What do you see when you look at me?

kind, older womanI had a dream early this morning that literally woke me up because I was so disturbed by the feelings it caused. I don’t remember the full dream, just what woke me and the feeling I was left with and where I am at with it now.  In the dream I was with 2 of my little girls and one of them was doing something naughty . You know how dreams go, and I can’t make sense of it all with so many details missing, but she was aggressive and disrespectful and I think may have done something to one of the other kids that hurt them. Anyway, I went up to her quickly and smacked her across the top of her forehead and then realized I hit the wrong child. I hit my little 5 year old who is my tender spirit. She is kind and gentle and good to the bone. We have always said that God never closed the heavens all the way when He sent her because she was obviously still attached to the purity and love of God by the way she makes people feel. How the energy in the room changes because she is in it. If someone comes in the room being very aggressive  and mean, she doesn’t see that in the person. It is as if what she sees is the pain that person is feeling and responds to just that. She will walk up to them and wrap her tiny arms around their leg, or neck, whatever she can reach, and tell them in her little language, “I yuv you!”, with such sincerity and genuine love that your heart just melts because of the depth of love you feel in that moment. No one can stay angry after that and she shifts their energy immediately.

So this is the little one that I hit in my dream. I woke up immediately, realizing what I had done and feeling as if I had really done it. I felt sick to my stomach, ashamed and started to cry. Then I asked myself, why it would be ok to do that to my other daughter if it wasn’t ok to do it to my baby girl? The answer is it is not ok, so then the next question is, why am I still aggressive in my home at all? This question has bothered me for as long as I can remember.

I am a yeller. I grew up in a home where yelling was a constant and I completely took on that trait myself. I have done some deep soul searching as to how to rid myself of this ever so tormenting behavior I have taken into my daily life. This is not who I am, but I live as if it is. I have prayed fervently to change this about myself and until today, have felt rather frustrated about myself and wondered what it would take to release this from my soul. I believed it would be changed, just didn’t know how or when and now wasn’t soon enough. I had voices in my head that I was damaging my children, which I was. That I was not a good parent, which was not true, but the behavior certainly was not good, and so on. So here I am, waking up to the depth of the pain I caused my sweet little one and in the dream immediately I realized what I did and grabbed her and said I am so sorry sweet thing, I did not mean to do that to you, and then I wanted to hide under a rock.

The children I would die for (and I have every bit of my being knowing I would do just that if the time came and was needed) and love more than anything I have ever experienced, how I could hurt them? Why is this in me? I can’t imagine that I am the only one who feels this way. When I look at this picture of the old woman, I see a sweet, gentle and even peaceful woman. I want people to see that when they see me. I want to emulate kindness. I want to be a place of safety for my family foremost, and others as well. I believe we are all deeply connected and the place I choose to live effects us all. I want to be kindness, I want to feel kindness, I want others to always feel and be safe with me because all I feel is love for them. I want regardless of how someone else acts, to be completely at peace within my soul that they cannot shift that from me. I do not want to be reactive… I want to be still and know who I am in any given moment. I look at this woman and believe she knows who she is and lives in that place.

young female expressing her angerYou see I grew up in a rough town. There are drugs, alcohol, lots of sex, devil worshiping, and just plain mean and aggressive people. When I moved there in the 6th grade I didn’t understand that girls got in fist fights there. Sure I got in fights with my sister at home, but I thought that was something you did in private and not for others to see. One day while in the 6th grade, a Navajo girl had come up to me and wanted to fight with me. I was scared and didn’t know what to do. I was new to the school so I was being tested as to who would be the toughest. I remember when she tried to push me around, I was wearing a jumpsuit and the kids started laughing at me and when I looked down, the zipper to my jumpsuit had come all the way unzipped. So not only had I coward to this girl, but my clothes came completely open and I walked away completely defeated.

Something inside me that very day changed. I came from a home where physical violence was a daily occurrence from my mother toward me. Sexual abuse from my dad. And now I was getting it from school too. Something had to give. I could not stay so pent up in every area of my life. So the next time I got cornered and was hit, I snapped, and then I blacked out, and then I came to, and the person that hit me was on the ground, beat up! I remember leaving so confused. I had clearly beat them up from the kudos of the crowd. I could see them on the ground and the damage I had done, and I was not hurt, but my fists were sore, so I must have done it since there were so many witnesses proving that they saw me do it. From that moment on, the word got out, and everyone that thought they could whoop up on me tried, always with the same result.

So I when I look at this picture of the beautiful young woman, with her fist drawn back, it evokes immense feelings within my soul. I was this woman, many times over.  I was beautiful, but I didn’t know it. I was tough and living completely into that. I had lost feeling safe in my femininity (remind me to tell you on another post what I have learned about masculine and feminine energies and how they have hurt and helped me.) Through the sexual and physical abuse, I gained a belief that being a soft, gentle woman is not safe and if I live into these characteristics, I would get hurt. I know that it was my trusting personality that allowed me to be a target for this abuse, but continually changing who I am when the abuse is no longer present, no longer serves me. In fact, it works directly against what I want to create in my life. I get to choose whether I feel safe or not  and who I show myself to be does not effect whether I am safe or not. That applied to the time when I was a child and could not choose for myself, but it no longer applies, so I am breaking the habit I have created of believing that being a soft, gentle, loving woman was going to invite hurt and pain. That is simply a lie that no longer applies to me, and in fact, creates the facade that I am tough and can handle anything that is given to me. People are less careful with my feelings than they would be if they felt I was a gentle, caring soul. Yes the instincts are still there to fight or defend and I don’t know if they will ever leave me. That was imprinted in me pretty deeply and when someone sneaks up on me and tries to scare me, they usually will get punched out of reaction because it is my automatic defense mechanism at work. Who I am is a deeply loving woman who has become keenly aware of the depth and power behind love and I want to share that with all I can reach.

 

So today I am different because of the awakening my dream has blessed me with. A shift has taken place that I believe is a direct answer to a pray of changing my heart. Removing my aggression, and then created a hope that I can be changed in such deep and long life habits and replace that with love and kindness. I am just hearing my children coming down the stairs, doing what they normally do every morning. Arguing about what to eat and who did what to them and this morning I do not feel frustration at their lack of respect and kindness for each other. I feel love for them and know that I will make mistakes because of the habits I have, BUT I know I will eventually teach them to love and respect each other more than be aggressive because they will see me do it first.

 

I’ve gotta go. I have some kids I need to go to and ask their forgiveness for my behavior and ask them to help me as I begin my journey of kindness, vulnerability and love. This is not going to be easy, but so worth it.

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