I wonder when I became a care taker rather than someone to be taken care of and what the balance of these things is? When did I decide that others were more valuable than myself and have I changed my mind?
My meditation of late has led me to a practice of turning toward. I’m being encouraged to take a look at something in my life that troubles me and sit with it for a bit. I’ve been recognizing that I am a “wonder woman.” I’ve known it for a long time, but this practice is encouraging me to look at it and see where it comes from. I help people. That’s what I do. That’s what I do for a living and that’s what I do for a life. I don’t like being helped though. I don’t really trust it. I like to be the one in charge of the process or simply just to do whatever it is myself.
The last two days as I’ve done this meditation laying in my bed I could feel my body tied down and the rock in the center of my stomach as my mind took me back to childhood again. Doesn’t it always go back to childhood? We must have all been messed up as kids.
This time it was back to grade school. I remember being really excited about going to school. I loved books. I wanted to learn. I wanted make friends and to have a nice teacher who cared about me. It didn’t totally work out that way. I did have nice teachers who cared about me. I learned a lot. I had a couple friends. But, I went to a small school so I wasn’t only picked on by the kids in my class, but by the entire school.
It was the 1970’s and 80’s. Grown ups didn’t step in much if at all to deal with bullying. I was just told I needed to get over being shy without being given any tools to do that. In some sense, it became my fault that I was being harassed. So, day to day I struggled. I wanted to have friends. I wanted to be a part and to have fun at this school that I’d dreamed of. I wanted to feel safe there. Instead my stomach was permanently clenched and I dreaded every moment never knowing when my tormentors would get me next. I tried to hide in plain sight. It sounds unbelievable to me now, but I don’t think I ever, in six years, asked to use the bathroom during school hours because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I just held it until I got home.
That wasn’t ok. I needed a grownup to help me and the other kids develop our relationships. There’s nothing to change now about what happened then and that’s ok. It’s just good for me to acknowledge what I needed and didn’t get and now I can move on. What happened then isn’t the determinant of what could happen in other situations if I allow myself to be helped or taken care of. I don’t need to always protect myself by being the one who only takes care. I can both take and accept. We each can.
Thank you for reading my thoughts today.