Recalling a conversation I had decades ago with someone who was anti-abortion. I, not qualified to judge another but curious as to why she was so passionately against, I asked her “Why? Why do you feel this strongly about it?” Her reply was “How do we know that baby would not be the next President of the United States, or doctor that cures cancer?” I nodded my head, contemplating her words. I didn’t offer anything further to the conversation, nor did she. The topic was dropped.
Now here it is decades later and I am recalling this conversation. I place my own self worth on my accomplishments. Though I am not talking materialistically but certainly, how can I say I’m worthy if I’ve done nothing to earn it? Hence the long “honey do it yourself lists”, the goal setting, the long hours of work. On a much more shallow level is how I look. If I’m not at my best, if I’m overweight, if I haven’t slept and the circles under my eyes look like a reflection of a swing weighted down to earth, if…if…if… I don’t want anyone to see me. Well, this is turning out to be the larger part of my life!
I have been asking myself…perfectionist? While I am particular about my artwork, my creations, I would not classify myself a “perfectionist”. But where I do struggle with it is how I perceive myself. Unless I’m 120 lbs., pearly white teeth, dressed to flatter my figure, I am not worthy. Here’s the thing. I am no longer thin, I need to see a dentist and I dress in jeans and a sweatshirt everyday because I want to disappear into the crowd. I could say I’m a shallow perfectionist?
I do not do well at delegating my work because I want it done a particular way and if it isn’t done that way, I’ll do it over. I do not do well at “faking a smile” or conquering the old “fake it til you make it” because I care to be genuine, completely honest to myself and others. I have little patience for “putting on the Ritz”, because I don’t believe a person with a large amount of money or fortune makes them a better person than one with half or a sliver of the money. I ask myself, is this person honest? kind?
At times I have pondered what it would be like to have boundless checking account. I know for fact if that were the case I would be most charitable with my funds. I feel at my best when I have helped another. Not insinuating financial, but truly being kind to another, doing what I can to put a smile on their face. I also have a history of adopting rescue animals, which stands to reason why my parents would not let me work at a veterinarian clinic throughout high school. They figured I would bring home every wayward or unwanted fluff ball that made it to the doors of the clinic. They were probably right.
One day a few weeks ago a friend asked me “Can you afford to do that?” She was speaking in terms of a very small financial tithe I gave to another. I wished I had never told her what I had done and I have to question WHY I told her. My reply was short, crisp and quick “I can’t afford not to!”
I do not give to get. I do not offer goods or kindness to others so that they can skyrocket my name in the air “Donna is good!” I give and help others because it feels good. I like how it feels. I also learned many moons ago that when you give to another it comes back tenfold. I don’t give for that reason, though I really do feel it’s in my best interest to help another. Is that why I am kind? giving? No. But it is a really nice bonus that comes with my already feeling good about myself! “I simply cannot afford to NOT give to others”.
The past couple of days I’ve watched Dr. Wayne Dyer on Vermont Public TV. “I can see clearly now” is the name of the special and it is all and more, of what one would expect from him. I was listening to him on cassettes in the early 80’s. There are “moments” or messages he brought to his audience that are still with me today. I’ve watched this new program twice, so far. It’s particularly moving, which brings to my mind what I have always believed to be true… it all comes back around to love.
Particularly poignant moments with his children sharing their devout love and thanks to him; where he introduces a mother whose young child was murdered in the massacre at Sandy Hook. She has written a book that Dyer speaks of with sentiment in his voice, and emotion on his face. LOVE. Come from a place of love.
I am fans of Louise Hays, and the many more doctors and people whom have written self-help books. I think I own about 75% of all. I know from writing that when I sit to write, it sometimes feels like I am “channeling” from something else. Many times I go back to read what I had written earlier and on most occasions I say to myself “Where the heck did that come from?” I do believe everything happens for a reason. I do believe that we all have purpose, that we all have a message or messages to deliver if not to one than to all. Look at the lives Dyer has touched, his teachings surely have helped me over the years. He shares that “there are no mistakes, everything happens for a reason”. When he was sharing on this I was thinking of a fellow artist who lost her son at a very young age. Decades later her pain is still visible. I regretted saying to her “everything happens for a reason”. I wasn’t pertaining to her sons death, but to what was encompassing her sons family. It didn’t come out that way and the emotions and tears that flowed from her reduced me to tears, and an awareness that though I have experienced much loss, I do not know what another persons loss feels like to them and I am, like everyone else, at risk of saying something that could actually bring them more pain. Human. I am human.
Dyers message this program was on love. He speaks of human, spiritual and divine love. Divine love I have always defined as “unconditional”. As I listened to him speak, watched as he shared his experiences, his insight I thought back decades to the conversation I had with a girlfriend regarding abortion. “How do we know he will not be the next President of the United States?” That one. What came to mind was this “How do we know he or she will not be a kind person, capable of immense love?” I have been in the presence of greatness. There are those whose plights exude such energy that it seems impossible for someone to not feel it. I believe Dyer is of greatness, human, but truly greatness. When I sat in a small room with 30 other people listening to Art Garfunkel perform a few songs, to which his soul was exposed, ever vulnerable to criticism from the throat paralysis he was coming back from, I felt greatness. I sat in awe, unable to take my eyes off from him. Was he a peacemaker? Was he a President? No, but the music that spilled from his soul has touched the lives of many, too many to guess. At times the stage lighting would reveal a young Garfunkel, the one whom performed at Central Park on that fate filled weekend. The things this man has seen, the stories he could tell. Greatness.
Are any of the people I’ve mentioned world peace makers? Have any healed cancer, or performed magic that has changed the world? No, but a large part of greatness, in my humble opinion, is in trying, persevering, trying. They did and do carry a message, a message of goodness, of love… That in itself is worthy of falling under the umbrella of what I call “greatness”. When you are bringing to the table something that will help another…this is greatness.
As I think about the work of many whom have touched my life, and have followed their “journey” as well, such as Dyer, I can’t help but think about how it all comes back full circle. With all the lectures, seminars, books, life experiences, the help they’ve given others, the wisdom they’ve offered us, what it all comes back to, or comes to, is of love. Love. LoVe. LOVE.
So now I’m looking at what I call my own “shallow perfectionism”. Why am I so self-critical? Why do I feel I need to look a certain way, in order to matter? to count? Does my appearance take away from my soul, my purpose? And why, oh why, am I so self-absorbed over such? I do know that I have not treated my body well, and for this I suffer and will continue to. This is an area I need to pay particular attention too but does that make me unlovable? Unworthy? For you and everyone else, I can answer honestly “of course not”. We all struggle, some of us show it, others hide it, but everyone struggles with something, different things, different extremes. Why then, in my own eyes, do I feel the answer for me is yes?
I have tried to look at it from another point of view. Do I think less of someone who has gained weight? Who is struggling with their self-worth and esteem? Of course not. So why should I treat myself differently? My therapist and I had a lengthy discussion on this today. Why do I feel the need to beat myself up? And even saying that, I don’t fully understand how I am doing such. Frustrating. I am frustrated. I am also struggling.
I don’t share an opinion on abortion, I know not what is best for another. What I believe will send many of you jumping over fences, “them are fighting words!” I know not what is best for you, I only know what is best for me and there are days that that isn’t true. But this abortion is not the message of this blog. I was simply sharing my thought process. The message I am trying to convey is that every life has purpose, every life matters. Everyone is deserving of love. My mind is wandering to a post on NCR that was against people with gene mutations having children. How angry I got, perhaps because I have a gene mutation? It reminded me of Hitler. What the hell?
As I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer speak of oneness, unity, divine love it became clear to me on why it feels so good to help another, why I can’t afford NOT to give to another. It is a conglomeration of all of our gifts, our talents, our insights, wisdom, love that makes life worth living. If I do for myself, I will benefit. If I do for another, we will benefit, If we all do for another…the world becomes a beautiful place!
Whether President of the United States, a movie star, Noble Peace Prize recipients, their purpose may be public, thus their popularity high, but who is to say that a little old man perched in his rocking chair at home, whom has given anonymously his whole life, who helps others, visits folk in nursing homes and brings a smile to their faces, even if for that very moment… who is to say that he is not of greatness? He exudes love, generosity, cares about his fellow brothers and sisters. We are one, we are one.
With all of this said, I speak of greatness not in terms of accomplishment, but surely energy, willingness, open-mindedness, and an ability to share it with others. They are not perfect, no human will ever be, but they get up, brush themselves off, learn from their experiences and share their knowledge, their hope, their insight with the sole purpose of helping others, of loving others. I think that is the best that we could ever expect of ourselves and others. To always come from a place of love. I think it and they, are extraordinary.
In hopes of being kinder, gentler to myself, … I do hope you have a good night! ♥