This past week while I was on retreat there was a woman in the workshop with me who I really struggled with. I’ve met her a few times before and really admire and look up to her. She’s very beautiful, intelligent, and has a confidence that I often feel myself lacking. She also seems actively disinterested in having anything do with me. It’s one of those where each time we meet I’d have to reintroduce myself, and each time I smiled and tried to make eye contact she looked right past me. Each encounter with her left me feeling insignificant and small, compounded by self judgement for feeling that way when I should know better. What a fun thing to get to explore and work through! (That is sarcasm. I do not enjoy this type of inner work despite its rewards. I do it anyway because the alternative is to stay in the shitty cycle.)
For the first few days I let the aspect of me who is rational and mature attempt to manage the situation with thoughts like: “People can only make you feel small if you let them.” “Offer her unconditional love- you don’t know what she’s going or been through.” “You’re making this up- she’s not really ignoring you.” “Even if she is ignoring you, so what? It’s unreasonable to expect everyone to like you.” And even though that’s all true, there remained a very stubborn part of me who didn’t give a damn about any of it because my feelings were hurt. So there.
When it became clear that my rational mature self wasn’t getting anywhere I knew I had to sit down, be still, and connect with the part of me who was hurting. To find out what she needed and do my best to meet those needs. So in I went. When I meditated on the situation I saw her as this noblewoman and myself as a little mouse- far, far below her purview and if she happened to catch a glimpse of my mousy self there was even a bit of ‘eww’ on her part. I also saw very clearly that this was 100% my interpretation of the situation- that I had created this dynamic and now every interaction was confirming what I had decided about our roles. And then the most amazing shift happened- it was like so what if I’m a mouse? I was given lots of amazing mice examples: the fable of the Mouse who saved the Lion, the Mouse and the Motorcycle, Stuart Little, and the mouse who roared. It left me feeling rather marvelous in my mousiness and renewed my sense of being okay and worthy independent of anyone else.
I often hear people in spiritual circles speak poorly of the ego and the trappings of personality. That if we could only get rid of these millstones about our necks we could get on with the business of enlightenment. In my experience though, my wounded and irrational bits and pieces- the parts of me who behave badly, wallow in self pity, and stand in judgment of others don’t want to surrender to some idea of ascension. They don’t give a fuck about living in 5D. They want to be seen, heard, felt, known, and above all to be loved- just as they are, warts and all. And then, more often than not- when I’m able to drop in and touch those ugly sore spots with compassion they usually shift all on their own.
By now I’m sure there are some reading this who are like, “Well that’s great for you, April- but it would never work for me.” And I get it- what sounds good in theory is often quite different in practice. Well, I just so happen to have an upcoming class where we will be going through this very process. Attendees will get a direct experience of pinpointing something about themselves that’s not working, and going inward to work with it compassionately. This process has been a game changer for me and I’m so eager to be sharing it on Saturday April 6 in a daylong workshop I’m co-teaching called Initiation. My co-teacher Asha is going to support you in connecting with your intuition and higher self. The workshop is available in person in Santa Rosa or via Livestream- AND there are scholarships available, so really there’s no excuse not to treat yourself and take the plunge.
Whether or not you can join us for Initiation, I hope we can all be a bit more compassionate with ourselves, especially the parts that hurt. Xoxo