I learn it?
- How completely blessed I am because it could have been so much worse.
On my drive home from work I didn’t see the body. I’m clinging to the hope I just stunned the little tyke and it’s with it’s mother being suckled back to health.
Send Light to Others in the Void: