Hi. I’ve been working on a post for this week titled: At some point in this life, you will lose everything you love.
And it’s a great post. I promise. Not at all as dark as it sounds. And yet, I can’t get myself to finish writing it this morning. Actually, I’m finding I just don’t want to go anywhere that requires too much depth.
So, in honor of showing up exactly as I am, and that being enough, I’m sharing the words of Mister Rogers. A different Mr. Rogers than last week’s post. This time, the Mister Rogers, of that strange neighborhood I was drawn to as a child.
“No child is ‘perfectly’ whole in mind, body, spirit, ability…nor can any child meet all of a parent’s hopes and expectations. Yet, there is a wholeness of each and every child, a wholeness that is unique and that brings with it a unique set of possibilities and limitations, a unique set of possibilities for fulfillment.” —Fred Rogers
Up until this week, I was reading Carl Rogers’s On Becoming a Person and loving it. Then, I noticed a subtle shift in my perception of myself…a little less loving. A little more critical. A little more of a part of me, who just for fun, we’ll call the Virgo. Her tendency leans towards perfectionism. With her, I can read something inspiring and then very quietly begin to feel shitty that I have not lived up to the thing I have found inspiring.
Yep, I noticed I was feeling kinda shitty and reviewing my failures as a parent.
The hilarious part of this is that the very thing I love about Carl Rogers is his admitting that he himself only sometimes is able to find success in the work he researched, practiced and wrote about.
Perhaps this is because being human is about our unique set of possibilities and limitations rubbing up against others who are also made up of unique possibilities and limitations. And, our families’ (which look different for all of us) hopes and expectations have colored our hopes and expectations for ourselves, even as adults — which is the very basis of conditioning. What if it’s in the rubbing up against these possibilities and limitations that we are able to know and heal and grow into our most potent beings and at the same time, soften the lines that separate us from other people in the first place? Whew.
So much for not going deep.
Our work (play) is to see through this conditioning. To recognize our perceived limitations, to embrace it all as the pure possibility that we are.
So I put the book down for a bit. Long enough to come back to my goodness. To appreciate my unique possibilities for fulfilment. ‘Cause that’s what happens when I see through a piece of old conditioning. Fulfillment. Happy dance!
This is why paying attention to our feelings is the most important thing we can do. Feelings are our built-in GPS. Smarter than anything out there.
And in case you are wondering about those pesky bits of conditioning that keep coming back over and over again, fear, sadness, whatever it may be, they don’t vanish when we see (through) them, they (when we can embrace them) transform us.
Here’s a miracle: after years of practice I can see a piece of conditioning that used to send me spiraling into a deep abyss of unworthiness for weeks, maybe months (of self-help books and seminars and things trying to fix that part of me). Now when I see it, I do a happy dance. That’s it. A happy dance.