If you love yourself, free yourself. Release yourself.
I think of all the ways that I'm held back by the past. Teachers' comments. Parents, sisters, coaches. Bosses, co-workers, girlfriends -- or girls that I courted as potential girlfriends.
Seventh grade. I remember sitting beside a cute girl, Kathy, in math class. Notes were being passed between girls, messages being delivered. Kathy likes you. Do you like her? Sure, I like Kathy. But then a zit bloomed on my forehead, huge and red behind my bangs. My bangs blow back and Kathy's horror is released, Oh my god, look at that zit!
Good bye, Kathy.
Then there was the eighth grade teacher who told me in front of the class, You're smart but you're lazy. Forty plus years later, I'm in that classroom, watching her, hearing her.
There is the step father telling me, "You're stupid. You're stupid. You don't think," mocking, tormenting and belittling me to help him cope with his own issues.
Chains shackle me down. Chains, from disappointments and unrealized expectations.
You can call it chains, baggage, negative energy. It's all there, cursing me. I brought some of it on myself. Hell, I'm probably a major contributor - with a little help from others. Within me are all those versions of me, caught in those moments of life and age, hearing those cirticisms or the mocking or rejection, feeling the pain of loss, humiliation and embarassment, and putting it out there again every time something happens. They're the ones holding onto the other end of the chains.
All these decades of life, and I remain a work in progress.
Being a work in progress is not bad. It's good. I'm still examining myself, still trying to understand myself and my world, still trying to learn more about them, still trying to improve myself. I'm still trying.
So today's mantra is release. Yes, release me from these chains, this baggage, this crap that happened long ago. More, though, release them. Let them go. I don't need to hold onto them, and I don't need them within me, holding onto the other ends of these chains. All those selves, trapped within, have been great people. They've helped formed who I am, and I learned a lot from them and succeeded thanks to them. But they don't need to hang around.
To release them, I'm adapting from Steve Martin. I'm turning in a circle while saying, "I release thee, I release thee, I release thee."
Then I'm spitting three times.
Sorry, but that's the law.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com